TV commercials for mobile games dwarfed traditional console games advertising in the first quarter of 2015, as makers of titles like Candy Crush Saga, Game of War, Clash of Clans and Heroes Charge spent big.
Supermodel Kate Upton's ubiquity on TV screens these past few months, extolling the virtues of mobile fantasy games like Game of War, was part of a trend that saw an estimated $210 million spent on games TV advertising, up from $150 million, according to a report by iSpot.tv.
Four of the top five biggest TV ad spenders in the video game category for the first quarter of the year were mobile game companies, representing 30 percent of all game related TV ad spending.
Games companies like 2K, EA and Ubisoft registered as the 7th, 11th and 21st biggest spenders for the quarter, in the games sector, according to VentureBeat. Traditional games companies and console giants like Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft usually do most of their advertising around the Holidays. But the increase in mobile spending means they are being outspent for the first time.
In the same period last year, Machine Zone (Game of War: Fire Age) represented 6.7 percent of the TV ad spend in gaming, but is now up to 21 percent. Supercell (Clash of Clans) went from 10 percent to 22 percent during the same period. Newcomers like UCool (Heroes Charge) are having to spend big, even taking Super Bowl ads, in order to make an impression.
Mobile games companies are savvy when it comes to advertising virality. Game of War's Super Bowl ad has been seen nearly 8 million times on YouTube, while Clash of Clans' ad featuring Liam Neeson has now clocked over 50 million views.