The Evolution of the “Ad Monetization” Role

This past October 25th, I had the privilege of moderating a panel with Ad Monetization Directors from Zynga, BigFish, MobiFuse and Kooapps. These are major players in Rewarded Video Monetization. We have discussed a variety of topics pertinent to Monetizaton, including the evolution of the Ad Monetization role in its current state.

This post covers what I was able to gather from the respondents and other GameForum participants.

The introduction of Rewarded Videos transformed ad monetization from a necessary evil to a cornerstone of the game design process. As an Ad Monetization expert, their roles have become more strategic, creative, and central to the development lifecycle. This shift is a testament to the industry’s recognition that respecting the player’s experience leads to better outcomes for all parties involved.

The Afterthought Era

In the early days, game developers poured their passion into crafting experiences, with revenue often taking a backseat until the final stages of development. Ads were a necessity, albeit a grudging one, and typically implemented in ways that were, more often than not, intrusive. They’d pop up unexpectedly, breaking the immersion and sometimes the player’s patience.

The Game Changer: Rise of Rewarded Videos Monetization

The paradigm shifted with the advent of Rewarded Video Ads. Finally, there was a way to integrate ads that players could choose to engage with and that provided tangible benefits. It was a win-win: players weren’t pulled out of their gaming experience without consent, and developers could monetize more effectively.

As this model gained traction, the role of an Ad Monetization expert was no longer an afterthought. No longer the ‘ad person,’ – Ad Monetization expert became a key player in the user experience conversation. Ad Monetization experts are involved in the design room from day one, brainstorming with creative teams to seamlessly weave ad experiences into gameplay.

The Collaborative Approach: Ad Monetization’s New Frontier

Rewarded Video Ads necessitated a new approach to game design. Now, monetization strategy informs the game’s core loop, with rewards often tied directly to player progression or customization options. This approach has led to deeper collaboration between monetization teams and game designers.

Ad monetization Experts are now involved in extensive A/B testing, user feedback sessions, and balancing economies to ensure that ads add value. It’s not just about where the ads fit, but how they fit. Understanding what motivates players to interact with ads, what rewards feel worthwhile, and how this engagement translates to retention and revenue is central to successful daily activities.

The Industry’s Reception and Future Trends

The industry’s reception to this new model has been overwhelmingly positive. Developers have seen the benefit of designing with monetization in mind from the get-go. Not only does it lead to a better integration of ads, but it also often results in a more engaging game. As a result, the number of games utilizing Rewarded Video Ads has skyrocketed.

Looking ahead, I see ad monetization becoming even more integrated with game mechanics. The rise of ‘play and earn’ models and the potential integration with virtual goods and currencies presents an exciting frontier.

Embracing the Shift

The way forward is clear: continue to innovate, integrate, and respect the players. By doing so, we’re not only improving monetization strategies but elevating the gaming experience as a whole. We here at AppLixir support every player during the game design & monetization phases. Reach out to us @AppLixir