Social games looking to advertise within their games may branch out into unskippable video ads, among other measures. At least, that is the thinking of social gaming company Zynga, speaking at GDC in San Francisco this year.
Zynga’s ad platform director Joshua Burgin and head of ad sales marketing Jeff Colen said during a presentation that including in-game video advertisements in the PC versions of social games might be a viable way to expand advertising. Burgin said of players who would be viewing the ads that “Although they might complain — and that’s fine — they rarely leave” but he pointed out that developers would have to consider when it would be appropriate to air those in-game ads.
Implementing the idea on mobile devices would be a tougher proposition, since the player will either have to sit through the ad or quit the game since there are no real multitasking options on the average mobile device. This, Zynga says, could lead to players abandoning the game altogether.
Social games are typically free-to-play so some form of advertising is usually expected. If Zynga and other similar developers can pull off an unskippable ad inside a game it could open the door for wider adoption, though there would likely be an outcry from gamers if premium-priced games were to attempt something along these lines.