The prettiest warrior apparently does the best job of inviting the hordes to play the game.

by Jason Venter

For the developers of Game of War: Fire Age, swimsuit model and actress Kate Upton represented an attractive way to spread the word about a popular free-to-play game that stood a chance of becoming more popular still. The right executives signed their names on the right lines, and eventually a promotional arrangement was reached.

From there, things have gone very well indeed. Game of War: Fire Age ads featuring Upton have shown up during popular sporting events (most notably, the Super Bowl) and in Twitter streams around the world. GameSpot reports now that this has led to some serious revenue.

“According to developer Machine Zone,” writes Chris Pereira, “the free-to-play game’s in-app purchases–which range in price up to $100–have doubled since the advertising campaign started. This has come at a cost, as ad-tracking firm ISpot.tv estimates the airtime’s price as $80 million.”

The LA Times notes that Game of War presently generates approximately $1 million per day, and the title even managed–briefly–to topple the reigning genre king, Clash of Clans.

“That was a huge achievement,” said Tero Kuittinen of Frank N. Magid Associates, a media research firm cited in the LA Times story. “Clash of Clans had looked invulnerable, but Kate Upton has been able to breach the walls.”

Television spots are typically the domain of potential Hollywood blockbusters, or AAA fare from console developers such as Rockstar, Ubisoft, and Electronic Arts. However, Machine Zone clearly found an approach that resonated with its potential audience. Have you seen the ads, and if so, did they increase the likelihood that you’ll download Game of War in the near future?

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