AppMagic has made a blog post which analyses the trend of “Ugly Beauty” games being potentially misleading.
There seems to be a growing number of mobile games in the Tycoon, Match-3, and Merge genres, as well as in the Games for Kids category with a distinct so-called ‘Ugly Beauty’ trend.
“Ugly beauty” literally stands for things like manky ears stuffed with wax, oozing skin wounds or lesions, all sorts of parasites in all sorts of places, decaying skin and nails.
In these games, the player is usually tasked with giving the poor character a makeover, removing the unhealthy manifestations, or treating the aftermath.
These games are often accused of employing some sort of misleading advertising in an effort to gain the attention of viewers.
This trend has been extensively discussed across various media platforms as the ads can often be predatory, capturing user attention with provocative content and drawing them into the game by any means, which has proven to be a more effective strategy than just showcasing actual gameplay.
“Misleading advertising approaches are hardly a new say in the mobile gaming industry. They first gained traction back in 2017—largely thanks to Matchington mansion. Numerous companies have since employed similar uncanny tactics. However, it’s crucial to understand that such non-core-gameplay advertising has evolved over the years. In the past, these ads often promoted aspects that were absent from the actual game. Today, however, as mini-games are added, these ads, while having nothing to do with the core gameplay, are nevertheless not as misleading as before.” said Diana Levintova, from AppMagic.
However, these ads aren’t entirely deceptive, as they often incorporate some elements or assets from the actual game, though the gameplay depicted is significantly altered.
Sometimes, it is necessary to employ some of these tactics to create an effective ad campaign, as they mentioned previous blog post.