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Viral Fridays: Mobile Game Dev Spends $2.8M for a Giant Newspaper Ad

This is where your “gacha” money is being spent, mobile gamers. Crazy marketing campaigns.

Japanese game developer and publisher Cygames, operator of local mobile gaming craze “Granblue Fantasy” recently celebrated its third anniversary two weeks ago. To commemorate the joyous occasion, the company published a gigantic ad for the Friday edition of a Japanese publication.

Japanese Twitter users posted plenty of pics showing the newspaper ad’s huge footprint: a double-sided, four-page length feature image. Curious users then used the advertising fees listed on the publication’s official website to estimate the cost of Cygames’s anniversary ad, which totaled to around 319M yen ($2.8M). $2.8 million for a newspaper ad campaign sounds extravagantly crazy, right?

When you look at the other Granblue Fantasy anniversary promotions, the ad cost seems justified. Along with the ad campaign, Cygames also celebrated with a lottery campaign, pegging the grand prize at a whopping 10M yen ($87,000). The lucky winning gamer can also opt out of the cash prize and select from a catalog of other, similar-worth prizes. According to Anime News Network, “the options include a season pass to a traditional Japanese inn, a cabin cruiser, and a solid gold bar wrapped in a tube-shaped fish product.” Factoring in the other in-game and out-of-game prizes, the lottery will have a total of 52,354 winners. Oo… so desu ka~.

This isn’t the first time Cygames hit the airwaves for doing something noteworthy and/or outrageous. Early last year, the game developers caught flak for exploitative and greedy business practices, centering on the game’s slot machine mechanism (“gacha”) which led to the whole “Granblue Fantasy Scandal” that rocked the local mobile gaming industry and put the spotlight on gaming legislation laws.

Source: Anime News Network

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