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Playmob combats climate change with playable mobile ad

Developer working with preservation collective We Are The Oceans and ad tech firm TreSensa

A UK developer has created a new title designed to raise awareness of the effects of climate change, but it's not a standalone game - it's an ad.

Playmob, a studio that specialises in games with purpose and charity work, has built Island Nation Defense with the help of We Are The Oceans, an organisation dedicated to preserving the planet's oceans.

The game is a tower defence style affair where players have to frantically grow crops and sell them to fortify a sea wall against the ongoing onslaught of ocean waves. If the wall falls, the crops and village will be destroyed - a scenario designed to mimic the threats faced by small island developing states.

Throughout the experience, and once the ocean has inevitably won, players are presented with a series of facts about climate change and how it might be curtailed.

Rather than release this as a game in its own right, Playmob has worked with ad tech specialist TreSensa to make it a playable ad that will appear in other titles and apps across the studio's global network of mobile publishers, reaching over 150m gamers.

The United Nations Office for Project Services is also assisting with distribution and marketing.

The project follows a previous partnership between Playmob and We Are The Oceans, which revolved around another playable ad called The Big Catch. The ad was played by more than 3.2m people, with an average playing time of 1 minutes and 13 seconds.

"Game makers have an incredible opportunity to provide their audiences and fans with positive messages, offering them engaging content that not only helps their own bottom line but increases their brand value through the enabling of social change," said Playmob founder and CEO Jude Ower.    "Equally for NGO's, foundations or even brands with a social message who want to reach, engage and mobilise individuals and communities, there is arguably no better route than through gaming."

Island Nation Defense soft-launched last week, and can also be played online here.

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James Batchelor


James Batchelor is Editor-in-Chief at GamesIndustry.biz. He has been a B2B journalist since 2006, and an author since he knew what one was