The UK has placed kibosh on a specific format of ads used by Playrix for its games Home landscapes and Garden landscapes, claiming that some frequent ads misrepresent the gameplay of each title.
The Advertising Standards Authority regularly assesses what it does and does not use for game advertisements in the UK, which means that it is important for game developers to monitor the Authority’s decisions to ensure that their own advertisements do not fall into the cutting block.
Past solutions have focused on games like Gran Turismo Sport for misrepresenting offline content or Grand Theft Auto V for misleading ads on Steam for sale a few years ago, although the list goes on and on.
Playrix ads at the ASA crossroads this time may be familiar to anyone who regularly engages in mobile free games or scrolls through social media: each depicts a puzzle that requires players to slide different pins in a certain order to save a cartoon character. of a certain doom.
Only, as the ad regulator points out, the gameplay, which at first glance is presented in these ads, is nothing close to what is actually found in most of the match-3 games they advertise.
The complaint itself arose from two specific ads on Facebook, one for Home landscapes and one for Garden landscapes, which followed this pin-pull format and aimed to attract future players with phrases like “only 5 percent can solve this!”
In response to the ASA investigation, Playrix claims that the puzzles share thematic similarities with the gameplay and narrators that players can expect in actual games.
“Playrix believes that users will take from the ads that the games contain the content they see, as well as similar content that includes similar characters,” reads the ASA’s retelling of Playrix’s response. “Also that the games will have the same design and mechanics, along with similar gameplay. They believed that advertising appealed to the logic and problem-solving skills needed to win games. They also believed that users may have thought that their games were not clear match-3 titles, but would involve a variety of mechanics. “
The studio also argues that mini-games are actually appearing Home landscapes, although only 10 times in total and often times in the development of the game, so early players may not see them.
The full ASA solution can be found here, but in short, the authority ruled that Playrix ads were misleading, despite the inclusion of Playrix’s disclaimer that “Not all images constitute actual gameplay.” As such, offensive ads can no longer be appear (at least in the UK) and Playrix is told to “ensure” that their future ads actually represent the gameplay of the titles to which they are linked.