Three-quarters of gamers are positive or neutral to in-game advertising, with half of 25 to 44-year old gamers saying they believe ads enhance the gaming experience.
A survey of more than 1,500 gamers based in the US also revealed that two-thirds would be receptive to receiving more in-game advertising, though they were also clear that relevance, not being interrupted in gameplay and rewards or incentives for viewing ads contributed to this optimism.
The research, by in-game ad platform Anzu, found that younger gamers were generally more optimistic about in-game ads, with 32% of those aged 18 to 34 stating that they think ads enhance the in-game experience, compared to 23% of those aged 45 to 64.
A similar trend was found among those that would, in principle, welcome in-game ads - with 78% of those aged 25 to 44 saying they would, compared to 24% of those aged 45 to 64. Older gamers (19%) were also more likely to be negative towards ads in games.
“This data reveals that as long as in-game ads blend into the gaming environment, respect the content, and keep prices down, they are happy to have more of them in their games,” the report concluded.
Relevance, rewards and no disruption to gaming
More than a third of US gamers aged 25 to 44 said that they wanted ads to be as relevant as possible to the environment, while 51% said that they wanted to see a strong value exchange, with an offer of a reward for time viewing the ad and attention.
Older gamers – those aged between 45 and 64 – were more inclined to not want to be interrupted by ads in the flow of playing games (42%) and not being forced to wait to do what they wanted to do (38%)
Post-lockdown gaming behaviours
Anzu’s research revealed that contrary to previously perceived stereotypes of ‘gamers’ sitting alone glued to a screen, almost eight in 10 said that socialising and new experiences were important to them, which Anzu recommended advertisers keep in mind for targeting.
“A two for one offer with a friend, launching a new product or experience, and communicating in an engaging and friendly way are all things advertisers should consider when trying to reach players,” the report said.
Two-thirds of respondents conceded they played games more during the pandemic, while four in 10 expected to carry on playing the same amount.
Jukka Jakob, Head of Consumer Insights at Newzoo said: “Now more multi-dimensional and diverse than ever, gamers are no longer just playing games or watching gameplay videos online; being part of gaming communities, following influencers and streamers, socialising in virtual game worlds, watching TV shows based on gaming IP, and buying gaming-related clothing and merchandise are now increasingly vital components of the fun.
“With emerging technologies and the burgeoning metaverse trend, gaming is developing further into virtual spaces that empower entertainment and social interaction, further blurring the lines between traditional and contemporary forms of media. This not only presents clear opportunities to advertisers and marketers for reaching a broad, diverse audience but also offers the perfect mix of elements and channels for brand and entertainment collaborations that are unique, creative, and impactful.”