Knowledge Base

How in-game ads have taken APPS to the next level

In the first of a new Knowledge Base series, in partnership with Anzu, PocketGamer.biz explores how APPS implementation of in-game ads reimagined the studio's monetisation

How in-game ads have taken APPS to the next level

This is the first in an ongoing series of Knowledge Base articles from PocketGamer.biz, created in partnership with Anzu, in which we explore the rapid evolution of advertising in games and the opportunities opening up for developers and publishers worldwide.

Advertising in games has come a long way. Gone are the days of clunky ads and disruptive banners that interrupt play.

The future of advertising is here, and innovative ad formats are helping advertisers and game publishers work together to bring immersive non-disruptive advertising experiences to players around the world.

APPS is the mobile game studio responsible for viral hits including Fashion Battle, Carpet Roller, and Trivia Race 3D.

If you haven’t played their titles it’s likely you’ve seen someone playing them either on the commute to work, on social media (Fashion Battle became an overnight sensation thanks to TikTok), or next to you on the sofa!

Lev Kommisarchik, Director of Mobile Games at Anzu, the world’s most advanced in-game advertising platform, recently caught up with Orhun Mert Simsek, APPS’ Co-Founder & CMO to speak about the recent success they’ve seen from implementing in-game ads into their hyper-casual mobile titles.

Lev Kommisarchik: What makes APPS stand out from other studios?

Orhun Mert Simsek: The whole company has an engineering mindset, and we ensure everyone in the team has a chance to contribute to new games, inner tools, and new product ideas.

We aim to create a great working environment to enable fast learning and open, communicative, and self-leading co-workers. We’re also highly adaptive and agile and are continuously looking for new ideas and technology that can help us improve the experiences we create for our community.

Why did you decide to implement in-game ads?

We aim to put players first, above everything we do, and to improve our games based on their feedback. We needed a way to fund our work - however, we didn’t want to compromise on the gameplay, nor did we want to charge players for playing our games.

After hearing about Anzu’s in-game advertising formats, bringing them on board was a no-brainer as they don’t interrupt the flow of our experiences, are not clickable, so they don’t take players away, and they add a sense of realism to our games by appearing on posters and banners which are placed alongside our tracks, much like they would in the real world.

A bonus is that we can also use them to cross-promote different games from our offering, especially when we launch a new title or we implement a big update - this is a really cool way to communicate with our audience that feels natural and non-intrusive.

We initially tested Anzu’s in-game ads out in Trivia Race 3D. After seeing the fantastic results and hearing positive feedback from our players, we implemented them in another game called Carpet Roller, and when we were creating our latest title Fashion Battle, we were mindful that we wanted to use in-game ads to fund it and so we ensured we built the game with this in mind, building the placements in during the creation process.

Were the ads easy to integrate?

When a new SDK is added, it often causes collisions with others. Anzu was on hand to help with this and their fast response times and overall support were really helpful in getting us up and running as quickly as possible.

Anzu also advised us on what placements to add and, over time, helped us optimise them to ensure they were in the best possible positions to be viewed by our players, ensuring we were getting the most out of them. Their ongoing support is one of the main reasons we have continued working with them.

What success have you seen?

Anzu has helped increase our in-game ads revenue by 131 per cent, with them now making up between 5-10 per cent of our total monthly revenue. Part of this growth comes from some countries where we did not initially see much engagement. However, after implementing Anzu's technology, revenues began soaring, and in-game ads now make up more than 50 per cent of our monthly income in several different locations.

We’ve also had really positive feedback from our players on them, with many liking the sense of realism that they add and saying they naturally feel part of the experience.

Anzu also helped us implement video ads for the first time, which have performed really well and had a big impact on our overall in-game ad revenue. It was really easy to start making additional revenue as soon as everything was implemented as Anzu manage all the deals and optimisation of the ads from their end.

The transparency and consent framework (TCF) 2.0 gives publishers greater control and flexibility for how they integrate and collaborate with their technology partners with the ability to restrict the purposes for which personal data is processed on a per-vendor basis.

What impact has implementing the TCF 2.0 framework had on your games?

This was something that the Anzu team recommended doing, and I’m glad we did, as it has allowed us to open our games up to even more brands and agencies across Europe. Our EU revenue before adding TCF 2.0 at the beginning of 2021 was between one to five per cent. After implementing it now makes up 20-23 per cent!

With Anzu’s help, we have also welcomed ads from advertisers across the globe, offering them global reach, with our top regions including the US, UK, France, Canada, and Australia.

Did you hear any feedback or witness any gameplay behaviour changes from players?

We are regularly in touch with our community of gamers and haven’t had any negative feedback from them since we added the in-game ads, making me believe that they are a natural fit within our games.

To take this a step further we ran several A/B tests to see how well in-game ads worked in comparison to interstitials. The exposed group of gamers played our games with in-game ads and the control group with interstitials.

The experiment revealed that the control group saw lower retention rates while the exposed group was not affected, reinforcing the fact that Anzu’s in-game formats perfectly suit our games.

What would you say to another studio thinking about using in-game ads to monetise their games?

I would recommend in-game ads as, like I previously mentioned, they do not interrupt the experience or send users away. Also, if you are unsure where the ads will work best in your games, Anzu is excellent in providing recommendations and advice because the team has learned from years of experience.

