People love two things: bad guys and free stuff — and Warner Bros. has brought those things together like the Joker throwing out wads of cash in Gotham City.
Suicide Squad: Special Ops has surpassed 10 million downloads on iOS and Android, according to data-tracking firm Sensor Tower. The totally free action game debuted on mobile devices alongside the movie this summer, and it has seen substantial growth. Special Ops puts players in the roll of Will Smith’s character Deadshot as well as the fire-spewing Diablo and bat-swinging Harley Quinn. This is the latest movie property to find an audience in the $36.6 billion mobile gaming industry.
Suicide Squad: Special Ops is the No. 23 most downloaded game on the Google Play market right now. The most interesting aspect of Warner Bros. Suicide Squad game is that it is completely free. Unlike most other mobile games, it does not have in-app purchases. Instead, gamers can download and play the whole game without having to fork over a single penny.
WB is treating this app as marketing. Fans of DC comics can grab it and engage with the characters and even watch a trailer for the movie. Excitement for Special Ops may have translated into people going to the theater to contribute to Suicide Squad‘s $309 million domestic gross. It may also convince audiences to pick up the home video, check out the comic book, or even spend money on Suicide Squad characters in mobile fighter Injustice: Gods Among Us.
The completely free nature of Special Ops shows how much gaming has changed in recent years. A decade ago, Suicide Squad is the kind of game that would’ve debuted on the consoles, but traditional publishers have largely stopped adapting Hollywood films into big-budget releases for Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony systems. The reason is that a movie license is often expensive and that eats into budgets. In the past, that would mean games adapted from movies were typically low in quality. Today, it means that they are not financially feasible.
But movie games have found a new home on mobile, and Suicide Squad is the latest evidence of that.