Once a game gets released into the app stores of different mobile OS, its downloads and active player base start to grow. However, that is highly dependent on the game producer, marketing, genre, etc. Even though the reputation of the game producer gives the game a push in the most downloaded games list, mobile Ads are the game changers of a game’s success. Different free apps and games use mobile ads as a revenue source, which turns out to make a huge difference when we crunch some numbers. It is no secret that most apps on Google Play Store are free. Therefore, the users are much more likely to discover a new game through mobile ads while using different apps.
Mobile Game Ads and what do they offer
Mobile game ads started as something useful to gamers in allowing them to find new good games while using other apps or games. But following the heavy dependence of apps and games on these mobile ads caused a paradigm shift for the mobile gaming development industry.
Recently it has been heavily noticed that the mobile game ad demonstrates gameplay, so most of the time the gamers click on those ads expecting the game they were promised on the ad. Instead, the gamers are tricked into some color-matching game or some other game in contrast to the one advertised, leaving gamers disappointed and outraged.
If misleading ads weren’t enough, there’s also a pile full of copy-paste games. The only variation is in the sprites; apart from that the game mechanics and animations are exact copies. This is not just bad for the game developers but it also puts mobile game ads in a bad light. These ads bring little to no value to the viewers and get treated as spam.
Free-to-play games and free apps try to optimize their screen to fit ads wherever possible while maintaining a good user experience. This used to be the case in many apps until recently ads have started to cover the screen to the extent of making the game unusable- ruining the user experience. Games that would’ve otherwise gotten 4.5+ star ratings in different app stores end up getting 3.5-4.0 stars as a result of ad-cramping.
The use of click baits isn’t something new but taking it to the point of making it inappropriate for all ages has come to light. Ads using nudity and explicit images or videography due to poor ad regulation expose underage children to inappropriate content. Many concerned parents of underage children complained about their child encountering such ads.
Mobile Game Ads Gone: The good and the bad
New Games might not see a long term future
Mobile game ads get a fair share of love and hate but without them, the mobile gaming industry will have a drastic change. If mobile game ads were to disappear the news of the release of new games will highly remain unheard. App stores like Apple Appstore and Google Play Store have a section dedicated to newly released games: The disappearance of ads would place the game developers in a tough battle for being on the front page of App stores. This has other implications as well, it means that the user has to specifically open their app stores and look for new games they like. Users rarely do that unless they were referred to about the game by friends or other outlets.
The disappearance of ads will bring another huge change that gets almost dismissed; Ad revenue. Most free games available in the app stores survive only because of ad revenue and in-app purchases. Many players opt-out of in-app purchases and only limit themselves to the “free-to-play” section of a game. Therefore the developers rely highly on the relatively few in-app purchases and a lot on ad revenue. The disappearance of free games is natural if ads cease to exist.
Better user experience being a big plus
On the bright side, the absence of ads will highly boost the user experience of a game. There will be no ad banners blocking the view on the screen and no accidental clicks and redirects. Also, most games have video ads in between gameplays, which highly ruins the mood of the game and interrupts the player. Since games will have to resort to being “pay-to-play”, there is a high possibility of game quality actually evolving. The reason behind this is simple: More budget will be allotted for a paid game. Paid games have a definite revenue from their buyers, unlike free games. Therefore, it would create a better gaming industry at the cost of free games.
Games often offer a small incentive (gems, coins, etc) in exchange for intentionally watching ads- this feature would end up extinct and free incentives would no longer be available. Instead, the players have to buy them.
If Mobile game ads were non-existent, mobile game developers would give more effort in making high-quality games and boost player experience but then free games would not be sustainable for developers and end up being a myth.