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F2P dev survey: In-game mobile ads becoming viable revenue source

The game analytics company DeltaDNA has published its ad survey results for 2018, sharing data taken from a survey of 336 developers of free-to-play mobile games over a 12 month period.

Game analytics company DeltaDNA has published its ad survey results for 2018, sharing data taken from a survey of 336 developers of free-to-play mobile games over a 12 month period.

The findings could be useful for mobile developers who might want some insight into how they'd like to monetize their game in the future. 

The survey revealed that even though the majority of casual and hardcore games are still earning half or more of their revenue from in-app purchases, ad revenue is finally becoming viable.

A majority of casual game developers make less than 40 percent of their revenue from ads, but 16 percent said they earned 80 percent or more from the same source.

In comparison, 70 percent of hardcore game developers said their games made more than 20 percent of revenue from ads - up from only 50 percent reporting the same amount last year.

  • Developers are more confident about integrating ads, with 21 percent showing five or more ads per session.
  • The number of developers who classify in-game ads as an ‘important monetization opportunity’ has grown from 39 percent in 2016 to 59 percent in 2018, indicating a cultural shift within the industry.

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