Publishing a mobile game is not an easy task, especially when you don't have vast experience in monetization. In-game advertising is great to pump up revenue, get users engaged, and improve the Retention of your games.
There are several types of in-game advertising (IGA). Dynamic ads are the most used in the hyper-casual genre. They allow targeting specific locations or groups of people, thus easy to implement and scale for most mobile games.
Banner ads are the most simple and least invasive form of IGA. If integrated smoothly into game design, they do not disturb the user, but if misplaced, they may disturb the view and drastically reduce the player's experience.
Rewarded ads are another simple way of getting the user to consume advertising content because they are rewarded for doing so. They will not negate the player's experience and increase Retention due to the gained resources. Despite this being a more costly way of advertising due to the use of resources from the publisher's side, increased Retention and a high eCPM will follow.
These are one of the most common but possibly also one of the most complicated forms of IGA. Interstitials are full-screen ads usually implemented at a moment of transition, such as at the end of a completed stage.
These days, interstitials display during pauses, at the end of a failed stage, and sometimes in the middle of the gameplay, making them a bold ad display method.
In-game advertising has become a necessity for mobile game developers to generate enough profits for their hyper-casual games. In-app purchases aren't enough in a genre that depends on an easy-to-understand, easy-to-play concept. Surely, the more interstitials placed in the game, the higher the revenue.
But won't aggressive use of interstitials disrupt the player experience and lower the eCPM? Won't longer intervals between ads improve Retention vs. short ones? Just what is the right balance between interstitials and gameplay that will boost eCPM and Retention?
At MondayOFF, we are continuously looking for an answer, and while there is no one-fits-all formula that will generate you millions, there is a way to determine which timing is best suited for a game: A/B testing.
We tested different intervals for many of our games, one of them being in our game “Shooting Color.” In “Shooting Color,” we tested Interstitials with intervals of 00:26, 00:23, and 00:20, and 00:17. With almost 10 seconds between the longest and shortest intervals, we expected a big difference in Retention, but the results were surprising. Both extremes showed only minor differences. Comparing the different intervals for the game, the D1 Retention for 00:26 was 39.56%, and for 00:17, it was 39.12% - letting us conclude that shorter intervals can still make a game profitable.
Of course, very short intervals between your interstitials can impact your funnel and Retention in the long term. By looking at the Intervals of 00:23 and 00:20, the D1 Retention for the former was 39.39%, and for the latter, it was 39.18%. A drop in Retention and Funnel over the 00:17 D7 Retention concludes that the golden mean is the best way to find a balance between good Retention and good profit.
Naturally, in-game advertising should be planned from the beginning stages of development. Correct placement of banner ads and enticing rewards for players are necessary to encourage them to watch the advertisements. Still, even for interstitials, you should have a concept in mind to decide which approach to take.
Despite all the planning, A/B-Testing is an easy way to test out which type of IGA your users like and which drives them away. Don't be too afraid of scaring away your players. In the end, what matters is having a fun game, and the better your game is, the more likely users will receive your interstitials positively. Chances are they enjoy the short break they get between the stages, and it will add to the excitement and expectations for the next level.
If you would rather stay developing and let someone else take care of anything marketing for you, don't hesitate to contact us. We will take care of everything and be with you with every step, from early prototype testing to marketing and scaling your game.