Ad blocking apps and the challenges ahead.

Ad Blocking App

Apple new iOS 9 update allows ad blocking apps to be distributed in the App Store and barely one day after their debut the number 1 and 4 spots of the top charts were taken by ad blockers. 

In Pialoki, like many other indie studios, we depend mostly on ad revenue, so naturally we are looking very closely at the users and market reaction towards this new iOS functionality, Apple stated it won’t allow ad blocking within apps, but even if this is the case users will experience the web ad free and will get used to an environment freed of ads, which in turn will make them tolerate eve less the ads inside apps.

Content blocking apps, as Apple describes them, allow not only to block ads, but also other parts of the web such as user tracking code, if we add the growing concern for privacy with the availability of content blocking apps we will get a change on the expectations that users have towards app behavior, and we as app developers have to adjust and create apps that meet these expectations.

While this presents a challenge, as all changes do, it is also a great opportunity for us to start creating better game designs, that provide the user experience that players are seeking. We must find the balance in the amount of ads shown and, more importantly, show this ads in the appropriate time, where the game experience is not disrupted and the ads are not intrusive; I am aware that ads, at least in their current state, will never be welcomed, but we can provide added value to the user when one is shown, diluting the annoyance of such ad.

This new landscape also means that we have to explore and leverage other monetization options available to us, I’m not not fan of time walls and pay to win freemium models, but there are some other player friendly models out there that we can explore and implement, where the player is not restricted when not using in app purchases, but rather rewarded and the game experience is enhanced when in app purchases are made.

Ultimately our goal must be to provide the players with great game experiences and generate our revenue based on player satisfaction rather than on user frustration that is obtained from intrusive ads which, in my opinion, is what ultimately makes ad blocking apps so appealing and popular.

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