Exclusive: After two years, Evony is bringing sexy back but why, and what's different?

Reopening the wound?

Their commitment to "doing it right" has led them to the new campaign, where the model being shown is actually relevant, and, most importantly, not being victimized. “In this series we are actually empowering the character. Eva is not shown as a victim or lady in distress, with a sword pointing to her bosom," says Cerrato. "She is the one holding the sword.”

But there needs to be something more, doesn't there? There wasn't an outcry from players demanding to see women in the ads again – why bother reopening that wound? Because people click on them more. Plain and simple.

"Closely monitoring our advertising efforts, we quickly saw that ads using real people consistently performed better. It's no secret that many competitors have arisen using our original gameplay model, and in the fast paced world of free-to-play it's important to put in our best effort to bring in fresh new players to compete with our current playerbase of 27 million registered accounts, " Cerrato explains. "It was also time to change things up and rise above the clutter with something different - but who knows, we’ll continue to gauge the success of our advertising efforts and may change this up as well."

Why you should care

But an ad campaign is nothing if it doesn't have something to promote, and Evony's developers are confident in the quality of their game. There have been a number of updates since the first iteration of the game launched in 2009, including the release of Evony: Age II. In Age II, new features and items were thrown into the mix such as Stratagems, which add complexity to the battles. Other features in Age II allow players to colonize enemy cities, even if that enemy city is run by an actual player.

More recently, updates have been made to the Evony toolbar, which further connects the player to the free-to-play MMO. Just this past week it received expanded functionality to allow players to receive alerts when they're being attacked, as well as offering them in-game bonuses.

And, more important of all, the developers have learned their lesson. Or, at least they say they have. We're hoping, for Samantha's sake, that they let her keep her clothing on as the ads start rolling out. The campaign is set to launch tomorrow and we'll be watching them very, very closely.