I talked the other day about increasing retention and session times with the aim of generating as much ad revenue as possible. One thing I didn’t mention however was that I’m also planning to reduce the frequency of ads I actually serve to the user. But wait a minute, wouldn’t that actually generate me less revenue?

Well in the case of Dare the Monkey I’m hoping it’ll work to my advantage and this is based on feedback. As I’ve pointed out recently, I’ve held back the release of Dare to address things that have been brought up during user testing. One of those things is ad frequency. At the moment users are feeling spammed by ads and they’re finding it off putting.

Currently an ad is served after every third retry. It doesn’t sound like much but Dare the Monkey is an action game that’s very much based on memory. For a new user playing a level for the first time, I’m finding they’ll only survive for a handful of seconds on each attempt as they get used to the environment. This however results in the user’s rhythm and concentration being constantly broken every twenty seconds or so by an ad.

While most skilled gamers ramp up quickly and get to the point where they’re happily surviving for most of a level’s duration, the larger audience of casual gamers take much longer to get to that point. Unfortunately most of my audience will be casual gamers and for them the serving of ads within the game will always be too frequent and feel a little spammy. I don’t want this since constantly serving ads will only frustrate these players and ultimately lead to them moving on to some other game.

So the solution is simple. Serve less ads and hope that this encourages players to stick around longer. And of course, if the users do stick around longer then I’ll generate more revenue from ads in the long run anyway.

So if your own indie game relies on ads to generate your revenue then you might want to think carefully about their frequency. To generate revenue for ads you’ll need to be in for the long haul and users simply won’t stick around if those ads get in the way of them enjoying your game.