Yesterday we posted about news of Apple cracking down on ads that reward players for viewing advertisements. NimbleBit has fully embraced this sort of thing, and if you've played Disco Zoo you've no doubt watched a few Vungle ads to get some free bux. NimbleBit and other developers would potentially be hit pretty hard, or need to make substantial changes to their games, assuming Apple goes forward with mass-rejecting games that incentivize players sharing their game or viewing in-game ads. NimbleBit's David Marsh writes the following guest editorial:


In a perfect world we would not put ads in any of our games. The unfortunate truth however is that ads are an important part of being able to deliver people the apps they love for free. There have been rumors recently that Apple is considering banning a certain type of ad, incentivized video ads (or as we like to call them, opt-in ads).

NimbleBit has built a reputation on the App Store for making free games that are fun, fair, and respects players. We love opt-in video ads because we feel that they most closely fit those values, and we have transitioned to exclusively using opt-in ads because of it. This isn’t about money for us. We don’t make much more or less using opt-in ads than if we use regular, pop-up interstitial ads. We really do think it provides a better experience for players.

Nobody wants to see ads when playing a game, not the players and not us.

Pop-up interstitial ads assault the player, interrupting them while they are trying to play a game. It’s disrespectful to the player, and signals that we don’t respect the players time spent in our game. It also ruins the flow and immersion in an app. Opt-in ads are great because they can sit alongside an app as an optional extra without blocking the player from playing the game!

optin

In the past when we have added pop-up interstitials to our apps, the response from our players has been pretty negative. From one-star reviews to warnings not to update our app because the update includes ads. In comparison, we have not gotten a single complaint about opt-in ads, except for people complaining when they aren’t showing up! The player response to the opt in ads has been overwhelmingly and universally positive.

The ads actually work as intended when they are opt-in.

The first instinct a player has when an ad pops up, blocking their game is to smash the close button. Players feel disrespected when an ad randomly pops up to interrupt them, and the result is that they have been trained to disregard ads. Opt-in ads provide a totally different context for advertising:

Pop-up ads:

popups
Opt-in ads:

movie-theater-auditorium-540x360

When an ad is forced on players, they only notice it grudgingly and many times if they do tap on it, it’s by accident. Pop-up ads have to compensate for this by being increasingly outlandish and attention grabbing in order to make the player stop and notice it. When players opt-in to watching an ad, they actually consider the ad for it’s content. Since they have agreed to spend 15 seconds of their time in return for something in the game, they actually make the effort to form a value judgement on the presented video. This does not incentivize downloading the app! It only incentivizes considering an ad, and it leaves the decision to download the app to the player. We often hear anecdotal evidence from players that while they have never (purposefully) followed an unprompted pop-up ad in any of our games, they have actually found a few interesting games through the opt-in video ads because they found the ad convincing.

Opt-in ads, better for players.

Opt-in ads fit our mission of respecting players. We would hate to have to remove them from our games. If Apple does ban opt-in incentivized video ads, we would be forced to either go back to pop-up ads, or not replace them and lose out on a significant portion of our revenue. Here is a breakdown of where our revenue comes from:

(IAP/Opt-in Video Ads) percentage of revenue:

  • Disco Zoo: 50/50
  • Tiny Tower: 60/40
  • Pocket Planes: 68/32
  • Pocket Frogs: 62/38

If we did go back to using pop-up ads, we would expect a sizable backlash from our player community. We wouldn’t blame them. We hope that Apple doesn’t choose to get rid of these opt-in ads, our players like them and we like them too.


NimbleBit Co-Founder David Marsh can be reached on Twitter @nimbledave.

  • http://afterpad.com/ Kevin MacLeod

    Regardless of where anyone stands on paid vs free, or ads, or any of that stuff, this has always seemed like a relatively harmless monetization method.

    If Apple wants a cut of the pie on this, they should offer a similar feature through iAd.

    If Apple has a moral objection to this... well... there are worse things happening in the App Store than opt-in advertisements.

