The Charticle

Has MZ just pulled all its legacy game marketing to focus on Final Fantasy XV?

Has MZ just pulled all its legacy game marketing to focus on Final Fantasy XV?

US developer MZ is well known for spending hundreds of millions of dollars annually marketing its games Mobile Strike and Game of War.

It’s no surprise, then, both games have been ranked in the top 100 most downloaded games on the Apple App Store and Google Play stores since they were released.

But something significant has just happened.

In July 2017 the download position of the games in all major markets has plummeted.

On the US iPhone download game chart, Game of War is now outside of the top 800 and on the Google Play store it’s outside the top 500.

(The difference between the two stores is that the Google Play store seems to measure more than pure download activity, as well as averaging this activity over a longer time period than the App Store.)

It’s a similar situation with Mobile Strike, since the start of July has dropped outside the top 400 on the US iPhone game chart. On the Google Play store it’s also outside the top 500.

What's up MZ?

Clearly, MZ has done something radical when it comes to marketing its games, but what?

The obvious solution is it’s switching marketing from its legacy games, which already have a very solid player base, to the just-released Final Fantasy XV: A New Empire - its co-development project with Square Enix.

And, if we look at Final Fantasy XV’s performance on the US iPhone game download chart, it appears something has changed.

The game’s download performance at the start of July is typical in terms of what we’d expect from a high profile launch.

It ranked within the top 10 during its launch week, but over time, as new games were released, its position dropped until it was 30th on July 21st.

At this stage, the game’s decline changes direction, and it leaps up almost 20 places in a couple of days.

Looking at other key markets such as Australia, Canada, Germany and the UK, the trend is the same.

Anecdotally, players of free-to-play mobile games have also started seeing adverts for Final Fantasy XV, in particular an interactive Cross-install ad.

MZ has previously been a heavy-user of such ads for its other games.

To-date, there doesn’t appear to have been any great impact in terms of Final Fantasy XV’s ranking in the top grossing charts, though.

The game remains sitting comfortably in the US top 50 game grossing iPhone chart, for example. It will be fascinating to see how this changes in the coming weeks.

Contributing Editor

A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon is Contributing Editor at PG.biz which means he acts like a slightly confused uncle who's forgotten where he's left his glasses. As well as letters and cameras, he likes imaginary numbers and legumes.

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Tim Noon
I've spent way to much to stay a rally leader, Mz is just pushing crap now to mull all they can, everyday new release just released monsters to fight with your hero wth just watched a 201 mt get zeroed in one hit f that
Tina Hooker
Mz has out priced us middle class people out of the game. We used be able to enjoy and keep up with the game but last few months they have been dropping new stuff now nearly everyday, so what u bought day before becomes irrelevant so at £75 a time and most updates need more than 3 packs, what a waste of money. Last few weeks hundreds have quit to, after people getting 1hit and ur zeroed, what the point in carrying on, well unless u can afford to keep. But they don't care for us small people. Bugger ur new game. As for customers service what a load of croc they send auto message or u get fogged off. Wake up mz, we want play gow mz just bit reasonable prices that we can keep up with play.
I. C. FOOLS Tech
Yes, it seems MZ is focusing the efforts of it's smoke and mirrors sweatshop operation on creating the false illusions of popularity for it's new bait and switch scam venture. The click farms/review mills have been working crunch time to highly manipulate the pitch deck stats!! I am surprised this author didn't compare the "top grossing numbers" of the two legacy bait and switch scams with the rapidly declining download numbers... Is there the same decline? No, because the shills they insert into those scams are still being heavily funded by that huge marketing budget to keep up the appearances and help MZ lure the remaining weak minded fools to keep Paying 2B Losers!! It's a can of worms no one wants to open and touch on I guess? I think if anyone wanted to see what the real deal was, they would peal back the rotting onion and take a sniff; of course that would have to be done by someone with a strong stomach willing to expose the stench of it all.
Samuel Franklin
Beginning in July, MZ decided to flood Game of War with a ridiculous amount of expensive gear/item releases and players are fleeing in droves. It was never an inexpensive game ($200-300 month to remain competitive), however the speed of releases now requires that amount WEEKLY. As the leader of an alliance, i've seen my membership drop from 98 to 78 members in a month. These weren't casual players, these were "spenders" who walked away from accounts they had invested thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars in over the last 2 to 3 years. It appears that MZ believes game of war has run its course and they are milking the end it for all it's worth. By doing so, they've alienated those very spenders that made them successful. While players that have left the game still continue to play other apps, they've made it quite clear they will never download another MZ app.
Doug Kelly Editor
Final Fantasy XV is also being heavily click farmed. Just how many Matthewcurtis in the world can review the same game within the same couple hours? Check the APP store reviews. Is this an old technique, or new desperation?
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