Mobile games don't get a huge amount of support from the enthusiast press. In fact, many mobile game review sites do the exact opposite. We were contacted by several sites and magazines which wanted to review our game in exchange for money. If I was okay with those ethics, I'd still be selling "LIRV STRONG" bracelets to well-meaning illiterates.
The majority of mobile gamers don't read press reviews. The entirety of their research is done by opening their phone and browsing the best-selling games. Obviously, that means the best-selling games sell more games, which makes them better-selling games, which makes them sell more games. So marketers aren't trying to get your game press. They're trying to get your game downloaded. You might be saying, "Wait, isn't getting your game downloaded, like, the endgame, not the first step? That sounds suspicious?" You're right.
There are companies -- lots of them -- which use every possible dirty trick to get your game downloaded. For example, they can attach your app to a coupon that only works after you've downloaded the game and had it open for 30 seconds. Or maybe they hire all of Bangladesh to download your game over and over and over. They will push your app to the top of the charts while global warming pulls their country into the ocean! We win again, underprivileged!
Some companies specialize in getting your players to stop playing and sign up for subscriptions or take surveys or submit credit reports. I sat through pitches for dozens of mobile marketing schemes, all of which seemed designed entirely around convincing people video games are evil. None of them were for me. If you're the type of person who fills out 20 minutes' worth of credit report for 7 cents worth of a Starbucks card, my game and all future games I make are too hard for you.
I can barely keep all these these shapes and numbers straight myself, and I invented them.
I didn't get into making interactive fun to trick the poor and confused into downloading my video game against their will. If all I wanted was to make a giant mess so I could exploit it for money, I would have poisoned a reservoir and started a bottled water and coffin business. If I wanted to get paid for adding nothing of value to the world, I would scream wishes into jars and sell them to Bjork. I guess what I'm starting to realize is that all my backup business plans are terrifying and insane. So for everyone's safety, please read my free jokes and play my free video games generously.
Seanbaby invented being funny on the internet. Follow him on Twitter.
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