Not all of the marketing went well. In August, Facebook and YouTube took down an ad
for Mafia City that asked players to torture or “finish” a gagged female hostage. The ad was also spotted on Pandora
, triggering plenty of outrage
. One comment said the ad implies the “rape of captured women”.
At that time, the game had already garnered more than 10 million downloads
. And despite the ad ban, its popularity continued to soar. Last month it was the 14th most downloaded Chinese game overseas, ranking ahead of NetEase’s battle royale hits Knives Out
and Rules of Survival, according to data from Sensor Tower
And it’s far from the only Chinese simulation game that’s found success overseas. According to Gamelook
, in August and September the genre made up nearly half of the top 30 most popular Chinese mobile games overseas.
But there’s at least one place where Mafia City isn’t gaining traction: China. So far, it’s only managed to reach number 907 in the Chinese iOS App Store.
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