Google likes to serve me up ads for mobile games, since I do occasionally play them, usually just to have something to keep my hands busy while I listen to podcasts. This is how I ended up playing and subsequently hating Galaxy of Heroes. That’s not nearly as bad as this can get, though. Today I saw an ad for a game called “Galaxy War” (or maybe “Galactic War,” it’s hard to tell since the name is so generic that it’s buried in the store, thank God) that’s almost literally an asset flip of Unity’s free Space Shooter Tutorial. Now, it’s not quite an asset flip, since it does include some online leaderboard stuff that isn’t in the original tutorial, but the actual assets and gameplay are identical. They added some bells and whistles (probably Skinner box in nature) and called it a day.
Asset flipping isn’t new, but I got served up a video ad for this one while playing another (unrelated) mobile game. Usually this level of amateur hour sham shows don’t have an advertising budget. Like, Final Fantasy XV: A New Empire is just a Game of War clone (which is, itself, only slightly modified from Evony, which has been blighting the internet for nearly a decade now), but it’s at least got new assets. It might be copying Canadian Devil-grade fun-free mechanics that profit exclusively off of gambling addicts and advertising itself with a tower defense ad “demo” despite having no such gameplay in the actual game, but at least on the surface it appears to be an actual game of some kind. They don’t actually advertise the fact that their game is brazen theft.