ByRachelle Riddle, writer at
Writer by day, gamer by night. Everything's a story.
Rachelle Riddle

Ariana Grande is now in Final Fantasy's mobile game Brave Exvius and you have your chance to get your very own cat-singer-girl, if that's your kind of thing. Her character is relatively easy to get, all you have to do is play through to unlock the Dimensional Vortex and play through the special event.

How To Get It

  • Unlock the Dimensional Vortex
  • Find the Dangerous Woman Tour event
  • Play through the lowest tier battle
  • Claim Dangerous Ariana from your in-game mailbox
  • Play through the event to collect the special items to unlock her final form

Ariana posted on Instagram a couple weeks ago, announcing her role in the game, which kind of came out of nowhere. I'd ask what Ariana Grande has to do with Final Fantasy, but that's the same series that brought us Cup Noodle so...

The event name coincides with her tour of the same name, and her song "Touch It" plays during that battle rather than the normal music. Is it just a promotional stunt? Surely there are less obvious ways they could have done it, but considering the amount of blatant advertising in Final Fantasy XV, maybe that was intended.

Celebrities aren't new when it comes to promoting certain endeavors, though some definitely fit in more than others. Video games and comics have been pulling from Hollywood for a while, but mobile games seem to be a little more obvious about the advertising than others. I guess they have to be, since their model is all about attracting as many players as possible and hooking them in with microtransactions.

Kate Upton in the mobile Game of War commercials.
Kate Upton in the mobile Game of War commercials.

A lot of actors are known for their voice work, the transition from visual actor to audio actor makes sense. And video games make a lot of use of voice acting. No one bats an eye at Mark Hamill voicing the Joker or Gideon Emery playing a Russian mobster in Daredevil and voicing the noble Lor'themar Theron in World of Warcraft. Most recently Sean Bean did a fantastic job narrating Civilization VI.

Then you enter the freemium world of flashy mobile games. Kate Upton in Game of War commercials? Total obvious sex appeal draw. And it worked too. It worked so well, in fact, that they switched to Mariah Carey because apparently the huge population surge of boys attracted to Kate aren't the kind with disposable income to spend on the game.

They needed what's known as "whales," big spenders who keep the game afloat for the millions of other players who don't spend much on microtransactions. I guess Mariah Carey is the high roller's dream.

What's really interesting about Ariana Grande's cameo in Brave Exvius is the connection to Mariah Carey. Ariana has frequently been compared to Mariah, even called a "younger version" of the well-known pop singer, which Mariah probably isn't too keen about.

There are jokes about Ariana copying Mariah and trying to recreate the climb to pop-stardom, including a certain diva attitude. Ariana has said before that Mariah was one of her heroes growing up. Game of War uses Mariah's classic "Hero" in the commercial and now Brave Exvius makes use of Ariana's recent single. Maybe she's had enough of that Disney action and decided to follow Mariah's lead into the world of video games for that sweet fame.

What do you think of celebrity appeal in games?


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