If you spend much time on the internet, you’ve probably seen them. The ads for the free-t0-play strategy MMO Evony that, instead of featuring, you know, gameplay or review quotes, feature boobs. And more boobs. I know I’m not the only one who first assumed that it was some kind of fantasy themed sex game, porn site, or social network.
Well, Evony has apparently volunteered to clean up its own act. In a statement to Gamasutra, they said:
Moving forward – based on community feedback as well as an in-depth look at advertising effectiveness – we are employing an ad campaign that focuses on the gameplay and features of Evony: Age II.
Evony has had many criticisms leveled at it, and not just about its deliberately misleading ads. People have said that it’s basically a ripoff of Civilization, and as you can see from the two ads above, the game went through a striking name change related to this complaint.
It’s also been accused of simply being an elaborate front for Chinese gold sellers to get people to hand over their money. No, really. The game offers pretty much all of its currency and items for real world money in addition to ingame toil, and apparently when items are lost due to bugs, which are frequent, Evony offers no refunds. Blogger Bruce Everiss has also claimed that a downloadable Evony client that tries to get your friends to join up is, in fact, malware and that Evony is selling your contact information to the highest bidder.
Evony attempted to sue Everiss for libel, but wound up dropping the lawsuit after a few days of hearings.
We can see why they’d want a change in their marketing: it’s pretty much the only thing going for them right now. If you are unfamiliar with Evony ads, LazyGamer has a sort of historical look at them over time, but be warned. This page gets progressively less work safe as you scroll.
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