terça-feira, 27 de janeiro de 2015

Crossy Road: using a game to promote other games

Crossy Road (2014) is a casual mobile game created by Hipster Whale Studio. It’s a tribute to the classic game Frogger (Atari, 1981), this time constructed in an isometric perspective, full of new possibilities. Check the comparison below:





You start the game with a chicken trying to cross the cars, rivers and other dangerous obstacles but, by earning some special points it’s possible to acquire new characters like the duck, the goat, the zombie, the mage, the monster of Frankenstein and many others (even the internet meme DOGE gained its digital version in this game). There’s a clever business model inside the interface and players are able to buy (with real money) new characters or watch advertising videos to earn new points, at anytime.



There’s another smart point inside the game: sometimes the system gives out some special characters to play. These characters are from other games and an invite to download a new experience appears on the screen. In the example below, the player earned the main character from the game named Epoch; few seconds after receiving the prize, an ad with the message “EPOCH – download at App Store” appears to the player. There are many characters to achieve in Crossy Road, lots of them from other games.



This kind of communication structure refers to Davis’s ideas about promotional culture; this author (2013, p.191) says, “Promotional culture has become a more central, influential part of communication and social relations, just as financialization, globalization and new communication technologies have”. In the contemporary times, a good mediatic product never comes without a promotional strategy embedded inside its essence.



Reference:

DAVIS, A. Promotional culture: the rise and spread of advertising, public relations, marketing and branding. Bristol, UK: Polity, 2013.

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