NEW DELHI: Microsoft has recently decided to consider including in-game ads for Xbox Games. Following Microsoft, Sony is also planning to put ads in Playstation games as well. Both the gaming giants will reportedly include the ads only in the free-to-play games on their respective consoles. These ads will appear in these games and will be designed to provide game developers with a way to monetise their work and encourage them to continue building free-to-play games. Players are also likely to get rewards for watching advertisements and these ads would be sold through a private marketplace. Both the companies are expected to introduce ads in free-to-play games later this year. However, it is important to note that the in-game ads that Sony and Microsoft are planning to offer would appear in inconspicuous places within the game, like billboards. These ads will be different from the in-game ads used on mobile gaming. But what are in-game advertisements and how do they help developers? Here we will discuss the different types of in-game advertisements and how are they useful for mobile game developers.
What are in-game advertisements?
Game developers use in-game advertising as a monetisation strategy to boost their game’s revenue. As users see mobile game ads on their games, the developers earn money and get paid for every view. A survey by IronSource reveals that 73% of gamers are satisfied with the ad-based model of games that are available today.
Types of in-game advertisements in mobile gaming
Developers can use different types of mobile game advertising strategies and ad formats to drive mobile game ad revenue. The developers can integrate various types of ads that include — rewarded video ads, offerwall ads and interstitial ads among others. We have listed some of the types here:
Playable ads — These types of ads are like mini-games that users can try out before they decide to install. These ads are usually enjoyable, offer a good user experience and even deliver the highest eCPMs or effective cost per mille (thousand) in the industry.
Rewarded video ads — These ads offer users a clear value return as users watch a video ad and receive rewards in exchange. However, these types of ads are opt-in ads that users can choose not to watch. Rewarded video ads boost in-app purchases (IAPs) and encourage the users to return to the game.
Offerwall — Offerwall is almost like a mini-store inside the game. These ads put together tasks that users can complete to receive in-game rewards. These types of ads are completely user-initiated which extends gaming session lengths significantly and can even deliver huge eCPMs.
Interstitial — These ads ensure minimum disruption to user experience. At natural pauses in an app’s flow, interstitial ads engage users with rich, customisable and appealing static or in-app video ads.
How do in-game advertisements help developers?
The in-game advertisements help game developers generate more revenue through mobile game ads. Several users don’t play to pay, however, apart from IAPs, mobile game advertisements are a great monetisation strategy that developers can use. Experts reveal that games with strategised ad placements can generate almost $50-$100 eCPMs by using in-game advertising.
The survey also mentions that a proper mobile game strategy backed with in-game ads can boost IAPs by 6x. Some ad units work as a part of the in-game economy such as — rewarded video ads, giving users a taste of the IAPs the game offers and showing them the importance of the in-game goodies. Rather than engaging with the rewarded video, the gamers usually end up paying for the IAPs.
Developers can also use mobile game ads as a retention tool to encourage users to come back to their games by offering users certain rewards for engaging with ads. For example, developers can prompt users to engage with a rewarded ad unit that will give them the exact number of coins they will require to continue playing.
Lastly, these ads also enhance the user experience, especially the ad units that are placed into the game loop to offer the best outcome. For instance, developers can offer users free rewards like coins for watching or interacting with ads at specific points in the game. The survey also mentions that according to 71% of gamers, watching video ads is the preferred way to ‘pay’ for in-game content.