Why Game Developers Should Consider In-Game Ads And We Don’t Just Mean On Mobile

With more people playing games than ever before and 3.3BN players globally, video game development has become a big business and an extremely attractive proposition for many who have always dreamt of creating their own games.

However, the reality is it's an incredibly challenging space to work in. According to the Electronic Entertainment Design and Research Institute, just 4% of games that go into production will turn a profit, and only 20% of titles that make it to store shelves will achieve profitability.

Even if you manage to raise enough funds to launch a game and it becomes successful, there are still many costs associated with maintaining its success, including staff wages, maintenance, server costs, licensing fees, ongoing marketing efforts, and post-launch support and updates. 

With the uncertain economy we find ourselves in, many of these costs continue to rise, resulting in game developers needing more money. At the same time, players have less disposable income to spend.

Game Monetization Options

To help address this issue, our team works with game developers big and small to understand which of their games might be suitable for in-game advertising. Over the past few years, we have worked with some amazing talent and seen their studios go from strength to strength, thanks to monetizing with in-game. 

It has also been amazing to see an uptick in studios not solely based within the mobile ecosystem, signaling an industry shift towards games on PC and beyond, considering in-game as a viable monetization option for them, rather than just on mobile, which is what we have seen traditionally. 

Sometimes, it can be difficult to understand what kinds of opportunities intrinsic in-game can open up, and with that in mind, I'd like to share with you some insights from three developers who have all seen tremendous success monetizing their PC games with in-game ads.

Slapshot: Rebound by Oddshot Games

Blog_General_Oddshot Games

This is a physics-based ice-hockey PC hit, which sees players compete or team up to become the ultimate champion. We worked together to bring in-game ad placements to the game’s stadiums and locker rooms, appearing on banners and placements strategically positioned to elevate play and take nothing away from the play mechanics. Many of the ad placements simply replaced fake ads that the Oddshot team had already built into the game.

Showcasing campaigns from real brands was a welcome addition, and many players left comments to say how they felt about them. One player said, “the in-game ads look great and even fit the theme of the game. I normally hate ads, but in Slapshot: Rebound, I don’t mind them at all”. Another commented, “the in-game ads look great and even fit the theme of the game. I normally hate ads, but in Slapshot: Rebound, I don’t mind them at all.” 

The team has seen a 62% increase in revenue since the start of the partnership and a 30% immediate uplift in revenue after implementing in-game video ads in certain geos. The team shared that the consistent revenue they now gain month on month has helped them to switch their focus from revenue generation to player acquisition and retention and promoting their game to a wider audience.

Cooking Diary by MyTona


One of the globe's best-known cooking strategy titles, this PC and mobile game, sees players run their own kitchen and serve dishes to hungry customers. The in-game ad placements were a natural fit for the game's setting, sitting on walls in poster slots, where you might expect to see promotions in a real-life kitchen.

Testing and trialing the ads in one kitchen helped the team understand the best locations for them and how players navigated around them. Once they had the perfect formula, they rolled them out to all the other areas within the game.

MyTona has seen a x4 increase in total eCPM from the ads, and a x6 increase in video eCPM from the US. They have also seen a 10% increase in ad revenue since implementing the ads, which work alongside their other game monetization methods. After launching the ads, the team confirmed that they saw no change in unique user numbers, indicating that they did not harm the player experience.

Axis Football by Axis Games

Blog_General_Axis Games

Axis Football is a game we have been working with since 2020, and we recently caught up with their President to understand how their PC American football sim has continued to see success from in-game and what impact it has had on their studio.

It was amazing to hear that the revenue they’ve seen from our ad placements is roughly equivalent to the revenue they receive from game sales on a single platform and that it continues to grow significantly. They shared that revenue from in-game advertising had increased by 775% compared to the previous year. 

The game has seen campaigns from well-known brands, including Samsung, Paco Rabanne, American Eagle, Microsoft, and McDonald's, all appear around its stadiums, and players continue to enjoy the realism they bring to the experience. One player said, "Just like in an actual stadium, the billboards and banner ads reflect real-life products, and they change from game to game. Having this feature in Axis Football really elevates the immersion in the stadiums.”

To hear more about game monetization and what opportunities in-game ads could offer you, check out this on-demand webinar where I spoke to three of our most successful PC game developers, or to get in touch with our team, leave your details below, and we will reach out.

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Maor Wurembrand

Maor is Anzu's Director Of Growth Management and works closely with lots of our game publishers.

Maor Wurembrand