In-Game Advertising is nothing new. It’s been around for a long time in various guises and iterations. What’s important to understand is that there are many different factors between what could be achieved 5-10 years ago and what is possible today.
No longer are ads hard-coded into the game across the globe requiring costly development time. Native ads can now be dynamically inserted after a game has launched and be used to target individual users.
Three key trends have allowed for in-game advertising to be successful in a way that could never have been achieved before.
1. The Attention Economy
Ten years ago, YouTube was still growing up. Promoted ads only started becoming a “thing” in 2009. There are now over 2 billion YouTube users every month. Jump into an esports or gaming stream, and you will see a staggering amount of people watching others, simply playing a video game. The opportunity has never been better for in-game advertising. Target one gamer with an advert, and there’s a fair chance that your brand could be shown numerous times through the secondary audience.
2. The Availability of Super-Fast Broadband
In 2010 the average download speed in the UK for fixed broadband connections was 6.2MBps. Now in 2020, it is over 10 times as fast at a whopping 64Mbps. These ranges of speed allow for games to be bigger and better. They also allow for advertising to be delivered programmatically in an instant. Something that hadn’t always been possible.
3. The Rise of Mobile Gaming
Mobile gaming used to consist of a few moving pixels of a snake. Network connections for 2G ranged up to 64kbps (slow). Large mobile games with network connections were not sustainable. Even with the introduction of 3G, bandwidth was limited to just 2Mbps. Jump forward to today, and we see bandwidth speeds of up to 1GBps and higher through the use of 4G and 5G technology.
Network speed is not the only factor in the success of mobile gaming. Handheld devices have become technologically superior. Super-fast processors are now readily available. Screens are capable of displaying high definition resolutions.
These factors have allowed for a surge in quality mobile games, capable of having adverts delivered to them due to fast network connections. Not only this, but the high-resolution displays allow for adverts to be effective and even photo-realistic.
Types of In-Game Advertising
We’re not here to bore you by discussing the multiple versions of in-game-advertising. We believe advertising has good and bad and sometimes even a little grey area somewhere in the middle. Simply put, we want to eliminate the bad. No-one enjoys playing a free mobile game and being forced to watch a 30-second long video every few minutes.
Gamers want to play games. Brands want to reach consumers. Game developers want to cover their costs. Dare we say, even make a return on the weeks, months, and years spent designing, drawing, and coding it for you. How is that all possible, we hear you say.
Dynamic In-Game Advertising in a Native Way
Think of yourself at a real-life football match and seeing the pitch-side boards displaying brands. A racetrack with the smell of burning rubber and the sight of sponsored cars, branded flags, and banners. Simply walking through a city and spotting a bus displaying an advert for the latest movie or a bus stop poster promoting a popular fast-food chain.
Sports, Racing, and Open-World games are all perfect for a native style of in-game advertising delivery. The placements naturally allow themselves to be prominent enough to be noticed. They are not obtrusive in a way that the gamer loses immersion in the game they are playing.
Programmatic ad delivery that is achievable through the implementation of ad-tech companies, exchanges, and the DSP, allows brands to be inserted in games rapidly.
Whilst some games continue to deliver static campaigns that are agreed in advance of a game or update, programmatic advertising allows brands to dynamically insert their creatives without any re-coding of the game, whatsoever.