    • Bliquid

      +1

      • RebekkahBooseyesu

        like
        Jacqueline implied I'm taken by surprise that a mom can earn $8130 in 1 month
        on the computer . see post F­i­s­c­a­l­p­o­s­t­.­C­O­M­

    • drlemon

      Like candy crush 2?

    • Rennerd

      Wait, is this the Kevin MacLeod who makes the music? :0

      • http://afterpad.com/ Kevin MacLeod

        Nope - tech writer and art photographer ;)

    • DMan2385

      To me, this is not Apple trying to have a "cut of a pie". I think what they are trying to do is to stop artificial manipulation of downloads of apps and games through methods implemented through these types of adds by incentivizing people to download certain adds so that they can get free stuff in games.

      • http://arena-games.net/ Solwega

        Well, agreed. But the app charts are crappy anyways: Flappy Birds wherever you look?! So no need to protect the download-stats. ;)

    • DMan2385

      It's all about surfacing better content through the charts and elsewhere and by cracking down on this type behavior, I believe they are hoping that it will result in better apps and games. And who knows, maybe it will lead to people actually paying for content instead of trying to get it for free (and humorously actually ending up actually paying MORE in the process due to the way F2P works.)

      • http://afterpad.com/ Kevin MacLeod

        While I won't get into whether or not Apple is RIGHT to come down on this form of monetization (there are pros and cons), I'm not sure this is the best way to do it.

        Ad-based games with much more sleazy monetization techniques than this keep getting featured and highlighted by Apple themselves. If they want to exercise editorial control over what types of monetization are acceptable, maybe they should stop promoting those games!

      • DMan2385

        In what are you referring to? Just curious.

      • DMan2385

        Seems to me the editorial team at Apple is really good at promoting and surfacing games and apps that are really good and worth people paying attention to.

      • negitoro

        An issue here is whether the teams highlighting the apps are the same teams determining approval policies. Obviously, their goals may vary slightly.

    • anabolicMike

      Yeah man. I like the optins. Dungeon dice lets you go to the theatre to watch ads for a reward. It's awesome. I don't watch em cause I don't care HOWEVER my three year old thinks that's the best part in the game. Let's go watch a movie at the theatre daddy! Awesome idea that should not be punished. I agree with the guy who wrote the article because when am ad is thrust on me I hit close right away. When playing an optin ad I actually pay attention cause I figure if the dev cares that much to put that much effort into not annoying us and giving us a choice, the ad must be worth watching. Heh. Kevin McLeod of the clan McLeod is right too

  • TrencH

    I don't have any arguments with what was said. I just cannot fathom why Apple would even consider it. The pop ups are the worst. I play a little of the Tribes games because I feel the world is charming and warm (for lack of a better description). What I can't stand is when all of a sudden I get pop ups hawking iap, or trying to get me to spam share my friends or games spamming the billboards for other games by the same game maker. It's ridiculous.

    The click to watch I have used multiple times in Disco Zoo and I know local friends near me who have done the same thing to get extra attempts at exploring and finding more zoo animals. It works and is unobtrusive.

    Why ruin what works for everyone? How does it negatively effect Apple? Have they ever clarified this?

    • TJF588

      What you described immediately brought to mind "grinding". If it takes 15 seconds to do what takes more mindless effort in traditional games, I can't see that as entirely bad. More transparently time-wasting, but maybe that's better: you know it's a trade-off.

  • Ubisububi

    I tend to steer clear of F2P, but of the few I've played, I can definitely say that opt-in ads are far better for gamers than forced ads.

    This raises the question: why is Apple doing this? If it's for Gamers, they clearly haven't thought it through. It's more likely, however, that this somehow affects their bottom line because that's generally the only thing that stirs them to action. Perhaps they're hoping this will drive developers to use their in-game ad platform. If this is the case, appealing to gamers on this issue is unfortunately pointless.

  • thiagovscoelho

    "NimbleBit has built a reputation on the App Store for making free games that are fun, fair, and respects players."
    I'd only say so in comparison to King, but that's me.

    • Gavin C

      Just curious if you have a better example. The Nimblebit games have always been the gold standard for me in terms of F2P design.

