Web gaming is coming back. With the vacuum left after Flash retired and the need for players to play on their computers, new growth has emerged. With Cocos, we’ve been looking at many different ways HTML5 is growing in browsers, apps, and other places.
With our interest growing, we’re expanding help for HTML5 game developers to help them not only make better games but make money from them. We’re happy to have AppLixir, a monetization platform for HTML5 games on the web, mobile-web, and mobile sites, come to the Cocos Store. They’ve been helping game developers make money using Reward Video Ads since 2016.
With their entry into our store, we asked and were able to get a great interview with the CEO of AppLixir, Robel Alemu, about the company, issues developers face with HTML5, and why they decided to join us.
CEO of Applixer
Cocos: Before we start, what should people expect when working with AppLixir?
Robel: Great to talk to you. We all at AppLixir are gamers at heart and love helping good games. We have strong user-centered monetization expertise that combines game psychology, monetization, and ad serving technologies. We do this by focusing on easy integration, secure ad technology, and transparent reporting that’s rare in our industry. We provide a very simple integration approach, focusing on higher CPM and fill-rate optimization while ensuring the whole reward video ad platform is secure and fully encrypted.
C: Why did you decide to work with Cocos?
R: Cocos is widely known and is a mature open-source, cross-platform game development framework. It’s very famous around the Game Developer community for its rich functions, graphics rendering, GUI, audio, network, community support, and general openness.
We have many Cocos game developers in our platform that were trying to use Reward Video Ad and saw the need to create a better and easier way of using AppLixir Monetization. Fortunately, the Cocos Creator team was also receptive to our proposal and saw the need to provide monetization opportunities for their users. We were able to bring our platform to the Cocos Store.
C: It’s great to have you here. Something we have been focusing on in the future is talking HTML5. What has changed in the last few years in HTML5 gaming?
R: I feel game developers have started realizing the fundamental benefits of developing on HTML5. HTML5 games have several benefits that developers can’t get elsewhere, such as
- Cross-Platform Support – Games made with HTML5 adapt to all sorts of requirements, including resolutions, aspect ratios, screen sizes, and more. As a result, they can run on all kinds of platforms and various browsers to be accessible to everyone.
- WebGL & Canvas Capabilities – These technologies are available to create complicated browser games. Canvas allows drawing shapes and turning them into 3D images, while WebGL lets developers implement 2D and 3D content into a browser.
- Various Game Engines and Frameworks – HTML5 games can make use of many game engines and frameworks. This makes it easier to implement animations, maps, audio, physics, and much more.
C: Yes, we really think there are great reasons to be in HTML5. But some ask if there is a future in HTML5 gaming?
R: Definitely. With Adobe Flash giving birth to web games, there was finally a commanding platform for multimedia content creation on the web. With the death of flash games and subsequent developments, HTML5 has taken over that responsibility. In addition, HTML5 allows a new generation of games that do not require the loading of an external plugin and the eventual security issues that comes with it; therefore, the gameplay is more fluid and natural.
Since HTML5 is a standard that works for all compliant browsers regardless of the operating system, HTML5 games can be played on many different devices and environments without developing a specific version each time.
Last but not least, the HTML5 development environment doesn’t need a special webhook to serve ads and offers a transparent Ad serving environment that advertisers like, and pay more.
C: We’ve seen in China that many HTML5 game developers are making games that primarily use ads instead of in-app purchases due to their restrictions in the country. What type of advertising do you recommend for the western market?
R: Game developers have several options to monetize their games. One common option is using Banner/interstitial Ads, which is very easy to implement. The downside to this monetization approach is that it is terrible for the user’s gaming experience and pays very low. It’s my least favorite monetization tool.
A Rewarded Video Ad is the best monetization approach available today. The value proposition is clear and clean by having users watch a video ad, then get rewarded. This way, users get to have a premium gaming experience while the game developer generates decent revenue. Reward Video Ad provides value to everyone, from the users, developers, and advertisers. We’ve seen it come with multiple benefits:
- Better player retention through rewards
- It helps monetize a more extensive player base
- It doesn’t interfere with the flow of the game
- It is entirely optional for the player
- It brings in a secondary source of income for the developers
- It is relatively cheap to implement
C: Well, we can say all of that is true, but developers would like to know if you share some data that Rewarded Video Ads are working?
R: We are big on game analytics and measure several data points to make sure reward video ads are working for the game developer.
We provide a number of feedback mechanisms that developers can use to verify the operation of their Rewarded Video Ads. This includes local events used to provide user feedback and manage ads within their game logic plus server to server callbacks to provide feedback on all games and users to a central management server.
We’ve also monitor the rate at which users close their ads to indicate if the reward video monetization approach is working. We have an average 91% video completion rate. We monitor this as well, so if anything significant happens, we can find where developers are benefiting or having problems.
In-app purchase conversion rates have increased from users who pay for the game after the developers added reward ads. I suspect once users get a chance to try premium game material by watching reward video ads, they are more inclined to pay for it. Recent data from Unity also found out users who try premum gaming stuff are twice likely to purchase in-game materials.
C: Great information. Does knowing all of this help you show developers how to improve their monetization strategies?
R: As a game developer, the last thing you want to do is pay to acquire users, then do something to annoy them and send them off to another game with a better game and monetization design. Here are some user-centric game monetization designs that you can follow while designing your game that we found work great:
- Effective Game Design
As a game designer, one should identify opt-in Game Rewards that are useful but not crucial and tie them with Rewarded Video Ads. Rewarded Video Ads should not serve as a “cheat pass.” We have seen with games that implemented reward video ads as a “cheat pass” that users do abuse the privilege. Reward Video ads should be implemented as an optional and useful but not crucial part of the gaming experience.
- Personalized & Timely Rewards
One of the best ways to increase engagement using video ads is by segmenting your users and offering rewards that matter to them. This might mean having one segment consisting of people who do not often open the app. They might come back if they are offered more significant rewards. On the other hand, offering rewards that provide precisely what a user needs can also be helpful. Having a helping hand when it matters most can make a huge difference.
- Give People What They Want
71% of all users surveyed in a recent study pointed out that they would much rather have reward video ads instead of a paid app or in-app purchases required to advance the game. When you want to reach your audience with the reward video ad or just let your crew know that you appreciate them and everything they do, you can hop online first to ensure that everything is done correctly.
According to our study, 50% of the people who were asked reported that they would be less satisfied if the reward video ad feature were removed. As many as 80% of users choose to opt-in to these video ads, which is changing how companies handle engagement.
C: Thanks for the great information. So from this information, how would someone wanting to get into playable ads use your service from Cocos Creator?
R: Our AppLixir Reward Video Ad Monetization extension panel is available and free to use in the Cocos store. This panel provides a simple integration process that connects your game with the Applixir SDK in test mode where you can verify your integration and make sure your reward video user process is working smoothly. The extension panel will also help you through the sign-up process and to get your production account enabled once your testing is complete. We provide free support through this process if needed.