Mobile Ads don’t harm Player Experience


It is always said that as a developer you must be the first user of your app. This enables you to take a very close look of the would-be user experience. If you put a couple of advertisements in between your app you get mixed opinions. On one hand it might spoil your experience and on the other it may also enhance it. Mobile ads can be very crucial in determining the overall user experience.

None the less, it has been quite a common thing for most of the people to complain about advertisements during an app’s usage. How far is this true? We did some extensive research with the best  companies around the globe and got our answer. Well, it is a complete myth that mobile ads destroy user experience.

If you fail to use to the correct advertisement at the correct time then for obvious reasons the user experience is going to be horrendous. Proper planning and execution lets you deliver seamless experience even with a few mobile ads. Mobile ads are eventually very important for developers as they are a main source of revenue.

Experts speak

Let us tell you what some of the biggest gaming companies think of mobile ads. In a recent seminar, we had the opportunity to share the room with CEOs of big gaming companies which included Next Games (creators of The Walking Dead: No man’s land), DeNA, ICO Group and SEGA. Our primary aim was to let the experts answer this particular question. Here is what they had to say:

  • Barry Dorf, former member, DeNA said that, “If you start your game with an interstitial, then a mobile banner, and then a video, of course that’s going to negatively affect the player experience”
  • Sulka Haro from Next Games shares, “Placing  videos at the end of a session or level typically yields more engagement than at the beginning”
  • Jorge Pardo, CEO, ICO Group mentioned “Never interrupt highly emotional moments in the game”

Collectively summing up, all of them were of the same opinion which is mobile ads do not destroy user experience if they are used wisely and at the right time. If integrated properly, mobile ads prove to do good for both the user as well as developer.

When to insert mobile ads?

Developers need advertisements for revenue. Therefore, it as an absolute necessity to insert mobile ads. The question is when should you insert an ad. Finding out the right juncture to insert mobile ads holds the highest relevance.

Barry Dorf, from DeNA has already stated that if you keep on having commercial repetitions in terms of interstitial, mobile banner and a video then you are definitely going to affect the user in a negative way. It would be rational if you let your user play a game before showing ads. This does not spoil the enthusiastic mood of your user. What most of the developers tend to do is showcasing a whole bunch of advertisements in order to generate money fast.

Mobile ads also do not restrict you to be showcased only at the end of ‘things’. You need to plan the exact intervals at which they are going to get displayed. Game developers need to assess which specific levels, tasks or game play elements would be apt for integration. Placing mobile ads at the end of a session or a level have better chances of engagement than placing them at the beginning. If a player is completely engaged in the game then there are chances of generating better revenue.

Mobile Advertising

You also need to understand a player’s emotional frame in a game. Emotional framework decides whether they are going to click a video or an ad in between their game. Jorge Prado, CEO of ICO, believes that one must not interrupt highly emotional moments in a game. As soon as there is a moment of stagnancy you can pop in an ad. This is the right period to continue the fun.

Choosing the right type of mobile ads

Once you are clear about getting the perfect timing of displaying an ad, you must consider choosing the right type. Ads which have rewards related to the game have been more successful than interstitial and banner ads. Rewarding ads increase revenues for the developer immediately and for the long term.

eCPMs are generally higher in case of mobile ads than other ad units. Rewarded ads have contributed in uplifting the in-game economy. People tend to purchase a few extra lives for some other incentive. Mike Evans from SEGA says that there is an uplift in IAP with rewarded video campaigns.

Even then rewarded ads do not hold good for every type of game. Developers need to get hold of different types of ads which can be used in a game. The ads need to be quick and short.


The panel came to a conclusion that there are two facets in mobile ads. Firstly, what type of ad is being showcased and secondly when is it going to be displayed. Games which will be played by kids should not display inappropriate ads. Games to be played by young adults should have ads matching their taste.

Game developers need to get into minds of their audience. It is the state of mind which gets engaged while playing games. Uselessly popping too many ads or maybe not at all showing ads can both prove harmful. People do not like to get annoyed and also need breaks in between. Hitting the right chord is the only choice for developers. Don’t think like a CRO but think like a user while displaying mobile ads.

You should start off playing your own game. If an ad annoys you then there are likeliness that it would annoy the user twice the amount. Going to both the extremes is a very bad idea. Getting the right balance is needed. You should have apps for monetization but at the right time and in the right numbers.
Don’t forget to read this amazing article too: Advertising on Android Apps: Why you are failing!

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