Advertising

Blended In-Game Advertising aka “Advergaming”

Let me put this straight for starters, the conventional In-App or Game advertising has an ad slot of different sizes in which ad banner would be shown. Mostly these ad slots would be static and in a blind spot where the user doesn’t pay much attention. It is to give an interactive gaming experience rather than conversions. 

Till one of the first advergaming used in EA’s FIFA International soccer (1994), this marketplace is teeming with success in brand recognition ads in form of Billboards in the game environment, crash guards in a racing game posted with brand names. This type of ads are built into the game design i.e., kind of permanently adhered to the game itself unless if the game has a new version with a different partner.

The main and only disadvantage of advergaming is the static ads that cannot be changed time to time, to resolve this issue modern games have found out a way to create a dynamic ad slot within the game matching the game environment which we will discuss below. The love of advergaming still has a stronghold on simulation games some top titles being racing simulation, city simulators (EA’s SimCity) which will have real life buildings and billboards to show ads.

The secret sauce of advergaming lies in the uninterrupted ad experience, where user might see an ad without knowing it is one. But the viewability and conversion rates would have a great spike according to Google Admob analytics. Another advantage being not blocked by adblocking tools since the ads aren’t booming at the face of users like a conventional banner ad.

Industry trends

 As the advergaming strikes it’s first bell many other game developers started introducing the banners and billboard type ads in their inhouse games. EA introduced it in their SimCity, FIFA series of video games and Sony PlayStation have similar ad format into their games.

The transition of Advergaming has brought up the attention of some big names in the industry, where Google’s Admob ventured into In-Game advertising to secure a piece of pie. Whereas few other programmatic supply partners working with game developers and SDK providers to integrate their version of Advergaming. Anzu.io is working with Unreal Engine to create a dynamic ad serving in games for a while. Forbes magazine covered that Blended In-Game advertising would reach a worth of $7.2 Billion. 

Anzu.io have raised funds of $6.5 million to develop more intelligent In-Game advertising to show dynamic ad serving with real time analytics partnered with Unreal Engine understanding the potential growth of esports games likes of Player Unknown Battlegrounds, Fortnite, Apex Legends etc. generating their part of a revenue from advergaming. But still they’re using old school banners within the character and objective elements present in the game. 

Image Courtesy: anzu.io

Types of Advergaming

Logos- Mainly used for brand identity and awareness, usually blends with the in-game objects.

Banner & Video– Normal banners and video ads that are integrated within the 3D or 2D elements that can move along the gameplay to provide a life like virtual experience.

Interactive ads– Creating ads with user interactive content which works based on the input from users.


However, an ad slot with good conversion requires a price to pay, mostly advergaming traffic would be bought by the direct brands since the recorded history shows brands had direct deals with game developers to show their product related ads within the games, but when the blended in-game advertising meets programmatic that would be a feast for CVR hungry advertisers until the gamers are concerned about the ads.

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