    • http://afterpad.com/ Kevin MacLeod

      If you don't like f2p, NimbleBit games won't change your mind. But if you don't have an inherent dislike of the model, NimbleBit really does do a great job with it.

    • Bliquid

      Tbh, the only times i put money in a Nimblebit game was because i felt guilty for playing them for free.
      Not once i NEEDED or even felt slightly the need to buy resources with real money.

      • thiagovscoelho

        Sure, neither do people usually pay for Candy Crush. That's not the point. They have real awful f2p mechanics.

  • C. Stubb

    Well written piece. I feel like the popular opinion amongst the Touch Arcade readers is that free-to-play is an inherently "evil" or "predatory" system. (I must admit that I was of the same disposition at one point.) This is a good reminder that in free-to-play, like all other things, there is a good way and a bad way to go about it.

  • skinnyceps

    The question is: apple make money with opt-in ads?
    I think no, this is why they don't want it.

  • diego

    First of all, I don't like F2P and I don't know what is the best way of presenting ads in a game. I just wanted to make a comment on the respectfulness of different kinds of ads.

    I think opt-in ads might *look* like a more respectful way of using ads, but to me they are even worse than some normal ads (obviously intrusive pop-ups in the middle of gameplay are the worst of all).

    Consider banners or unobtrusive pop-ups: they are very honest. It's like the developer is saying "hey, I know this is not cool, but I did my best to annoy you as little as possible." Now, when you see an opt-in ad, you can imagine the developer thinking "hey, we didn't want to be disrespectful, so we decided that you will have to be disrespectful to yourself unless you buy an IAP or something :-)". And being disrespectful to oneself is one of the worst feelings!

    Opt-in ads are only respectful of the players that are willing to pay.

    • BoonyTuesday

      I agree with this message. Banners with a way to opt out is the most honest way I can think of for forcing ads on people. If I like a free game, I have no problem clicking on the ad a couple times then pay to opt out.

    • http://nimblebit.com David Marsh

      The reason I don't like banner ads is that they take up screen-space and they are usually conveniently placed near buttons you need to hit in the game...
      I find them very distracting.

      • diego

        yeah, to be fair it depends on the game: in flappy bird a banner is ok, in aworded, a pop up after playing is reasonable too. In Disco Zoo I'd much rather have a pop-up between menus (removable through IAP), but the opt-in ad is not too bad in comparison.

      • DMan2385

        My problem with what you call "opt-in" adds is how it fucks with Top Charts. You have to admit that by providing incentives like "download this game and get extra rubies!!!", you are manipulating the charts to your advantage and therefore incentivizing people to download apps not because they are good but because you can get free shit if you use these "opt-in" adds.

      • eeenmachine

        The ads don't incentivize the installation of apps, you get the gift/reward whether you simply close the ad or decide to install it. Completely up to the player.

      • DMan2385

        Of course they do! I have seen it a million times in free-to-play games. Maybe there are some that you don't have to technically download but most people don't realize that and hence it fucks with the App Charts by artificially increasing the downloads of apps that participate in those tactics.

        And let's be honest here, do to the way F2P games are architect, there is HUGE incentives for people to watch these videos or download these apps to get "more currency" since eventually they are going to be in a spot where they need more of these currency consumables to progress further in the game.

      • DMan2385

        It's really straight up manipulation and if cracking down on ads that incentivize people to watch or download or sign up for a certain service so that someone can get "free currency" in a game, from my point-of-view that is probably a good thing and it's probably in Apple's best interest to prevent this type of manipulation from happening.

      • Little White Bear

        NimbleBit, among many other developers, clearly spell out to the player
        that they are getting rewarded for WATCHING the video, prior to the
        video ever appearing. The entire point is to give players who don't want
        to pay the opportunity to trade 15 seconds of their time for a reward.
        Tricking them into believing they have to download an app to get the
        reward is counterproductive.

      • DMan2385

        But that is exactly what a lot of developers do. Maybe NimbleBit doesn't but there a lot of games that do.

