Video game makers who have in the past opted to shy away from in game advertisements are now warming up to the possibility of running rewarded ads in their games, which have proved to be less intrusive and can help gamers monetize their titles.
This year, the mobile gaming industry topped US$46.1 billion. In Thailand, the total revenue generated by the top 10 grossing iOS and Google Play games increased by 85 per cent year-on-year. A big share of this revenue is generated from in app purchases, which can be accredited almost entirely to makers of the most popular games like Tencent’s Honor of Kings. For years now, game makers have refrained from ads fearing that they will integer with the gaming experience. However, circumstances have changed and popular gaming companies including the likes of Tencent and Digital King are now considering rewarded advertisements (optional ads that “reward” players with items they would have otherwise need to buy) as gamers view these kinds of ads as less intrusive. Analysts estimate Digital King could generate more than US$1 billion through 2019, if it decides to push forth with the in-game ads.
“Even in the largest games the world, less than two per cent of DAUs [daily active users] actually make in-app purchases. To add insult to injury, in India and Southeast Asia this number is significantly lower. What this means is that rewarded video ads actually have become one of the biggest sources of revenue for game publishers,” said Rohit Sharma, chief executive and founder of India-based mobile advertising firm POKKT.
While few gamers thinks that running ads will lower the trust establish with the players over time, about 90 per cent of publishers report that reward ads “provide a positive user experience”, according to an AdColony report.