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How Compass Point West generates $0.06 a day per player from incent video ads

Mitchell Smallman love rewards
How Compass Point West generates $0.06 a day per player from incent video ads
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Thanks to games like Crossy Road, incentivised video ads have become a talking point for all developers of F2P mobile games.

And Mitchell Smallman from Helsinki studio Next Games was certainly happy to give out some specific numbers in his GDC Europe 2015 talk Rewarded Video Ads in Midcore Mobile: Blazing Trails Where We Were Told Not To Tread.

Watch and learn

Kicking off he stated that "75% of our players [of Compass Point West] watch an ad daily" with the company generating $0.06 per player daily in terms of ad revenue".

In order to hit these figures, Next Games took a positive decision to deeply integrate ads within its core loop and to take the lucrative UA adverts from potentially competitive strategy games.

"We think ads are an awesome feature," Smallman said, talking about the thought and attention that went into the Travelling Show feature in Compass Point West, which is how video ads are delivered in the game.

In addition, Next Games placed its ad at the end of the core loop. This allows it to use the process of watching an advert as a positive re-engagement mechanic.

The value proposition

Smallman said key advice for developers looking to use incent video ads was not to overload their inventory with low value ads and work with multiple partners to increase value and fillrate.

Indeed, value was one of the most important aspects of his talk, with Next Games giving each player who watches an ad effectively $0.30 of in-game value.

Next Games gives each player who watches an ad effectively $0.30 of in-game value.

Players are gated to 3-4 adverts every 8 hours.

Next Games has spend a lot of time testing different strategies with ads, and has found that having ads in the game actually increases overall IAP spending in the game, although noting that developers need to ensure they don't give away too much value and there can be some canabalisation at the lowest levels of IAP price.

Perhaps this is because getting a reward from video ads shows players the flow of making an in-app purchase, which is combined with a random, and hence variable, reward.

Significantly Smallman said that even the game's high spending players max out their video ad allocation, demonstrating the value players attach to them.

Indeed, he also said that 10 percent of the game's positive App Store reviews specifically mentioned the incentivised video ads.

Wider benefits

In this way, and if correctly positioned, incentivised video ads can invigorate your players and bring value into the game's economy.

And for the developer, ads provide a more stable revenue stream than IAP can.

They also provide flexibility in terms of how adverts you can show, so you have a certain ability to take advantage of short-term increases in advertising pricing.

And with brand ads expected to further increase the value of in-game advertising, Smallman predicts that the sector is only going to get more important.

"You'll need to choose between 20 players giving you 5 cents or 1 player giving you a dollar," he stated.