Mobile gaming is on the rise across the world, but it is a crowded market in which it can be difficult to stand out.
A quick search on iOS or Play Store will throw up thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of options, and getting a title to stand out is something a developer must achieve if they are to be a success.
Some mobile games, such as Angry Birds, achieved a cult following and a certain amount of social media buzz, which certainly helped them get ahead. For others, it is not so easy.
A developer needs a keen strategy to ensure they stand out from the crowd, and one obvious avenue is by leveraging a brand that is already well known.
Taking a popular logo, brand or theme and pinning it to a mobile game is a great way of ensuring a degree of traction when it finally gets released. If the title or logo is already known to a possible customer, then they are more likely to hit ‘download’ and start playing.
Across a range of different titles, there are examples of developers taking branding and imagery that is identifiable and using it to package their own product in a more attractive manner.
So, here are three such genres in which we have seen popular brands use to boost the appeal of a mobile gaming release.
Puzzle games are something of a staple of mobile gaming, a popular genre that is perfectly suited to quick play sessions whilst on the go.
Often a puzzle game delivers different levels which can be tackled in short chunks, played on the move as and when the opportunity arises. Juicy Game Reviews explains how Tomb Raider, the PlayStation 1 game, has a legacy that has spanned five generations of console, as well as Hollywood.
That makes it an obvious choice when planning a mobile app, and Lara Croft Go, on Android and iOS, is an insanely popular puzzle game that leans heavily on Tomb Raider’s popularity.
Marvel Puzzle Quest is another fine example of a developer, in this instance Demiurge Studios, taking a popular brand and using it to package an engrossing puzzle game.
A puzzle game can take on many guises and across mobile gaming, you can find examples of popular brands having been used to package such titles.
Online slots often use big brands to increase their reach within a congested market. There are so many online slot providers out there, all with different titles that they are trying to promote.
Often, online slot developers look to the branding of the game as the draw, rather than the mechanics. There is a great example of this with the range of games on Gala Spins, as they use classic films such as The Goonies and Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure as the basis for games.
Those titles may not be new cinema releases, but they do have a cult following and as such, appeal to a demographic of gamer that might not be drawn in by the usual generic titles.
Big bands also tend to appear in online slots, the likes of Megadeth and Guns N’ Roses have their own online slots, again looking to draw their fans into the games using popular imagery. You can also find board games, TV shows and celebrities featuring in such titles.
Endless runner games are another genre like online slots, in which the core concept does not change, but the graphics and themes do.
A runner game tends to feature a central protagonist moving through levels, collecting coins until they collide with something and the game starts again. They are referred to as endless because there is rarely a finish – you keep going as long as you can.
There are so many examples of runner games that do stand out, developers often turn to brands to sell the product. Dhoom 3 is a top Bollywood film, perhaps not known as widely around the world as The Goonies, and it lends its name to a runner game of sorts.
In Dhoom 3 on Android, you are on a bike, collecting coins and racing through the city streets avoiding traffic. If that is not your thing, maybe Cristiano Ronaldo: Kick ‘n’ Run will be. Again, it is a basic runner game, using the football player as the USP and, instead of motorbikes, you find yourself juggling a football.
These are just three types of online game, but whether you play card games, Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) games, or any other type of mobile game, you will find big brand tie ins. It might be a film, another video game or a celebrity lending their name to a release, but leveraging a big brand is a great way to get a game more traction in a very busy market.