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Limit Break, a blockchain game company headed by Gabe Leydon, has purchased a $6.5 million ad for its DigiDaigaku game at the Super Bowl.

The 30-second ad slot will enable Limit Break to show off DigiDaigaku in a commercial at Super Bowl LVII in February 2023 in support of the game’s community. It’s a first for a blockchain gaming community to have a Super Bowl ad that could be viewed by more than 50 million live viewers and tens of millions more online.

But it’s going to be the third time that Leydon has a Super Bowl ad. While CEO of Machine Zone, Leydon ran a couple of Super Bowl ads for the games Game of War: Fire Age and Mobile Strike. Those ads starred model Kate Upton and actor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

“People remembered those ads for years,” Leydon said in an interview with GamesBeat. “I don’t believe anyone has done something quite like what we are planning in a Super Bowl commercial.”

Leydon announced in August that he and Machine Zone cofounder Halbert Nakagawa and raised $200 million in funding. The company espoused a “free-to-own” business model where it gave away its DigiDaigaku non-fungible token (NFT) collection of anime characters. It posted four collections now.

Kate Upton in the Game of War Super Bowl commercial.
Kate Upton in the Game of War Super Bowl commercial from 2015.

The ad will feature the collection in a Web3 experience designed to grow the community. Beyond that, Leydon isn’t saying what the ad will convey.

“It’s definitely going to be new. That’s for sure. I believe it’s going to be the first full-featured NFT branding ad in the Superbowl, which we’re really excited about,” Leydon said. “The project has been going extremely well. It’s been a big hit so far. And we’re excited to push the boundaries, a lot like we used to do in the mobile world with advertising.”

Others have called Super Bowl ads a waste of money. But Leydon believes in them. He thinks this makes more sense than spending money on mobile ads, partly because of Apple’s recent push for privacy over targeted ads.

“We bought television commercials in 60 countries. When we were at Machine Zone, the Super Bowl commercials were the only ones that had a lasting impact. People talk about the ads for years afterwards.”

He added, “We want to show our collectors how committed we are to the brand and to the community. So we’re definitely taking it up a new level. We won’t be the last to do this.”

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