Why are we wasting so much time fixing GS to run ads in apps?

sinbotsinbot Member, PRO Posts: 225

Just one persons opinion, likely in the minority, but personally I hate ads as a user and as a dev. I see no point in pursuing ads for monetization unless you plan on having a million users for your app. Otherwise, it just kills the user experience. How much is anyone actually making with ads? A fraction of a penny per click? The platform takes 30% profit. Sounds ridiculous to me and looks like it's just gumming up GS with issues and delaying features and fixes that would be making GS a greater tool.

Again, just one developers take on this subject but I would like to know why this of all things is such a priority. I think I've been reading about ongoing add fixes for months now.


  • ArmellineArmelline Member, PRO Posts: 5,066

    I personally agree, I try to avoid ads whenever possible both as a user and a developer. But they are popular and important to GameSalad's viability for independent developers, so I guess it makes sense they need to devote resources there.

  • jamie_cjamie_c ImagineLabs.rocks Member, BASIC Posts: 5,772

    I agree on a personal level as well, I hate ads as a user and I never use them as a developer. But I've never made much money with my games either, I make them mostly for the enjoyment of the process. I certainly can see that they are important to some developers so I'm sure it makes sense for Gamesalad to keep maintaining them.

  • pinkio75pinkio75 Member, PRO Posts: 1,071
    edited May 2020

    Personally i believe that ADV is necessary today to publish free games.

    But if you are developing games maybe to be published on steam etc then yes the advertising doesn't make much sense.

    But I believe that 90% of small developers who approach to the world of "mobile video games" need advertising to finance themselves.

  • adent42adent42 Key Master, Head Chef, Executive Chef, Member, PRO Posts: 2,246
    edited May 2020

    I'm not a big fan of ads, but I know it's necessary for a lot of devs. And since we "advertise" it as a features (pun intended), we need to make sure it works right.

    The other good side effect is that updating the ad networks forces upgrades of a whole bunch of other stuff (at least on Android).

    We now use the next-to-latest android support libraries, upgraded Google Play Game Services libraries (which I should document in the RC notes), and multidex support, which means we can add more libraries to the build (for things other than ads, like maybe analytics).

    As a result of the ad upgrade, I also found some places where we could make compiled app size smaller by removing some unused stuff on iOS.

    Luckily, we're now off Ads as a major release cycle driver (at least until one of the stores forces some change on us or another).

    Here's our tentative roadmap (it's very loose right now. Once we nail it down a bit more, I'll give it it's own thread):

    • Upgrade Google Play Billing. Support subscriptions on Android Google Play.
    • Support subscriptions on Android Amazon App Store
    • Android expansion file support (> 100MB games).
    • On server app signing / updated android app singing for desktop apps.
    • Install attribution (important if you're using ad networks to promote your games).
    • Kid friendly ad network. Features needed for child targeted apps.

    I know for people that don't use ads, it seems like wasted time, but there are definitely side benefits. This build looks pretty stable, so the "ad" stuff should be done, at least for a while.

  • sinbotsinbot Member, PRO Posts: 225

    Thank you for informative response : ) Plenty to chew on!

  • adent42adent42 Key Master, Head Chef, Executive Chef, Member, PRO Posts: 2,246

    Minor edit... we are NOW off ads as a release driver. (It previously said NOT).

    There's a couple of updates related to IronSrc on iOS we are waiting on, but those are more drop-in-replacements than long upgrades, because we've already done the hard work.

  • adriangomezadriangomez Member, PRO Posts: 301
    edited May 2020

    Most of my money comes from ads. I have tried paid apps and very few people pay for them. Paid apps are even harder to advertise since some big networks do not allow you to advertise paid apps (they get paid by installs).

    I have also tried free but with in app purchases. It takes thousands and thousands of installs before anybody will pay $1.00 for a random item. Again all ad networks I know of require their SDK or an attribution provider to advertise. So you will still need the ad networks for user acquisition. Keyword ASO, social media and asking your friends to download in the current environment is not enough for most indy developers to get enough users, therefor paid user acquisition and ad networks is a necessity even if you don't plan to show 1 ad in your game.

    There are some indy developers that will produce something and it will grow like wildfire, but that is more like winning the lottery than a day to day occurrence.

    I make about $2.41 per 1000 impressions including banners. For example yesterday I averaged 104 impression per user in one of my apps. Just 10 users a day would bring me $2.41. It is a lot more than fractions of a penny per click. It also means that if I acquire any users for under 24 cents, I am making some sort of a profit.

    So if you are doing it for fun (and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that) then yes I see how ads seem like a waste but the free to play model is what is currently in vogue. And for small indies for better or for worse ads is currently the only way to get consistency paid.

  • stragstrag Member, PRO Posts: 613

    @adent42 With regards to the roadmap please don't forget the custom resolutions issue...affects me on a daily basis and would really appreciate a fix soon if poss.

    And P.S. I also use ads and would strongly advocate keeping them as although they're not a huge earner it's at least something in return for the work involved.

  • unbeatenpixelunbeatenpixel Game Developer Member, PRO Posts: 567

    More than 50% of my income comes from ads. As someone who pays taxes and runs his own company, it is not possible to do a sustainable business in the mobile gaming industry without ads. At least for now. So if gamesalad does not support ads, I will stop using it instantly. Nothing personal it's just business.

    If there is no pressure to generate income, as a gamer or as a developer, I prefer premium games.

    Check out my games on the App Store!

    Wordgraphy / Polycolor / 20 Seconds / Minimal Maze

  • adent42adent42 Key Master, Head Chef, Executive Chef, Member, PRO Posts: 2,246

    Yah, ads are here to stay. And as much as I don't like ads, I like free games more and a lot of free games are enabled by ads! Once we complete subscriptions, that give our developers a lot of options when it comes to monetization. Who knows, maybe the latest ad updates will buy us enough time to implement some sort of crypto bases monetization scheme! (And before anyone panics, it's not a high priority thing, just something I've started seeing more gaming startups getting into and something I like keeping an eye on).

  • sinbotsinbot Member, PRO Posts: 225

    Interesting take on it. Very few of the apps I use often, or most enjoy, have ads. For example 'Monument Valley', Filmic Pro, Kings Road, etc... I would suggest changing your business model. "Free Apps" with ads is what has actually caused issues with trying to get a flat price for your work now. Lot of people expect everything to be free. Either a flat price or IAP, assuming of course the product is unique or of high quality to begin with.

  • pinkio75pinkio75 Member, PRO Posts: 1,071

    Honestly i think that today no one user wants to pay for download games.

  • freneticzfreneticz SwedenMember, PRO Posts: 740
  • UltraLionBluUltraLionBlu Member, PRO Posts: 157

    I think a lot also depends on the quality of the published game, is it very nice? Then someone will sacrifice and see the advertisements or maybe pay to remove them. Is the game bad? It is probably not going to be successful, at which point it is published for personal satisfaction and you can avoid inserting boring advertisements.

    But it is only fair that gamesalad will offer these options to developers

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