The thing about free-to-play games is that the mobile stores are overflowing with them, and so to stand out, publishers and developers need to invest in “player acquisition.” Increasingly, this means television commercials.
Blizzard is the latest publisher to start a marketing campaign on television for one of its free-to-play mobile releases. Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, the company’s competitive card battler, gets its first 30-second TV spot later this week. Blizzard’s PR firm, Grayling, has informed GamesBeat that this commercial will first air during playoff games for the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League.
The ad relies heavily on humor, and it does a good job of showing how mobile the game is despite starting as a PC-only release in early 2014.
Watch the video below:
Hearthstone and Blizzard join games like Clash of Clans and Game of War in advertising on television. And that’s because these TV campaigns work. Clash of Clans has topped the highest-grossing app charts on both iOS and Android since 2012 largely due to its massive advertising campaign. Game of War, a game that is similar to Clash of Clans, didn’t crack the top three highest-grossing apps until it started its $40 million marketing blitz that heavily features swimsuit model Kate Upton.
Now, Blizzard is looking for similar results. It is already No. 22 on the top-grossing apps chart on iOS in the United States, according to App Annie. That means it’s probably making around $100,000 a day on that platform in the U.S. alone, according to ThinkGaming. And it’s likely doing around the same on Android and PC.
But to keep the momentum going, the card game will need new players. And Blizzard will try to convert some basketball and hockey fans into exactly that starting soon.