Creative Use of Ad Serving in Video Games
February 19, 2014

Creative Use of Ad Serving in Video Games

Avery Alix | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Software Version


Modules Used

  • Google AdWords
  • Drupal

Overall Satisfaction

OpenX was used to serve banner ads within free-to-play Facebook and Mobile games that had millions of daily users. This was a bit of a custom implementation, and a bit of ahead of the times for the industry in 2010. Where we acted differently was to use OpenX to serve our own internal 'house ads' in addition to external paid advertisements. We used these banner spaces, set up as separate OpenX zones, to do everything from cross-promoting our own internal games to providing information and instructions to players. Many times, players had no idea they were looking at information served up by an ad platform, but OpenX and the flexibility of modules available to us let us select and target our players with a CRM approach that was later admired by the much larger company that bought us.
  • It's inexpensive to license, or at least it was. We basically paid nothing to use OpenX up-front, so it was easy to convince the powers that be to let us invest some time into the software.
  • It's flexible, allowing creative teams to do more than simply sell ad impressions or clicks. We used it to pop-up informational and fun content to specific subsets of players.
  • OpenX was sometimes tricky to use and didn't feel like a well-polished product. That is exacerbated when you're using custom modules to make the software do things it wasn't intended to.
  • Gaining access to OpenX data and instrumentation was a chore, making reporting a manual process that was time consuming.
  • We were able to deliver much more efficient ad impressions by targeting sub-sets of our playerbase with specific messages, often as much as 3x clickthrough rate
  • We were able to use OpenX to precisely target messages that we specifically didn't want other players to see, allowing us to publish content we could not otherwise
  • We could plan a specific amount of traffic in advance from one game to another in a given day, then have OpenX deliver +- 5% of that traffic automatically. This enabled strategic planning of traffic.
  • Digital Chocolate,Ad Expert
I was not responsible for the selection decision, that was done before I joined the company. However, it was the low cost and adaptability that custom integration allowed that made it really the only solution that we knew of.
I no longer work at the company where I was using OpenX, but if I were then I'd certainly stay aboard. Frankly, there are a lot of sunk costs involved with building all of the infrastructure we had put in place, the system was working very well even if reporting was a hassle, and our team was trained on it. Also, I'm not aware of another product that does everything else we'd need it to.
Ours was a very specific use-case: Use ad-serving software to serve clickable, trackable, addressable image content into mobile and Facebook games. I can't really recommend any other software better because I know that OpenX served that purpose very well. It wasn't as robust or expensive as other ad-serving software I'd used at other jobs, but then again those wouldn't have allowed us the flexibility to perform the specific function we wanted.

Product Usage

5 - Online Marketing, User Acquisition, Analytics, Product Management
3 - Programming Manager, Engineers
  • Sophisticated Cross-Promotions
  • Providing information to players at key moments
  • Enabling strategic planning of traffic.
  • We used OpenX to serve ads into videogames
  • We used OpenX to plan inter-departmental cross-promotions at a metered rate
  • We used OpenX to offer giveaways and digital goods to specific players
  • Expanded use in mobile games