      • Little White Bear

        Then those developers are idiots, as they'd make a lot more money by having the player watch tons of ads vs a handful of installs, over the same time period. Scummy devs are always going to be out there, and their methods can be stopped via a clear rule set of how to present the videos, rather than throwing out an entire concept that a very large amount of players absolutely love.

      • DMan2385

        Let's be honest, I think most people don't " love " watching trailers of other games or installing other games that they are not interested in. What they LOVE is getting that free consumable or currency once they watch these videos or download "x" app.

      • Little White Bear

        I said they love the concept, which is trading small amounts of their time for reward, rather than paying for it. Of course most players don't love to watch commercials, without some sort of incentive. It's a simple tradeoff, which many players seem to be happy with. As a secondary benefit, that tradeoff stops the game from showing ads to people who would never want to watch them, no matter the incentive. The developer earns money. The player earns a reward. The video publisher gets the eyeballs they paid for, with a small chance it convinced the player to investigate the game that's advertised. And the ad hating players never have to see the ads. Everybody wins.

      • DMan2385

        IMHO not everyone wins. The video publisher DEFINITELY wins, the F2P game wins (although according NimbleBit, the amount of money made by these types of adds are negligible, which begs the question then why even have them?), but the people who lose are the consumer and the surfacing of good content and games through charts and other various means.

        I don't believe these type of ad and ad networks surface better content and better games. It seems purely a money grab to me.

      • Little White Bear

        How is 32-50% of NimbleBit's income per game a negligible amount of money? Seems like quite the opposite.

        Video ads aren't going to go away. Apple is rolling out video iAds soon enough, so they clearly see the benefit. I understand you feel rewarding a player for watching an ad somehow affects the charts in a significant way. I have no proof of that one way or the other. Nor do either of us have proof that non-rewarded interstitial video ads affect the charts. So there isn't a lot of point to us arguing without concrete facts. But, I do absolutely maintain that players who like free games, and have no intention of paying for anything in them, overwhelmingly prefer opt in videos vs forced videos that interrupt game play.

      • DMan2385

        Oh my bad. I didn't realize he was comparing interstitial adds with incentivized video adds.

        But my point still stands. And of course players prefer watching incentivized video adds and thats because they get a reward at the end!! All this doesn't mean that it isn't manipulative and has a harmful effect on the App Store market place.

      • Little White Bear

        What is the harmful effect on the App Store marketplace? The premise that some devs are tricking people into downloading apps? By all means, Apple should enforce a set of rules for presenting an opt in video, just like they enforce how IAP is implemented.

        But if you're saying you're upset that opt in video advertising makes people more aware of one game over another, because they actually watch the ad while they're in a good mood, well yeah, that's kind of the entire goal of advertising in every market. And every market has their own version of reward based advertising.

        I realize you want an App Store utopia, where all games are paid up front. That App Store hasn't existed for many years, and that's clearly how Apple steered it. Free games sell hardware a hell of a lot better than paid games.

        Has it tipped too far in the other direction lately? Probably. Are there ways to even it out, yet still allow developers to earn an actual living in a market where $2 is considered too much of an investment for a paid game? I have no idea.

        As a developer myself, I just try to make honest games that hopefully make a profit, in a very crowded market that is constantly evolving. I've personally found that opt in video ads are profitable AND make large amounts of players happy. More players than IAP. More players than paid versions of the same game. And more players than any other type of forced ad.

        But now, I must retire for the night. Games to make in the morning. Thank you for the civil conversation, despite our disagreements.

      • akekid

        What I don't like is Apple making me do something I don't want to do. I happen to like opt in ads. Sometimes I even download the game or app because I'm interested in them. I know I don't have to download them but I do anyways. I'm not trying to manipulate charts or what ever but it's far better than the alternative which is an app popping up in the middle of my game play or a banner taking up valuable screen real estate.

