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Gearing up for the holiday rush, developer Machine Zone has launched a second video ad featuring Terminator star Arnold Schwarzenegger to promote the modern-combat Mobile Strike game.

The new ad is part of a series of Schwarzenegger commercials promoting Mobile Strike, which is battling for the attention of mobile gamers as the all-important holidays approach in the $30 billion mobile-game industry.

Thanks in part to the Governator, Mobile Strike has steadily climbed the charts of the top-grossing list for iOS games in the past few weeks. After months of limited release, the new game debuted broadly on iOS and Android on November 11, and it is currently No. 17 of the top-grossing iOS games in the U.S.

Mobile Strike is set in the modern era, but it mimics the gameplay of Machine Zone’s fantasy-oriented Game of War: Fire Age, which is currently the No. 2 top-grossing game in the U.S. behind Supercell’s Clash of Clans (according to market researcher App Annie).


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Mobile Strike was built by a new Machine Zone division dubbed Epic War. Schwarzenegger is the front man for the artwork promoting the modern-warfare game, and he also stars in the live-action commercials. Only the most successful mobile-game companies can afford to hire big-name talent and air commercials on TV to promote their games. Machine Zone clearly wants to own the holidays with its ads.

The first TV ad with Schwarzenegger debuted on November 21. It ran on channels such as ESPN, and it was probably aimed at hardcore fans who like military games. Schwarzenegger appeared in full military dress, and the ad was full of action. But this new spot is distinctly more casual, showing Ah-nold playing on an iPad while he’s getting groomed. Toy soldiers and helicopters appear as he walks down a hallway, and it ends with Schwarzenegger saying, “No matter where, no matter when, I will defend.”

Machine Zone released Game of War in the summer of 2013, and it has had tremendous staying power, remaining in the top-three grossing list for most of the past two years. Machine Zone chief executive Gabe Leydon recently talked about his company’s strategy at our GamesBeat 2015 conference. Revenues for Game of War are believed to be in the millions per day and hundreds of millions per year.

Kate Upton starred in a Super Bowl ad and a whole series of other TV commercials touting Game of War. Machine Zone has more recently launched a new series of commercials starring singer Mariah Carey in a new campaign for Game of War. Machine Zone clearly wants to keep fans of Game of War happy. But the ad with Schwarzenegger shows that the company wants Mobile Strike to grow rapidly and join Game of War in the highest rankings.

I’ve been playing Mobile Strike casually since it came out, and I’ve joined an alliance. I just keep on building by tapping buttons at every chance I get. At one point, I was No. 1 in my alliance in terms of might.

In Game of War, the alliance battles are the heart of the action and enjoyment. Players try to build the biggest bases and the most powerful alliance, and then they go to war with other alliances. With Mobile Strike, Machine Zone is relying upon the same revenge-and-rivalry gameplay to keep players coming back. But as this new ad shows, Machine Zone apparently wants both the hardcore spenders and the casual players to drive Mobile Strike higher.

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