Game Spotlight: Bus Simulator Real from Shadow Mission Game Soft

Jun 23, 2022

Bus Simulator Real is a popular simulator title from India-based developer Shadow Mission Game Soft.

The game features a lot of local flavour, with accurate recreations of Indian locations and traffic laws, as well as the eclectic, colorful buses. Players can explore this rich slice of culture in a bus of their choice, and at their own pace, taking on tightly-timed tasks, or simply kicking back and driving freely on the open road. The game has been successful in  both its native India and internationally, with over a million downloads on Android alone.

In-Game Advertising Integration

Bus Simulator Real has an excellent in-game ad integration, with placements appearing throughout the game. From the game’s main menu, to the bus customisation screens as well as a constantly-visible ad on the bus dashboard and billboards by the roadside, an ad will be on screen at (effectively) all times while playing. This means IMPDAU is high and monetization consistent.

What were the inspirations and core design pillars behind Bus Simulator Real?

At first we created a bus simulator game set in a generic location, but then our friend suggested we make use of our local surroundings, such as our city and villages. The inspiration for this game started here.

The map design of the game is based on our own experiences with video and photography. We took video on our trip from Watrap to Thenkasi, riding a bike with two cameras. We captured key locations and features, including bus stands, and then modeled our game world based on that video footage. Initially we had some trouble recreating the locations, because making a village is difficult in a game engine, once you start including the various buildings, roads, bus stands and so on. Developing 3D models, placing objects and running vehicles is a difficult task, partly because the traffic system is different from metro cities.  Now we have developed 3D models and are also using metro and municipal city architecture design.

Tell us about your experience integrating AdInMo ads into your game.

At first we made use of standard mobile banner ads in the game. We found that these took time to load and negatively affected the game’s performance. AdInMo told us about their immersive in-game advertising solution, which provided monetisation without any kind of performance issue. The integration was easy, and their SDK was simple to use, particularly compared to other in-game ad providers. We later updated to V2 of their SDK, which led to the game generating more impressions and revenue. Only last week the AdInMo team gave a new suggestion to place a 6:1 banner model. We just created a placement in the AdInMo panel, used ‘drag & drop’ to place the banner in the latest release of the game, and now it’s running smoothly.

What was your ad placement strategy for Bus Simulator Real?

At first we didn’t have an overall strategy for placing ads in our game, but analyzing the AdInMo website, and checking out the examples and guides helped us figure out a strategy for where to place ads. We placed ads in the main menu, bus interior, bus exterior, roadside billboards and signs on buildings.

How do you think in-game advertising compares to traditional mobile ads?

Traditional mobile game ads are always hated by players, because they disturb them while they’re playing the game. In-game ads, by contrast, don’t provide any intrusion or disturbance. We’ve received no complaints about the in-game ads in Bus Simulator Real, whereas we have received negative comments about games featuring “too many ads” when using traditional ads in the past. Moving forward, in-game ads will be our preferred ad format for our future games.

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