Axis Games kicked off its partnership with Anzu back in 2020, implementing Anzu’s award-winning in-game ad solution into the mobile version of its most popular title, Axis Football. Following that success, they also implemented the ads into the PC and console versions of the game.
In-Game Advertising Transforming Axis Football
18 months on, Alex Yerukhimovich, VP Games at Anzu caught up with Danny Jugan, President of Axis Games to speak about the success they have seen, how the ad placements have evolved, and what they have allowed the studio to achieve.
AY (Alex Yerukhimovich): You implemented Anzu’s in-game ads back in the summer of 2020, how have you found them? And have they helped you to generate much revenue?
DJ (Danny Jugan): They have been fantastic. In all honesty, it’s a match made in heaven. We were looking for a way to liven up our stadiums and add a better sense of immersion so dynamic ads that provide additional revenue were a perfect fit. The revenue we’ve seen from them is roughly equivalent to our revenue from game sales on a single platform and it continues to grow significantly. Compared to the previous year, revenue for December from in-game advertising increased by 775%!
AY: How did you find implementing in-game ads into a paid title? Was there any pushback from your players? And do you use any other monetization methods?
DJ: In-game ads are currently the only monetization method we use and the only one I feel we need right now. With regards to the ads, we received no negative feedback at all. In fact, we received several messages from players saying how much life they add to the stadiums! Here is one of them.
“The ads in the stadium add a lot of life and realism to the game. Just like in an actual stadium, the billboards and banner ads reflect real-life products and they change from season to season and sometimes game to game. Having this feature in Axis Football really elevates the immersion in the stadiums.”
AY: That’s amazing to hear! We strive to put the player experience above everything we do and it’s clear that with Axis Football that has really paid off. I’m interested to know what sorts of ads have appeared in Axis Football over the past year or so and if there are any notable campaigns that stood out to you.
We have done a mix of banner and video ads that have appeared across all our stadiums. Some big campaigns that stood out for me were from Samsung, Paco Rabanne, American Eagle, Microsoft, and McDonald’s.
AY: How have you found working with Anzu?
DJ: Working with Anzu has been great. Everyone is responsive and helpful, and the integration process for the game was very seamless.
AY: Have you changed or optimized the ad placements within Axis Football much since you implemented them? If so, why, and how easy was it to do?
DJ: A bit, yes. After the initial implementation and having monitored where and how players were interacting with the ads via Anzu’s dashboard we worked together to make some adjustments to which ads play in different areas to maximize the number of impressions. This was very easy to do, and Anzu’s support team was always on hand when we needed help.
AY: Several games studios we have spoken to have said the consistent revenue stream that Anzu’s in-game ads provide has allowed them to grow their teams, and invest in new games and updates. Has this been the case for you?
Yes, that’s certainly been true for us. Knowing that we have a consistent and reliable revenue stream coming in has not only helped us spend more time and resources on our games, but it has also allowed us to better plan for the future.
AY: What does 2022 hold for the Axis Football franchise? Any big plans?
DJ: Yes, we are extremely focused on improving the on-field gameplay experience. Thanks to some of the revenue we’ve generated from the in-game ads we’ve been able to purchase hundreds of motion-captured animations that will elevate the quality and smoothness of gameplay.
To find out more about Anzu and how the company can help monetize your games, visit the Anzu website.
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Good to see gameplay being worked on it does need a refresh. Impressed with some of the animations seen so far.