Evony & Irony


Senior Member
Jan 21, 2008
What confuses me is why, assuming this ad campaign is working for them, they don't just make a game that involves a lot of skin to match the advertising. They continue developing spreadsheet hero, when they clearly think that what everyone wants is boobs...

They are either very bad at representing the game in their advertising, or very bad at developing a game to match their advertising. Or both.


The Temporally Displaced
Feb 26, 2009
It always kind of seemed to me like the pr company and the development team never, ever talked to each other.

PR: What's the game about?
Developers: It's called Evony and has a medieval setting.
PR: Good. What else?
Developers: ...
PR: Hello?
Developers: ...
PR: Okay, boobies it is then!

The Rogue Wolf

Stealthy Carnivore
Nov 25, 2007
Stalking the Digital Tundra
I'm with you 100%, Shamus. This entire situation brings up three huge questions in my mind- so huge, in fact, that I must use boldface and all-caps on the first word of each question.

- WHY are they doing this?
- HOW is it actually working?
- HOW can I pull this sort of thing off myself and make some bank?


New member
Nov 5, 2008
Scypemonk said:
Chris Livingston wrote a review of Evony with exactly the same title, i think it's worth a read:

Nice article! Thanks for the linky.
Isn't it particularly ironic that a game would be best-liked by accountant-types is marketed in a rather NSFW way?

The Big Eye

Truth-seeking Tail-chaser
Aug 19, 2009
Seeing large-breasted women evocatively exposed in online adverts causes me to react the same way as I would if a homeless man started throwing mashed potatoes at me.
I am not hungry. If I were, I would go to a restaurant, or cook something up myself.
Err - if you, y'know, get my meaning.


New member
Aug 20, 2008
Doug said:
Kilo24 said:
There's no such thing as bad publicity.
Publicity that costs money and reduces sales instead of increasing them? Publicity that gets the company shut down?
That is bad publicity; but the quote is a general rule not a universal truth. Too much publicity is indeed a problem for many illegal activities, but unless it does force the company to be shut down the gains in name recognition are still usually worth it.

To my knowledge, the advertising for Evony is doing nothing that would get it shut down, and the quote applies in force. It's exploiting bad taste and cheap marketing tricks aggressively. The worst that anybody can do for that is to choose to not play the game, which bears the exact same result as if that person had never heard of it. The fact is that the ads and articles like these make people curious about the actual game and grants name recognition, which may, no matter how unlikely, inspire people to try it. That's a huge step ahead of all the other browser games that don't get exposure.

Any distinction in the huge world of any creative undertaking is good. For an example, I'm sure many of you have heard of ET the Extraterrestrial and Custer's Revenge; now name me a just bad but not horrible Amiga 2600 game. It's probably a lot harder. I also don't doubt that much of Twilight's popularity is directly from its detractors. The same could be said with Evony and its advertising.

Edit: Musing about it a bit more, most examples I can think of suggest the quote seems to mostly apply to creative endeavours. For things like concrete products, poor reliability, performance or customer service that directly hurt the purchaser significantly, bad publicity is indeed bad (Firestone tires, anyone?). I guess there's a strong disincentive to do so if you're taking the product's (or politician's/celebrity's) purpose seriously. And advertising isn't taken seriously; so if that's the product under scrutiny, then the product associated with the advertisements can reap the benefits at a relatively low cost.


New member
Nov 25, 2008
I have, in fact, seen Evony ads that showed gameplay screenshots instead of the less tasteful ad campaign. They're just as flashy and annoying as other free-to-play game adverts, so it works just as well.

Darth Jerak

New member
Nov 19, 2009
I also used to play Civony (Evony), and you are right. Most of the people this game attracts are problem people. Sure there are some nice people but a lot of them leave. The chats are full of people asking for girls to webcam and people screaming cuss words at no one. The only good thing is that they make you pay for each line of chat you use, so these people run out of "banners" or what ever they called it so they can't talk anymore. Pay as in REAL money. you read that right. Guild chat is free but world chat is not. In fact, in order to do almost anything in the game you have to pay. After you get a second castle it is virtually impossible to get a 3rd without spending hundreds of hours farming for hard to get items or paying real money for boxes of goodies that might have what you need. Sure its fun if you like that game type and I do. The city customization is better then most games. But when the ads got embarrassing, me and my best friend quit
But besides the terrible unbalanced game play. Here is the best part:
This might have changed but I doubt it, the only part of any of the characters or hero's that you see is a head shot. There is no where in the game where you ever rescue anyone. You never even see a princess... ever. Its a total lie. Maybe after I left they added in some scenario where you see more that a cartoon girls face, but I am not going to bother to check. (my castle was destroyed by traitorous guide members anyways )

If you like City management games there are tons of them out there, and most of them have better graphics, balance, items, quests, etc. then Evony.
Shame on you Evony, my best friend and I used to enjoy your game.


New member
Nov 16, 2009
Two wealthy men at the bar. One says "bet ya can't sell books with sex" the other says "I'll up you on that I'll sell city-building games with sex" "you're on!!"

I cannot think of any better explanation, unless the evony team has not seen what the marketing team has done.


New member
May 28, 2009
Oh man, do I ever hate these ads. I refuse to play Evony because of their ad campaign despite the fact that I'd probably enjoy it. I, too, am the target audience for this type of game.


New member
Oct 29, 2008
It does boggle. Pure speculation, but I think the only reason it works is they must charge money for nearly everything (Darth Jerak above notes that people have to pay to chat)... so duped player clicks on ad, signs up for game, pays to chat and for upgrades... realizes he didn't get what what he signed up for, leaves. But by the time this guy's left, two more duped players click the ad, sign up, lather, rinse, repeat. It's an income based entirely on a transient consumer base, but the consumer base is large enough it's still profitable.

