How Advertising Plays an Important Role in the Success of Video Games

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Advertising plays a much bigger role in the success or failure of video games than you may realize. Video games, like any other product, need to be marketed in such a way that the target audience knows exactly what they’re getting before they decide to make a purchase. It wasn’t until recently that the video game industry began recognizing the value of advertisement and relying more heavily on it for growth. And with consumers becoming more connected and the gaming world experiencing rapid technological advancement, vendors will only continue to harness advertising’s potential.

The video games advertising market, though still in its nascent stage, has grown immensely over the past decade. According to analysts at Technavio, the global video games advertising market will record a CAGR close to 14% by 2020.

How video games are advertised

Interstitial ads

Interstitial ads are full screen ads that are usually displayed during natural transition points in the flow of an application. These ads give users the choice to either view the entire ad or close it and return to their application. Their large size and direct call to action are what make interstitial ads one of the most effective forms of video game advertisement.

Reward-based ads

Also known as incentivized advertising, reward-based ads offer in-game currency to gamers. Because of the popularity of smartphones and in-app purchases, the reward-based ads market has grown substantially. Most of the ads shown to the gamers in this category are either random or game-based and not personalized to the gamer’s preferences. This explains why Apple banned reward-based ads, determining them to be a distraction for users and therefore not a positive generator of sales. Reward-based ads work in specific scenarious, wherein the incentive is great enough (i.e. the reward is needed to advance to another level) for the player to want to make a purchase.

Native advertising

One of the latest trends in video game advertising, native advertising has garnered a lot of attention after being used in the US presidential campaigns of 2008 and 2012. When it comes to video game marketing, native advertising is quite useful, as it provides the gamer with a real life experience, thus helping them feel more connected with the game. This sense of connectedness can ultimately lead to the game having greater sales potential.

All three types of ads reflect the fact that the traditional mode of advertising has evolved from a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to a more engaging and personalized one. Video games are no longer geared towards children and young adults alone. In fact, today the average player is 35 years old. Additionally, men no longer dominate the gamer segment; the number of female players has significantly increased and will continue to do so over the next few years.

In short, video games have become a mainstream entertainment medium, mainly thanks to the innovative ways in which they are being advertised.


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