After signing deals with both EA and High-Rez Studios, we could start seeing TV and mobile-like video advertisements and commercials in console games sometime in the future. The PlayerWON platform would bring short 15 or 30-second spots to players in games in order to unlock certain perks in the games, which would vary depending on the title and how the developer or publisher chooses to implement the feature.
Owned by TV ad tech company Simulmedia, PlayerWON’s console gaming ads have already been undergoing targeted testing for a year. The idea was to take a practice common to mobile games and apps and see if console players would endure something similar in exchange for in-game rewards.
Simulmedia EVP Dave Madden says that PlayerWON is targeted to players that never spend money in free-to-play games, in order to provide an additional source of revenue to developers. “The acceleration of free-to-play (F2P) games across console and PC, like Fortnite, Apex Legends, Call of Duty Warzone, and Roblox, means that audiences and play time have seen explosive growth, yet the vast majority of players, over 90%, never spend money F2P games.”
Additionally, these kinds of targeted advertisements are a way that marketers can reach the highly valued younger and cord-cutting audience who aren’t seeing advertisements regularly on TV. Simulmedia also says that its pilot campaign in the free-to-play game Smite showed players were 22% more likely to play a game and 11% more likely to spend money within the game if they watched in-game ads that gave them access to more gaming perks. This is the same strategy you see many mobile developers use to engage and retain players who are reluctant to pay for anything in free-to-play mobile titles. Data also showed that players were willing to watch up to 10 advertisements for an assortment of in-game perks.
The cost to marketers to run these ads is also significantly lower than what it costs to run them on TV or even streaming services, creating a lucrative new advertising market that can reach an even more valuable audience. Axios notes that “A 2020 analysis from Morgan Stanley finds that that reward-based console advertising could reach $2 billion even if only 45% of gamers opt-in.”
The next stage is for Simulmedia and PlayerWON to keep building its advertiser network and sign with additional games and studios. Madden says it plans to have PlayerWON’s in-game advertising service launched in about 12 more games by the end of the year.
So far it doesn’t look like the ads will be too invasive, being optional and player-controlled for the time being. However, we could see a lot more free-to-play titles (and, god forbid, premium games) start to implement the in-game ads in exchange for in-game rewards in the future as advertisers try to figure out new ways to reach consumers and studios seek out additional ways to make money.
Would you watch ads for in-game rewards in your favorite games? Do you already take part in this practice with mobile games? Let us know your thoughts after you get through our own sea of ads to find the comments below.[Source: Axios; Via: VG247]
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