If you’ve frequented any social media site within the last 6 months, you may have come across this familiar sight:
For those of you who don’t recognise this picture, this is the home screen of the incredibly popular mobile game: Color Switch. A frustratingly addictive arcade game with over 125,000,000 downloads worldwide. On its release in early 2016, it ranked 1st among all other free-to-play games in over 100 different countries, including Australia, U.S, Canada and U.K.
Now, for such a simplistic and repetitive mobile game created by a colourblind games-developer with zero coding experience, those are some VERY impressive numbers. However, despite Color Switch’s catchy music and addictive gameplay, the app’s success was by no means an accident. Instead, a much more deliberate and forced popularity.
Before the game, Color Switch’s developer David Reichelt was a relatively unknown creator. However, the app’s potential was quickly picked up on by Fortafy Games, the gaming alias of a well-connected Australia rapper with a large online empire. The game was promptly purchased from Reichelt and published by Fortafy, thus beginning the tirade of social media ads, videos, pictures and sponsorships that many of you would come across on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and various other platforms.
However, one of the more interesting/successful advertisement methods actually turned out to be one of the more subtle ones.
money connections of Fortafy, a large number of famous comedic Vine producers with large active fan bases were sponsored to create videos that included Color Switch somewhere throughout them. The game was never the main focus of these usually comedic-sketches, only featuring for a second at most. However without fail, it would always appear.
Here’s some examples:
The result? Color Switch went VIRAL!
Soon enough, everyone was asking…
Whether people wanted it or not, they were being exposed to Color Switch.
Your friends were playing it. Social media was advertising it. It was 1st on all app store charts. AND nearly every video you watched featured someone famous you like playing it.
It truly was a viral epidemic. One created by an addictive idea,
money industry connections and very clever marketing.
I’m very interested to hear all your thoughts on Color Switch. Did any of you play it/still play it? And how many of you were exposed to the game just through your everyday social media lives?