      • Little White Bear

        And your scenario is exactly how advertising should work. You're not forced into viewing it, and because of that, you're in an open frame of mind to be willing to listen to the pitch. If it sounds interesting to you, you download it. :)

      • bilboa

        I think you've hit the nail on the head with regard to why Apple is doing this. They seem to be trying to eliminate ways of using incentives to "game the system". Users might not mind these type of rewards, but they aren't the only parties involved. People shopping for apps are affected negatively if the charts can be artificially manipulated, or people are basically paid off to Like things on Facebook. Advertisers can be negatively affected if they are paying for ad views by users who don't actually care about the product and are just watching it to get a reward. And finally Apple itself is negatively affected if the App Store gets a reputation for being a sleazy place.

        I would also point out that while the author of this piece is afraid that Apple will ban what his company is doing, Apple hadn't actually done so yet. If you wan to figure out what Apple is up to it makes sense to pay more attention to what they're actually rejecting than to what people are afraid they'll reject.

      • negitoro

        There are a few different forms of this.

        Of course you have some of them like Tapjoy which incentivize the actual downloading of the app and providing rewards to the player for it.

        However, the method that games like Disco Zoo use is simply rewarding a player for sitting through the entire duration of a single video ad (usually 15 or 30 seconds).

        I would argue that ANY advertising whether incentivized or not tends to mess with the charts. The simple reality of the App Store right now is that those with a ton of money can advertise their way to the top. However, as far as opt-in ads are concerned, certainly the "watch the video" route is less damaging.

    • negitoro

      I really disagree.

      In essence, opt-in ads that reward a player with in-game incentives are offering gamers a choice in the matter of how they want to monetize the experience. They choose whether to pay in money or in time or not at all and in essence respects the player by allowing them the choice that is in line with their own values.

      Banner ads and pop ups are rarely voluntary and there's generally very little way to disable them outside of actually offering up IAP to disable them... and if that option is offered, essentially a developer is admitting the ads are annoying and that it should be worth money for you to remove them. Essentially, you have no choice in the matter and are forced into a default monetization unless you choose otherwise.

  • spokentruths772

    I have so much more respect for NimbleBit now

  • david_loqheart

    Agree it's kind of sad to see Apple take this position on incentivized ads across the board, especially for games that depend on advertising as a main source of revenue. For future games, the developers may have to focus more on IAP and paying users, which could lead to bad design choices, or innovative ones. Depends on how lazy or creative the developer is.

  • P1XL Games

    As a player, I hadn't tried any incentivized ads until I played Madgarden's Flapthulhu. I instantly liked it more than any other kind of in-game advertising I had encountered so far.

    As a developer, we had a lot of players complain about our Flappy Bird-like banners in Bad Student Driver, which was our first attempt at trying to monetize a free game after our previous four "premium" games. So with our second attempt, RPG Quest - Freemiae, advertising is totally optional; you choose to watch a Vungle ad with the "Dream Of..." menu we've added, and you can choose your reward.

    I'm really happy with this system, and I think the players are too; no complaints from players at all, and revenue-wise it's doing much better than BSD even with fewer installs so far.

  • witedahlia

    Agree with this article 100%. Yes, I hate, hate, hate ads, but I have also subjected myself to them on occasion to get some extra goodies (in Nimblebits games, for example). And since I chose to watch the ad I did pay attention and have even discovered some cool new games that way. The easiest way to piss me off is to pop a stupid banner at me, which I accidentally hit, because I am then catapulted out of the game I had been enjoying. This causes a phenomenon called INSTA-DELETE. Games are supposed to be immersive, right? Bad idea to jolt me out of that calm state into a land of ad-driven rage. So yes, great article.

  • tamon76

    I obviously can't speak for everyone, (but I imagine I'm not alone here). If I see a pop up ad, whatever is being advertised is an automatic blacklist for me. I will not purchase it, support it, or even download it for free. In extreme cases I've even uninstalled apps because they were featured in an especially annoying pop up add.

    Conversely, I've actually paid to download a few apps that I've seen via opt in ads.

    As a general rule, I don't mind a FREE games having pop up ads, as long as there is an IAP to disable ads.

  • Goggles789

    For most of us, this should be filed under "who cares?" Developers need to care about this. But, in the end, how often has Apple over-turned a policy like this one? They do not roll over for anybody.

