‘You can’t put ads in a battle builder,’ Next Games’ peers told them. ‘No one’s ever done it and it will never work.’ This was the general message that Next Games — one of the stars of Helsinki’s thriving mobile games scene — got from their fellow developers when they pegged them for feedback on their monetization plans.
Rather than abandoning the idea of using a view-to-play model in their two breakaway hit games — the IP-based battle builder, Compass Point: West, and the strategy game, The Walking Dead: No Man’s Land, based on the popular comic book and AMC TV series — Next Games decided to go about it in a different way. Instead, Next Games put extra effort into incorporating the video ads in a way that added to the overall game experience, enticing players to immerse themselves even deeper in the game.
As Saara Bergström, Next Games’ CMO, put it, “the increased engagement and retention from a good video ads experience puts money in our pocket from the increased lifetime value of our players.”
After some monetization research, Next Games knew that video ads, if integrated in the right way, would indeed work in both their titles. The trick was that they had to design and fit ads into the natural gameplay experience.
Next Games implemented this approach by integrating rewarded video ads into their games, using their own lead game designer to make them feel like a natural part of gameplay. What’s more, the technical integration was — as Bergström said — “remarkably painless.”
Find out how Next Game’s players have embraced rewarded video ads and both engagement and retention has skyrocketed.