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"The IDFApocalypse will force developers to rethink ad models," says AdInMo CEO Kristan Rivers

As part of our 2020 in review series

2020 will be a year that lives long in many people's memories, for better and for worse. Thankfully, there have been some fantastic experiences on mobile to help us all through these particularly trying times.

The games industry is thriving despite the devastating effects of COVID, and the mobile sector has also seen extraordinary growth this year. Games have undeniably been a force for good under unprecedented circumstances.

With that, we've reached out to several members of the industry for their insight, thoughts and personal experiences throughout 2020. We're on a mission to discover favourite mobile games, how has the industry coped under the pandemic, and what we could see in 2021 and beyond.

This time we're catching up with Kristan Rivers, CEO of AdInMo. What do you think was the biggest news or event for the mobile games industry in 2020?

Kristan Rivers: Unity's IPO was huge news for the mobile games industry. Although Unity's impact goes well beyond mobile, the size of the IPO shined a long-overdue spotlight on the maturity and potential of our industry and the enormous diverse audiences that play mobile games.

Which mobile game do you think had the biggest impact on the industry this year?

Not just for mobile of course, but Roblox (set to IPO in 2021) has grown enormously, and rightly so. Like Minecraft showed before, there's huge economic value to be gained by placing the power of agency and creativity into your users' hands.

What is your top mobile game of 2020?

Among Us was released a couple of years ago, but the social teamwork & treachery game really hit its stride in lockdown 2020. It's a Friday afternoon favourite within the AdInMo team. For the record - our CTO Chris is most definitely sus!

What do you think will be the biggest trend over the next 12 months?

I know you expect me to say this, but I fundamentally believe that monetisation from non-interruptive advertising and InGamePlay brand ads will be the break-through trend in mobile games in 2021. The IDFApocalypse will force developers to rethink ad models. You’ll see more experimentation and greater creativity with immersive ads meaning performance marketing will no longer drive players out of games. I'm not the only one who thinks this: according to the recent PGC and AdInMo developer survey, 46 per cent of developers agree that dynamic in-game advertising is a key opportunity in 2021.

In terms of your company, what's the thing you're most proud of during 2020?

In the past twelve months we've built an amazing team that is dedicated to creating a more authentic way to monetize mobile games with in-game advertising.

What are you most looking forward to in 2021?

A widespread solution to the COVID19 situation and getting back to meeting as an industry. I miss having beers with my friends and colleagues. To everyone reading this who knows me - first round on me!