A World War 3 strategy game has cleverly gone viral, with its map of West Taiwan and an Uyghur nation!
Take a look at what happen!
WW3 Game Goes Viral With Map Of West Taiwan + Uyghur Nation!
Games by smaller developers often have a tough time going viral, which is especially important for F2P (free-to-play) massively-multiplayer online games.
Bytro Labs – the German developer of the mobile version of Conflict of Nations: World War 3, appears to have hit the nail on the head with their latest advertisement.
On 3 December 2021, Bytro Labs started advertising their mobile game on Facebook using a map of a tiny China, with a massive West Taiwan to the south, and even an Uyghur nation to the west!
It seemed to be an intentional attempt to go viral, and boy, did they succeed!
Chinese Netizens Outraged Over Map Of West Taiwan + Uyghur Nation!
Needless to say, the Conflict of Nations: World War 3 advertisement quickly went viral, with Chinese netizens outraged over the map showing West Taiwan and an Uyghur nation.
Some Chinese websites and netizens derisively noted the many “mistakes” in the map :
- Mainland China was labelled as West Taiwan
- Mongolia was labelled as China
- The Xinjiang province was labelled as the Uyghur nation
- The nine-dash line was missing
What those Chinese netizens don’t realise is that Conflict of Nations: WW3 is military strategy game set in the future. So the maps don’t really have make sense. After all, World War 3 itself has not happened!
It’s no different than playing any of the Civilizations game to end up with Germany conquering America. Or watching alternate history shows like The Man in the High Castle or For All Mankind.
More importantly, the game itself does not have those “mistakes” – the actual map uses the correct official name and boundary for each country.
Bytro Labs Harnessed Little Pink Army For Free Marketing?
Chinese netizens seem to believe that this was an intentional attempt to besmirch their beloved Middle Kingdom, sharing the screenshots of the advertisement and criticising it ad nauseam.
But this is likely a clever way for Bytro Labs to harness China’s Little Pink (小粉红, xiǎo fěnhóng) army for free marketing.
They probably decided to emulate how Malaysian singer-songwriter, Namewee, leveraged the Chinese Little Pink army to go viral with his satirical song, It Might Break Your Pinky Heart!
After all, the other “mistakes” in the map suggests that Bytro Labs was trying to “trigger” controversy in multiple countries. But only Chinese netizens took the bait.
- Nepal was labelled as Georgia
- Laos is now part of Vietnam
- There is a country called Kashmir
Bytro Labs only ran that Facebook advertisement for a short time, but they succeeded in getting their game noticed worldwide, even by gamers who would never have given the game another thought.
And the Little Pink army is now actively engaged in helping them reach out to more people. You just can’t beat that kind of FREE viral marketing.
Bytro Labs and Namewee’s recent success in harnessing the Little Pink army could encourage more businesses that don’t rely on the Chinese market, to leverage their sensitivities to go viral.
Interesting times indeed!
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.
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