I have noticed the ads being less prevalent the last couple months though, at least where I surf. I think they will eventually run out of targets. But you'd think if they were this good at getting people to click on their ads, they might as well do the easy thing and just sell porn.

As an aside, I was looking around on the Web awhile back for something Civ-like to play in my browser... I almost checked this game out UNTIL I saw the ads. So for every one they're getting to click, they're also driving some potential consumers away.

And as a further aside, here's a trick: you want to sell your game with a sexy lady? Fine. But make her look strong, empowered even if she's showing a bit of lovely decolletage. According to various studies on audience reactions, generally (please note that word, of course there are exceptions) men respond to the character on screen that they want to do something TO--statistically most often a pretty woman that either inspires protective or lustful urges (or both). Women respond to the character on screen that they identify WITH--statistically therefore, also women, usually designed in either a sympathetic way or a way that makes them feel better about themselves. So... for gamers would be a pretty woman, but not only one that inspire men, but also make women look at her and say, "Ooh, I want to be her." But you make the woman look like a victim (or generally totally ridiculous from a woman's POV)? You alienate a portion of your potential userbase. (Again, note these are generalizations and of course there will be exceptions.)


Citation Needed
Nov 28, 2007
I think your seriously overreacting. Truthfully I've seen Evony's ads and found them unimpressive on any level, even as cheesecake. If it wasn't for Popcap parodying them for "Plants Vs. Zombies" I probably wouldn't know as much about this game as I do now.

On the general subject of cheesecake, I will point out that I think a lot of people in fandom overreact. I think there is both an illusion that there are less girls in the fandom community than there really are, along with the belief that those lesser numbers are in some way due to "exploitive" artwork.

As I've mentioned in other threads, not only are men exploited for the enjoyment of women (especially on romance novel covers) and have been for years, making the cheesecake in fantasy art pretty well balanced in an overall fashion, but the overwhelming amount of women out there are in no way offended by the cheesecake stuff, and in fact a good portion of women who do artwork produce plenty of cheesecake themselves. People who complain about things like Evony ads tend to forget about groups like CLAMP (all female team of Japanese artists) and some of the stuff they have produced in the cheesecake catagory. Not to mention the artwork most artists of either gender will create on comission or try and sell to fans. Years ago there was a scandal where some parents rights groups got one of the Pokemon artists (a woman) charged for producing pornographic pokemon artwork and selling it.

Plus honestly, I think a lot of that cheesecake artwork of pretty girls draws girls in, or so it's seemed to me. Ironically with some of the girls I gamed with especially back in my PnP days I was fairly surprised at their tastes in art. A lot of the pictures I thought were of fairly strong women and should be appealing were not the ones they wound up liking, especially if they were pulling pics (which a lot of gamers I've played with do) and saying "this is my character".

On a final note, when it comes to things like Femjep, I think your a little naive. Femjep is "Female in Jeopardy". There are entire subcultures based around that, and trust me when I say it doesn't just appeal to "men coming to rescue the women" and wannabe slashers. There are plenty of women who have their "rescue" fantasies as well. Plus then there is the entire BSM subculture (missing the D for domination for a reason) and that involves both genders in every role you can imagine within that lifestyle for someone.

The point I'm making here is that these ads, which obviously stuck in the minds of many farmore than me, are not nessicarly going to turn women away. As far as what the game itself looks like, well... to be brutally honest there doesn't seem to be any more disparity between the ads and the game than there are for many other online games (namely korean ones).

Also to be honest, one of my guilty secrets is that I briefly played a game called "Angel Love Online" (or at least that was the Japanese name, I can't remember what it was when I finally ran it in English). I do so specifically because of an ad campaign that made me want to see how the heck someone could actually make an RPG out of that... Sickly it was one of the most honest campaigns I've ever seen on many levels. Compared to that, Evony and it's ads are a slickly run production.

I occasionally have flashbacks to the concept of people riding around in giant stuffed toys as "Mecha"... one day if my life collapses worse, I fear that will be the horrible image flashing before my eyes and tormenting me as I beg for change from passers by....

Capo Taco

New member
Nov 25, 2006
Scypemonk said:
Chris Livingston wrote a review of Evony with exactly the same title, i think it's worth a read:

I have been thinking Shamus had borrowed Chris' idea of a comic of half life (made possible by gmod)

Probably a fluke though.


Elite Member
Feb 10, 2009
Years ago there was a game called "Forsaken" [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forsaken_(video_game)] that had it's logo tattooed onto different parts of a presumed naked woman but the game was a "Descent" clone.


New member
Jun 5, 2009
1. Under developed idea
2. Ad campaign with a smattering of boobs
3. ???
4. Profit!!

Maybe it was just me being the cynical woman I am, but the first time I saw an Evony ad, I couldn't help but think, "It's so trashy there's no way the game could actually be good."

Looks like I was most likely right...


New member
Aug 29, 2009
You forgot to mention how they stole an image from another site and put it in their ad.


New member
Apr 25, 2009
Evony ads make me laugh. I do thank them for the occasional lady to look at when I am searching the web however some of them ladies on it are just creepy looking (at least to me). At least near the start of the campaign they had somewhat of a medieval theme but now its just a close up on some cleavage and it saying evony.

I do however enjoy seeing the old ads every so often which have no boobs and promise it being forever free and it says something like civilazation builder. Ah where would we be without the marketing team thats only trick is to present tits and a click here option.