Advertising for video games can sometimes seem desperate. Just take a look at browser-based MMO League of Angels III. The game recently ran an advertisement which made it look strikingly similar to Respawn Entertainment’s smash-hit Apex Legends.
With the type of month Apex Legends is having, it should come as no surprise that other publishers are trying to capitalize on its success. Some are choosing to do so in ways that are a little, well, suspect.
As captured in a video posted to Reddit, it appears League of Angels III ran an ad on Facebook showcasing the game in a way that made it look like it was part of Apex Legends.
The ad shows a character select screen that looks virtually identical to the select screen from Apex. The only difference is the actual characters. Instead of seeing names like Mirage, Caustic, or Lifeline, the ad shows names like Kingkong, Theresa, and Hela. All of the character names shown are, of course, for characters from League of Angels III.
Players familiar with Hearthstone might recall seeing a similar tactic employed by many low budget browser-based trading card games. Visit any deck building website like HearthPwn and you’ll see some crazy advertisements for Hearthstone clones that are blatantly ripping off artistic assets from the game in their advertisement. Many of these advertisements are designed to trick players into clicking on a link that doesn’t lead to a game at all. By tricking players into thinking they’ve found some new downloadable content for their favorite game, many of these ads aim to install spyware or other harmful viruses to your computer.
In this case, the ad appears to redirect just to League of Angels III, which is at least an actual game. But the developer could be opening itself up to serious lawsuits if it’s not more careful with its advertising. Respawn has yet to make any public statements on the issue.