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Why do smartphone game apps lie in their online ads?

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The algorithm of my life accurately records that I am a gamer. Social media, streaming sites, search engines, etc. all know what articles, videos, influencers I click on and definitely have a good idea of ​​what to click on next.

But the effect of this accumulated insight has been to turn most of my non-work engagement with the Internet into a scam that makes PT Barnum blush. Speaking as someone who faced perhaps 100 such advertisements in a day, these are the scourges whose unchallenged persistence ridicules us all.

In almost all cases, the trick is the same bait and switch — purported footage from the game looks a lot of fun (possibly involving waves of zombies or gangster empires), but is either non-existent or , or have only a temporary relationship with the game. The actual (whimsical or glitchy) game as advertised.

There are different versions of Con. Common ones include complex-looking puzzles, mini-games, or role-play situations. These either don’t work when you download the game, or appear so infrequently that they are almost non-existent. There are videos that show fascinating scenes of strategy and action that are embellishments, some are downright lies, and really just a figment of the animators’ imaginations.

All of this ad fits a proven formula. The $130 billion global market for mobile phone games is not only a tempting playground for scammers, but it’s so huge that there’s a wealth of incredibly accurate data to help scams. Game producers, of which there are many, have been testing these ads over the years. We publish multiple versions of the bait online to see what people click on. They know what works and what tricks work. The bottom line is that, at least for now, ads are most effective when video games aren’t playing well, enticing suckers (you) to download the game and do better. That’s it.

For both game and advertising producers, it’s all about the numbers. The vast majority of people fooled by the ads download the game for free and quickly discover that it’s utter garbage. They removed it and the currency of the transaction was time and frustration rather than real money.

However, some people decide that downloaded games are worth playing despite the discrepancy between advertising and reality. A small portion even put real money into the game as it progressed, and that undercover operation paid off.

The defense for advertisers, and apparently unconcerned regulators, is that no one pays without knowing what the game actually looks like. That was when the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority ordered game maker Playrix to stop using ads for two games. homescape When garden scapebecause the ad didn’t show the “core gameplay”.

The ruling implied that similar bans would follow, but they never materialized. And the lack of a hard line has fueled the proliferation of scammers, intensifying sophisticated fraud. not reflected in This kind of deception on bus shelter signage cannot be tolerated. So what are the legitimate reasons for dishonesty to treat the Internet as the default place?

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