If like me, you are a mobile gamer you will know there are a wealth of fantastic games you can pick up on both The Play Store and Itunes. Some of these require a small fee, occasionally one requires a large fee and sometimes they are totally free.
Sting in the tail
One thing that you can find in many of these games is advertisements. These come in all shapes and sizes and are presented in different ways depending on the business model of the company. Sometimes they are subtle and sometimes they make, what could be, a good game unplayable. However, it would seem like they are here to stay. Let’s examine some of the ways that ads are included.
Speed up timers
This is common in games where you are building a city or a base. The upgrade is going to take a couple of hours but if you watch an add it will knock off 15 minutes. Before you know it you have watched 8 adds in a row and spent fifteen minutes having your tablet or phone effectively try and sell you stuff!
Giving you boosts
This is another tactic used in many games. Watching a quick advert gives your character a boost. It may be a power-up, or an extra troop, perhaps a cash injection. If a games business model is to make cash through advertising then their game will be designed around trying to tempt you to watch that advert. Sometimes at the expense of the gameplay itself.
These are the most irritating variety of advert. At least when you have the other kind you have chosen to view them and you get some kind of payoff. The random videos that pop up can sometimes go on for about a minute and can really kill the immersion. I have personally found games that I would have happily sunk time and money into had it not been for the offensive over-use of adverts.
Paying to remove ads
Some games have an option where you can pay to play without any adverts. If there is a game with an annoying amount of pop-ups but you can see the potential in it, sometimes this is worth paying. However, it can be misleading. You can pay that fee and if you want that “cash boost” you still have to watch an advert. While it may block out the pop-up ads, it will still try and entice you into generating advertising money for them.
These are fine. Feel free to post a banner on your game and make money that way. My brain can block that out. This seems like a nice halfway house.
Adverts in paid games
These are the worst. If you have forked over your hard earned cash you deserve an advert free environment! Games that do this should be taken away and have nasty things done to them.
Are adverts ever a positive in a game?
They can be. I have to admit I have discovered some pretty cool mobile games just by watching adverts on games that I am playing. What is irritating is when the advert and the game are nothing alike. You just really want to know where they got their stolen game footage from.
Why they need to stay
Unfortunately, adverts are a big way in which mobile app producers make money. That coupled with in-app purchases is their only source of income. While it might be irksome to you to have adverts rammed down your throat, without them we wouldn’t have half of the epic free games that we get today. Yes, it’s true that some games cross the line and the advertising becomes too much, but ultimately we decide what we play and what we delete.