The AFK genre is undoubtedly notable in the booming Vietnamese mobile game market. Ever since SohaGame launched Tam Quốc Tốc Chiến ( Three Kingdom Heroes), such idel combat card games have swept through Vietnam. Recently, after Funtap's Lục Giới AFK (Six Realms AFK), the AFK title from SohaGame topped the local App Store and Google Play. Kỷ Nguyên AFK (Era AFK) ditched the usual themes related to Chinese Fantasy and Legends, and instead chose the theme from European mythology. Since its official launch on November 8, it has shown excellent chart results, accompanied with its great use of live-action elements in ad campaigns, AppGrowing found.
Same as all light-core games, AFK Mobile Games are able to capture busy gamers' attention thanks to their low barriers to entry. The simplicity of the gameplay and the low time requirements are the basis for their long-term survival. 4 schools exist in Kỷ Nguyên AFK: Kingdom, Ice Plains, Wilderness, and Abyss. Players recruit a variety of characters and organize a team of 9. Loot earned in auto-battles can be used to develop characters to complete tougher challenges and earn more rewards.
In order to provide more fun and choices, Kỷ Nguyên AFK has set up diverse PVE exploration replicas and PVP competitive events in addition to the main quest. The stepped-up difficulty matches the needs of players of different strengths. Art-wise, the game adopts a retro cute style.
As you can see, SohaGame has released a typical and absolutely correct AFK mobile game. Accordingly, the gameplay and graphics alone may struggle to make it stand out from competitors. To solve that, the marketing team chose to smile at the live-action elements rather than cry in the face of the game content.
According to AppGrowing, following the global trend of pre-marketing for mobile games, SohaGame began scaling its campaign on November 6, 2 days before release. As a frequent reader of AppGrowing's Vietnam mobile game analysis, you should have guessed that Meta Media unsurprisingly ruled. Only the young TikTok had a tough time parting with a 0.58% share, as Ad Format's chart proves.
In terms of creative types, Image, Horizontal & Square Video and Vertical Video have similar percentages. In terms of the type of image creative, we can roughly categorize video creatives into 3 groups: game + memes (maturely used by Funtap Lục Giới AFK released not long ago), live action + game elements, and game display only. Among them, those in the second group are cases that are enough to be called excellent.
Jokes often do a great job of getting viewers to fix their eyes on the ad from their feed browsing. It's important for videos to utilize jokes to make ads interesting, while still meeting the tastes of the target audience and appropriately showcasing the game's features.
Skimming through Kỷ Nguyên AFK's ad creative list, we were instantly drawn to the many videos set in the workplace. Commuters who are busy at work but looking for entertainment and freedom are potential users that AFK games can't give up on. The following video, which has been widely viewed, begins with a conversation between several employees and their bosses. In the seemingly serious scene of "employees asking their bosses for more rewards," all that is being talked about are the in-game rewards. The conflict and actors' performances make the video fun to watch.
Occupying fragmented time is one of the most crucial goals of AFK games. Kỷ Nguyên AFK utilizes video ads to easily create replicas of everyday life. For example, the video features two people playing the roles of a newly cured cold patient and a concerned friend. According to the 3s Opening Line captured by AppGrowing, the implied " abnormality" in the description of "having a cold but all the fatigue and pains have disappeared" stimulates viewers' curiosity. The game is naturally introduced in a warm and funny dialog.
The combination of A Roll, a spoken audio for common people, and B Roll, a game footage display, is a simple and effective formula for creatives. It may not sound new, but Kỷ Nguyên AFK varies the lines of A Roll a lot. For example, in the video below, the lady unfolds the content in the tone of a success lecturer. The low-relativity words naturally segue into the introduction of the game's content, with the game taking effort in the design of the script.
Streaming slices are live-action elements that can't be bypassed in the vast amount of analysis of mobile game ads. As AppGrowing has praised many times, it holds the advantages of easy production and high influence. However, Kỷ Nguyên AFK chose to create a "replica" rather than actually inviting a famous Streamer to recommend it. The main screen of the video shows the game, with a small hovering window showing a scene where a person is playing. Moreover, the high frequency of interaction between the person and the camera adds to the sense of realism.
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, AFK Mobile Games is growing in favor in the Vietnamese market. SohaGame is known as the leader in this category, and AFK games are gradually taking up more shares in their App list. The same situation is also seen with Vietnamese head publishers such as Funtap and VNG.
Not so coincidentally, many of them have MMORPG Mobile Games as their main products. When we compare the subject topics and art styles of these AFK games and MMORPG games, more similarities emerge. Starting from Chinese fantasy such as Three Kingdoms, Journey to the West, and Wuxia, to broader IPs such as European Legends, American Retro, and D&D, the trend is consistent with MMORPGs’.
It's hard to say what caused this similarity. Maybe it's the experience of the publishers, maybe it's the preference of Vietnamese gamers, maybe it's the innate development path of MMORPG and AFK. But at least one thing is certain, AFK and MMORPG genres are 2 of the most popular in the Vietnamese market and are still growing and innovating.