Half of all game publishers will have adopted in-game ads as a key part of their monetisation by the end of 2022, according to ad specialist Adverty. This would be an incredible rise, from an estimated three per cent to five per cent in 2021.
The prediction was made by Adverty's Chief Supply Officer, Thorbjorn Warin, who spoke at February’s Pocket Gamer Connects event in London. While the studios and publishers already embracing in-game ads can be said to be early adopters, Warin expects many of the world's leading publishers to follow suit in the very near future, adding that the in-game advertising market is expected to grow to almost $11 billion by 2024, according to Technavio.
Warin argued that the increase in value the games market experienced in 2020, driven by global lockdowns, attracted an ever broader and more diverse user base. Against the backdrop of a growing mergers and acquisition (M&A) activity in the games sector, advertisers and gaming developers alike are looking to develop their options in the space.
The major factors are aligned to make this a break-out year for in-game advertisingThorbjorn Warin
"The major factors are aligned to make this a break-out year for in-game advertising," says Warin. "There are well-funded players in the market with stable technology, but there is also an increasing demand from advertisers, combined with an awareness and a willingness among the vast majority of game developers to move forward.
"All the lines are converging and it all suggests a genuine tipping point is coming."
Advertising revenues are still relatively small for publishers, Warin added, but advertising is easily integrated and, when carefully implemented, poses no threat to the gameplay experience.
"Revenues are still in the 5-10 per cent area, but for developers this represents 100 per cent incremental revenue, and the integration and maintenance of the software development kit (SDK) are minimal,” says Warin. "Meanwhile, developers are getting more savvy with finding valuable yet unobtrusive integrations in their games. Very soon, we’re going to be very used to seeing ads within some of the world’s best-known games, and that is additional business with no compromise in the experience for either gamers or developers."