Mafia City is an online strategy mobile game by Yotta Games in which players join gangster clans jockeying to become the ultimate clan in a city. While the game was positively reviewed by players, it gained much more attention for its ad campaigns featuring skits in which a "Lv. 1 Crook" is foiled by a "Lv. 35 Boss" and the catchphrase "That's how mafia works."
Mafia City is an online mobile game for Android developed by Yotta Games. It first appeared on the Google Play store on March 30th, 2017. The game is a mobile strategy game centered around crime families jockeying for position to become the head clan of a city. The game involves a lot city management and grinding for upgrades (gameplay shown below).
Mafia City has proven popular online, with over 800,000 likes on Facebook. However, it became most widely known for its ad campaign showing skits in which Lvl. 1 Crooks are foiled by "Lvl. 35 Bosses." On October 2nd, 2018, YouTuber Михаил Железнов posted a compilation of such ads, gaining over 130,000 views (shown below).
That's How Mafia Works
One of the more popular ad campaigns for the game showed brief skits in which gang-related activity would happen and a cartoon man would appear on screen with the text "That's How Mafia Works." On November 23rd, 2018, YouTuber Diego Rodriguez posted examples of the ads (shown below).
On December 30th, 2018, YouTuber Slazo made a video about the ads which brought them to a larger audience, gaining over 350,000 views (shown below).
Slazo's fanbase began making jokes about the ads on Slazo's subreddit r/slazo. One of the most popular was a meme by user BoinkoMan, which gained over 400 upvotes and reached the top of the "Hot" page on the subreddit (shown below, left). The meme was spread by Slazo's fanbase through his subreddit r/slazo before being posted on other subreddits such as r/memes. The image is commonly used as an ironic reaction image used to emphasize when something is considered tough or edgy. The caption is also commonly featured in deep fried memes, shitposts, as a macro image and as captions to Florida Man memes (shown below, right).
After the meme became popular on Slazo's subreddit, users began to post the meme on other subreddits, most notably r/memes – with one of the earliest posts being one by Redditor mat383 (shown below, left) The meme then continued to spread thanks to a .png version of the meme created by user ThatCanadianJacket.
Use In Video Edits
Slazo uploaded a greenscreen version of the clip on his second channel, where people then started to make video edits of the meme, which helped the meme to spread further (shown below).
Some early video edits include a post by Greedy Boi (shown below, left) and another by Oshie35 (shown below, right).
Lvl 35 Boss
Redditors also made jokes about the "Lvl 35 Boss" skits. Slazo himself posted a Family Guy parody on his Twitter, gaining over 910 retweets and 8,700 likes (shown below, left). An exploitable comic variation posted to /r/okbuddyretard gained over 4,700 points (shown below, right).