Featuring a video game in a popular TV show can actually pique interest in said game, as some viewers may wonder, “Hey, where can you play that” with just a peek at gameplay. The latest show to do this is Netflix’s House of Cards, as lead character Frank Underwood, portrayed by Kevin Spacey, dips into the popular mobile game Monument Valley briefly over the course of the season.
The conspicuous addition of the game has the Internet wondering if it is a product placement or a plot point.
Underwood, who no doubt builds plenty of tension over the course of the season with his sinister actions (as he did in the previous two), utilizes the game as a way to decompress — something that’s made it a popular hit in the real world as well.
A company called appFigures recently broke down how an appearance of a game in a TV series like this can have an impact on the game’s sales. It explained that the series has a devoted following. Last season alone, over 670,000 people bing-watched the entire run of the show’s second season — only accounting for two percent of total Netflix subscribers. There’s a possibility that season three’s numbers could surpass that easily — and that means more eyes on Monument Valley.
appFigures, a powerful app store intelligence platform, also measured the ranks data from the show’s third season debut this weekend to get an idea of what effect the game would have when it appeared in the series, which is around episode five. According to its stats, almost exactly five hours after the third season became available on Netflix, the game showed an increase in popularity on the App Store.
The company reports that the iPad edition of Valley has become the #2 overall paid app, right behind Minecraft: Pocket Edition. The Google Play version didn’t perform too bad either, as it managed to get to the #11 spot on the paid app charts.
appFigures broke down the findings on its blog, utilizing a number of charts to show its increase in popularity following the release of the third season of the series. It was also quick to note that many users were actually interested in paying the game’s $3.99 fee before even getting a chance to try it out, which it found to be uncommon, as some titles offer a “freemium” version to try before needing to purchase the full game.
What’s more, the company concluded that “such a prominent feature in a leading series proves to be the ultimate advertisement. At this point, the effect is even greater than that we recently looked at for apps that purchased Super Bowl ads — without the large price tag! It would appear as though this is a much more receptive audience.”
Clearly, if something’s good enough for Frank Underwood, clearly it can work for us as well . . .