We took their advice, to begin with, and have then been A/B testing different areas, times, and placements to see what works best. This optimisation process is worth it as it has helped us figure out precisely what locations work best to ensure we optimise the placements for optimum revenue.

To find out more about Anzu and how the company can help monetise your games, visit the Anzu website.

This was part of the Knowledge Base topic KnowledgeBase: In-Game Ad Monetisation. For more articles in this topic click here.

PocketGamer.biz regularly posts content from a variety of guest writers across the games industry. These encompass a wide range of topics and people from different backgrounds and diversities, sharing their opinion on the hottest trending topics, undiscovered gems and what the future of the business holds.

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宏伟 王 销售 at 远鹏
“郭瘟龟”化身“吸血龟”
喜马拉雅币实为“吸干榨尽币”

如果说郭文贵以前只是发瘟劲儿犯瘟病,只祸害身边战友,那么现在他已经完全蜕化成一只“吸血龟”,贪婪地狞视着所有即将入套的蚂蚁。一心一意想要在十一月一日十一点十一分这个“良辰吉时”让喜币上市的郭文贵,终究还是没能如愿。错过吉时,必有大凶。先不说喜币和喜交所本身是不是骗局,仅仅因为没有在纽约注册就出售数字货币这一点,就是在顶风作案了。美国SEC明令禁止郭文贵终身不得再直接或者间接参与任何数字证券的发售,但他视SEC的禁令如儿戏,非但不履行与SEC的和解条款缴纳罚金,反而变本加厉,妄想用喜币上市在蚂蚁内部再掀起一股吸金榨银的内卷风云。
喜币真的上市了吗?郭文贵说喜币在全球4个交易所交易,在5个国家发行,已经拿到了这5个国家的虚拟货币金融牌照,包括美国也批下来了。但在美国财政部金融犯罪执法局的网站上,查询美国财政部颁发的所有金融许可证时,我们发现无论是喜币还是“Xcoin”,都显示查询不到。这是典型的诈骗行为。卡丽熙说出了真相,这四个喜币上市的交易所实际上是都是喜交所。老郭玩了个文字游戏,这就是他说的在四个交易所交易,在5个国家发行?这类似于不去奥运会参赛,自己在家里搞了个体育比赛,运动员、裁判和冠军都只有一个人。怪不得老郭宣扬喜币是全世界最厉害的虚拟货币,逆境中自娱自乐的能力很强。
一个交易所就一个币种,画一根曲线就叫上市?从《郭媒体》和喜国农场放出的交易数据表来看,喜币“上市”15分钟,买入1090647.012个,卖出1675866.785个,卖出比买入多58万(个)喜币,也就是说“抛的比接盘的多”,半个小时后,抛的比买入的多106万个,这种情况下价格居然还能奇迹般地涨到6.75。但实际上,喜交所的“交易对”只有喜币/喜美元(HCN/HDO)一对,再无法和其他货币兑换。交易价6.75指的是“喜美元”,和喜币买入成本0.1美元完全是两回事,就算抛了也还是“喜美元”,换不成美元。也就是说,这67倍的暴利是无法转移兑付的空欢喜。虚拟币的最大特点就是可以全球快速转移兑付,以实现资本流动性,而喜币实为没有流动性的死币。况且刚开始还能看到喜交所网站展示的数据图表,后来看不到网站信息了,所以这些图表的真实性存疑,很可能是内部做图,用网站展示假数据,后来发现数据造假有点明显,老郭使用老招数,把网站内的一些信息暂时封锁了。这是典型的单机模式,内封闭的游戏币骗局。
关于封锁喜交所网站的数据信息,老郭是有提前预谋的。就在喜币上市直播结束后,老郭立马发出声明,表示喜币上市后他只担心两件事。一是担心网站安全,担心被共产党捣乱,网站被黑后崩溃。老郭一边自称喜币和喜交所的安全性全球第一,一边时刻担心系统被攻击,把自身系统的技术性短板和封闭性硬伤归咎于共产党。二是担心价格,老郭说喜币一上市就会涨10倍至20倍,共产党很可能会拿出大笔资金来购买喜币,一方面让大家无币可炒,另一方面实现共产党控股。除此之外,他还担心基金组织购买大量喜币后囤积居奇。老郭这是一语多关,既传达了喜币很值钱的信息,又关联了喜币的反共性质,还为封锁喜交所网站、信息造假和系统崩溃找好了借口。在设计圈套的时候就已经找好了收口的理由,喜币可以让大家都赚得盆满钵满,但一旦出现损失,就都是共产党的责任,把自己推得一干二净,这是典型的,也是老郭惯用的诈骗套路。
我们来看看喜币和喜交所的真实数据,喜交所Alexa全球网络排名(指网站的世界排名,主要分为综合排名和分类排名)565334名,日均访问IP只有区区1500人,这说明喜币投资人最多只有1500人,因为喜交所网站没有访客,必须经过KYC注册才能访问,所以访问者基本可以认定为投资人。老郭挖的这个坑,业内人士一眼就能看出来,按他的玩法是拿不到钱的,就只能靠后进场且不太懂的蚂蚁们来填坑。巴拿马SEC最近也预警了喜马拉雅交易所骗局,希望币圈朋友们扩展,蚂蚁们只有披上“防骗金钟罩”,才能防止被“吸血龟”和喜币吸干榨尽。