Raid Shadow Legends: The reason I cannot watch YouTube anymore

I know for a fact that most people reading this have at some point in their lives been absolutely bombarded with ads that showcase this apparently awesome RPG game that is set to change the mobile gaming world forever. These advertisements come up everywhere on platforms from YouTube to TikTok and even Facebook. The game development company Plarium had a massive advertising budget and my god did it work… to an extent.

Since its creation, the game has nearly 300 million downloads globally which puts it in the top grossing games section on both the App Store and the Google Play Store and has been for a considerable period of time. So, all the signs are pointing to an awesome game that has received great audience engagement and good reviews and even the potential for good gameplay vision. Well, shock horror, you’d be wrong.

As I stated before, there was a huge advertising budget for this game, somewhere in the ballpark of 2 million dollars in the past year alone. These advertising efforts were in the form of YouTube ads and sponsorship deals with content creators all over the internet. The advertisements feature seamless gameplay and awesome graphics that suggest that this mobile game, as I stated before, will change the way that people play mobile games. The sponsorship deals and paid promotions with content creators display them playing the game and enjoying it, saying how revolutionary it is and many other obvious paid messages. These promotions all are meant to be the game developers paying creators who, and I quote, “already play and enjoy the game”. This is where I begin to describe the rapid downfall of this game and the apparent community behind it.

I am going to start with a recent example where Plarium were caught in a lie in regard to paid promotions. The developers state that they don’t pay creators to promote the game if they do not already play it. They use the words “cooperate” instead of sponsor or promote. Unfortunately for the shockingly bad PR team at Plarium, they glossed over a piece of evidence that completely contradicts that. Absolutely every content creator who “promote” the game legitimately use the word “sponsored” in the video. Another YouTuber by the name of Upper Echelon Gaming provides another damning indictment that puts the developer under the hammer. According to William Worall of CNN, Plarium hounded him for months with sponsorship offers to try and get him to promote the game, sounds like some solid co-operation happening there.

So, what else is wrong with this dumpster fire of a game that had so much self-hype created. Well how much time do you have? There is a term in gaming, especially mobile gaming which is hated with a passion and has been the death of many games in the past. This term is Pay to Play (P2P). In a sense, the user has to pay small amounts of money in exchange for items, characters and other in game rewards to be able to advance through the game. In some cases, the player cannot advance past a specific part of the game without paying actual money and this is how games like Raid Shadow Legends obtain much of their revenue. Games and developers leave information like this out of marketing efforts because of the huge amounts of negative stigma surrounding the technique. In a way however, mobile games with need to re-design how they can raise revenue because P2P is one of the reasons there is a new big mobile game every week, people have little patience for bullshit purchases.

So, to sum up what seems like the longest rant about a game that really doesn’t deserve the oxygen, Raid Shadow Legends is the perfect game to start this blog series off with. The extent to which the advertisers went to attempt to put what is a sub-par game on the map is extraordinary and it really shows just how effective an advertising campaign can be. No matter how bad the game is or the amazing community of haters it has, each and every one of you knows about the game and has at one point considered downloading it, amazing huh?

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