FanCraft: Auto-reply to game reviews and engage your players with AI. Try the FREE beta now!

Leverage Your Game Economy with Rewarded Ads

As a mobile game developer, you’re tasked with the delicate balancing act of creating an immersive and enjoyable experience for your players while also ensuring your game generates revenue. Ads have long been a staple for monetization, but they often carry a negative connotation among players, sometimes even disrupting the gaming experience.

This perceived conflict between maintaining player engagement and generating revenue is a key challenge. However, it doesn’t have to be a zero-sum game. It’s about finding the right balance, and that’s where rewarded video ads come into play.

Implemented strategically, these ads not only provide a significant boost to revenue but also add value to the player’s experience, creating a win-win situation. Let’s explore how you can harness this ad format for your game.

Setting a foundation

Rewarded video ads are a type of in-game advertising that, as the name suggests, reward players for watching them. Unlike pop-ups or banner ads, these are completely optional. The player has full control over whether to watch these ads or skip them, adding a level of interactivity and choice that contributes to a positive user experience.

Leverage Your Game Economy with Rewarded Ads

Via Google

Plus, they are shown to work. Over 60% of players who were polled from different demographics said they prefer rewarded ads over traditional ones–hardly surprising. How you implement the rewards offered through these ads can vary greatly depending on your game. They might include extra lives, bonus points, special abilities, or even in-game currency. Regardless, a poorly implemented rewarded ad will simply not entice players to opt into watching it. No click. No money.

For this reason, the rewarded ad should be tailored to the game and its audience, with the aim of providing real, tangible value to the player. But there’s more to rewarded video ads than just providing incentives–they should be situated within a robust game economy that acts as a foundational layer upon which incentives are built. In other words, cheap rewards and gimmicks probably won’t work.

US mobile gamers Attitudes Towards in-app Advertising
Planning Your Monetization Strategy

The journey toward effective monetization begins even before your game hits the app store. As a developer, weaving your monetization strategy into the fabric of your game design from the earliest stages makes this process much simpler.

Adopting this proactive approach helps avert future design issues, while simultaneously ensuring that monetization strategies, like rewarded video ads, enhance rather than disrupt the player experience. This strategy effectively blends monetization with gameplay and reduces potential complications.

Incorporating rewarded video ads effectively means thinking about what will be most compelling to your players. What do they want more of as they play the game? The answers to these questions form the basis for the rewards that you offer through your ads. Remember, if the rewards don’t resonate with the player, they’re less likely to engage with the ads.

So, start with your players’ desires and work backward to your ad rewards, crafting a monetization strategy that aligns with your game design and your players’ interests.

Implementing Rewarded Video Ads: Key Considerations

Here are a few key considerations when implementing rewarded video ads:

Session Length

Consider the average session length for your game. If a player engages with every rewarded ad in a 20-minute session and a quarter of that time is spent watching ads, it may feel disruptive. Always ensure the balance leans more toward gameplay than ad viewing.

Player Metrics

Watch your player metrics closely. If session times start to drop or overturn increases after introducing more rewarded ads, it may be time to reassess your strategy. Player feedback is crucial here; if they feel overwhelmed by ads, they’re likely to disengage.

Ad Overload

Track your eCPM, or effective cost per thousand impressions. If players are bombarded with ads, they may stop paying attention to them, reducing the number of clicks and ultimately your revenue. Avoid pushing players into an “ad-watching zombie” state.

Remember, rewarded video ads should enhance the player experience, not detract from it. Keep these considerations in mind, always validate your iterations with data, and don’t be afraid to adjust your strategy based on player feedback and changing circumstances.

Case in point: Rodeo Stampede

Rodeo Stampede has been going strong for 7 years and is one of the most successful games we have published to date. A major contributor to Rodeo’s success is how seamlessly the game economy is woven across the game. Of course, that’s by design. Here are some things we know about players who love Rodeo Stampede:

Implementing Rewarded Video Ads - Key Considerations
  1. They want to keep playing after losing a life
  2. They love customizing their zoo and adding new animals
  3. They want to collect in-game stuff that can make the game more fun
  4. They want coins that can be used to buy in-game stuff

Knowing what players want, we can add rewarded videos at key places in the game to offer those things.

Example 1:

A lucky spin can earn all kinds of useful items, including special animals that can be added to the zoo. Many players are more than happy to watch an ad in order to earn a spin.

Rodeo Stampede Lucky Wheel copy

Example: 2

Losing a life after a long run in an endless runner game can be a welcome break to take a breather and collect yourself before the next run. Why not earn 75 coins as you do so?

Rodeo Stampede Ads

Example 3:

Many players love the zoo mechanic in Rodeo Stampede. They get really into the whole economy and dynamic of the zoo itself. Here, we can offer opportunities to boost the growth of your zoo.

Mobile Games Monetization

These are just a few of the ways you may consider implementing rewarded video ads into your game. But note for all these examples, careful planning is needed, as well as a deep understanding of what players really want…and thus, what will entice them to watch.

Get the experts on your side

Developing a game is a massive undertaking, and getting it just right can feel like a balancing act. That’s where the experts come in. At Yodo1, we understand the challenges developers face because we’ve faced them ourselves. We work alongside thousands of developers to help them grow their games. The need for the right monetization is a key aspect of ensuring a healthy community and growth potential.

Here’s the deal, if your game has potential—let’s together take it a step further. With Yodo1, your game’s growth isn’t just possible, it’s inevitable.