  • http://hmans.io/ Hendrik Mans

    And of course you never ran any tests to figure out the optimal turn setup in Disco Zoo to maximize video ad views, right?

    Ads are bullshit. This article is bullshit. Stop punishing players who'd happily straight-out pay for your games.

    • http://twitter.com/MattRix MattRix

      Nope, we actually didn't do any tests on the number of turns at all! We chose a 5x5 grid and 10 turns really early in the process, way before the game was even playable, and it just happened to work well. I don't think we ever even tried any other configuration (though we did try only giving you 3 turns for watching a video, but decided that was too few, and so we made it 5 turns).

      Sure we could have given you 15 turns or something, but then the game would have no challenge, you'd find all the animals basically every time and it'd be super boring. That's the thing: Disco Zoo was designed from the ground up to be fun for *non paying* players. We wanted everyone to enjoy it, not just the people who paid money.

      • http://hmans.io/ Hendrik Mans

        Thanks for the reply, even with me being such an ass. :)

        But don't most (or at least a lot of) players now remove the challenge from the game by watching the videos (= why they work so well, revenue-wise)?

        The reason why I was so disappointed in seeing this specific kind of ad in Disco Zoo was that while I would just about bear (haha) sitting through a 15-second video in order to get that last elusive animal, I would never, ever care for the kind of drivel that was being advertised, obliviously doing my part in making a system work for you and the advertisers that builds upon 99 people grudgingly enduring the very worst the AppStore has to offer and 1 person actually downloading gems like "High School Story" (?) or whatever.

        I realize the AppStore is mostly a numbers game, and ads like these yield better numbers, but in the end I did uninstall Disco Zoo, feeling ever so slightly less motivated to buy further Nimblebits titles. Hard to put that into a number, but there you go.

        For the record, I _loved_ Trainyard and wish there were more games like it on the AppStore.

  • http://www.k3vin.net t3rminus

    Just to add my comment, since I chimed in pretty loudly on the previous article...

    NimbleBit says ads are integral if they want to offer free games, but guess what? There's another option that has been tried before, and has been proven again and again for last few decades: buying games outright.

    "But t3rminus", you say, "people want to try the games out before they commit, and Apple doesn't have a system for demos!"

    You can achieve the same thing with IAP, and that's perfectly fine.

    Give away a 30 minute version for free (with unlimited re-installs, without saving progress), and charge $4.99 and up for the full version.

    What completely pisses me off is the premium-currency-time delay BS that forces you to spend $0.99 dozens of times before you have any chance of success.

    It's greed, plain and simple.

    If your game is worth that much, charge it up front and don't hide behind IAPs. Let informed consumers decide for themselves whether your game is worth buying, instead of stringing them along with "this game is great, we swear. Just watch a few ads, then you get a million funbux for all the cool items".

    If that makes me an internet curmudgeon, then I'm okay with that. In my day we had to swap system disks on 5.25" floppy drives and we were happy for it! Now get off my lawn!

    • DMan2385

      WOW really couldn't of said this better myself. Tip of the hat to you sir.

    • eeenmachine

      I don't believe Apple allows time limited demos.

      • evilabdy

        Actually they might. There are lite versions of all the kairosoft games that function as demos where you play a little of the game and then it stops. That's an option but I think it's probably more costly for developers

    • bilboa

      I also much prefer paid games, whether it's pay up front, or an IAP for a full unlock. However I don't think it's proven that this makes more money. I fact the top grossing games on iOS are almost always F2P games. So in spite of what you or I might like, I don't think you can argue against F2P on the basis of it being less financially viable.

  • senoo

    NO we dont like opt-in ads either! Just sell your games for a couple of dollars and get rid of the ads AND the IAP you greedy bastards. If you have a fan base I dont think players wouldnt pay for your games.

    • http://P1XL.com Robin/P1XL Games

      We've released four different games, each for a buck or two. Our last "premium" game, Super Splatform, got a 4.5 star review here on TA, got a lot of great press, great player reviews on the App Store, and is a finalist for the Canadian Video Game Awards. It took several months to make, spread over 4 years. It's 99 cents for 50+ levels, no IAP, no advertising. And it earns just a couple bucks a day, and even at the height of sales, didn't nearly make the investment back.

      The people who are willing to spend a buck or two on games aren't enough to keep us going, so we're trying to make games for the free crowd. Incentivized ads seem to be the best way to do that.

  • terrence92

    If I notice pop-up adds in a game I switch the cellular data usage off for that game but if the game uses online features (which happens a lot eg. Icloud) then I just delete the app

    • jabbasoft

      I think this point is important, as a "free" app that just happens to chew through your mobile contract data usage _does_ cost real money as well as time. Should you be able to sandbox apps from anything other than gamecentre which would as a side-effect prevent monetisation via viewing video ads?.. And encourage selling the app/game based on its quality. I guess the consumer model is showing that only works occasionally while going free + ads = better chance for the developer/publisher to turn a profit.

  • Oranje

    Cool. Cool cool. Now let's hear Apple's side.

  • mnemo70

    The article doesn't even question F2P itself, just the ads. Why not sell the games for one or two bucks? Noooo, that would probably bring in less cash.

    • pdSlooper

      Yeah, Nimblebit, you jerks. Make less money. God, don't you know how to run a business?

  • TrencH

    No matter if you like it or not f2p is here to stay. I have noticed a lot of game companies who have been going this way. Lots of people don't want to spend the few dollars up front and they want to sample the games first. It's not going anywhere.....

    If the game companies can't make money then they can't make money for new projects. Look at lots of the games on the top lists in the Apple store everyone is so worried about screwing up with op ins. You will see lots of freemium and f2p.

    Some actually mentioned they did not sell much of their games (as highly rated as they were) because lots of people just don't want to hand over cash right away or at all.

    Guys, there really is no perfect way to do this but at least if there is going to be any ads at all they are opt in. If the top lists get skewed or messed up then so be it. Something is going to fall short and not work perfectly and if it has to be something then I would say it might as well be the top lists in the Apple store. It is the lesser or the evils and to tell you the truth the top lists have never really been real accurate to begin with. That's like saying that the game centers scores are all legit (I won't even open that can of worms)

    Now the above you guys can argue but I think at least we all can agree on the topic that Nimblebit explained above. Opt ins are way better then getting our gameplay interrupted by popups.

    They are the worst of all of the evils. They are jarring and if we had to pick between the two there should not be much grey matter being used to figure that one out.

    In a perfect world everyone wants to pay up front for all the games. It is not and we don't (the majority of us) like to pay up front.

    I would and I am sure some of you guys would but we are clearly a minority.

  • TomCrown

    Just let me pay for the game and not have to deal with adds.

    • TrencH

      Like I said, most the time that model *does not work* period. We can all wish upon a star but the reality is that more and more games are going free to play. Lots of you *here* proclaim that they would pay up front but the fact is the majority of buyers don't pay at all. It is a sad fact lots of you have to absorb. Look at all the games that used to have a pay first model. I just noticed Rovio's new game is now a free game. More and more people are doing it. It's not going away.

  • pdSlooper

    I'm wary of opt-in ads because some of those are really frikkin' shady. Nimblebit seems to keep it on the level, with their ads being only ads for apps, which is ethical enough (once or twice the ads are even good, though very rarely).

    But some games do opt-ins that are: view this website, like this page on Facebook, download this app, buy a subscription to this service. That shit's shady, and has some shady services on it. You can't talk about the utility of opt-in ads without addressing these kinds of schemes, too.

  • Lightning Storm

    As I tap on this article, an ad pops up.

    Great job, guys.

    • timb

      The exact same thing just happened to me. Eli, why can't I just *pay* :10bux: for Touch Arcade instead of this stupid popup add shit.

      I've already heard the next version of the TA app will have timers on the articles and a premium currency (ArnBux) to increase them. If that happens it'll be an insta-delete, I swear!

  • baldeagle86

    What's ironic is tiny tower has a high frequency of these intrusive pop up ads, can't disable them at all. Got an automated email back from NB about them. Still love NB though, I realize tiny tower is quite old but I just restated in excitement for the sequel