Game Spotlight: Friendbase from Palderio Creative Labs
Friendbase is a virtual world on Android and iOS. The game’s popularity lies in its core values: inclusion, entertainment, cultural globalization, education and safety.
Created by award winning game studio Palderio Creative Labs based in Gothenburg, Sweden, Friendbase is on a mission to become the global platform for young teenagers all over the world.
The Palderio team decided to adopt in-game advertising as part of their monetization strategy because immersive ads enhance the design of their real world environments. We caught up with the guys & girls at Palderio to find out how AdInMo is helping drive new revenue and adding authenticity to the player experience.
Give us a short history of your game.
Having run a virtual world pre-smart phones “back in the day” Friendbase started off as an experiment to see if mobile users were interested in a chat world. We were just a 2-person operational team and built a first version, cross device iOS, Android and web. We basically just launched to see what would happen. The game received good traction without us having any funding to speak of. Because of the great numbers we saw we managed to raise €1M last year and used the funds to port to Unity, build a solid backend to work with live-ops and add monetization features. We are now a team of 10 and have released an initial scaled back version of the new Friendbase game. We are a multi-cultural team and are proud of our diverse team in age and gender.
What was the main inspiration for Friendbase?
The main inspiration of Friendbase was to create a space online that is fun and engaging but also friendly.
42% of players say they have experienced harassment whilst playing online games and 19% say they have left a game because of toxic behaviour. So there is an absolute need for a global platform where teenagers can meet their peers in a welcoming, safe yet fun and creative environment that encourages positive behaviour. We aim to find methods and processes to proactively encourage and reward good behaviour rather than only detect and ban bad behaviour. Our answer to this lies in our core values: Entertainment, Inclusion, Safety, Cultural Globalisation & Education.
Why did you decide to try in-game advertising as a relevant monetization for your game?
We want to mirror real world environments and using posters and billboards is a natural part of everyone’s world. We’re considering the placements carefully where it makes sense e.g we will not be adding in-game ads in classrooms and focusing on environments that are a natural fit to the game. We feel these type of ads are less intrusive and for example won’t interrupt the experience of socialising in a virtual world.
How was your experience integrating InGamePlay ads into your game?
It went very smoothly and our devs successfully managed to integrate the InGamePlay SDK without any issues. The support from AdInMo was great and they were quick to answer any questions we had.
What are your thoughts on using the CrossPromo feature in your game?
We love the idea of CrossPromo! As we move forward we will be using this feature more. There are so many ways to work with CrossPromo in a virtual world and as long as the ads are relevant to our game, we are very positive!
What is your ad placement strategy?
Our strategy is to place the ads where they have a natural place in the virtual world, such as the posters in the supermarket, TV screens in the sports club and billboards on the sidewalk outside the café. It should be non-intrusive but at the same time create a more vibrant and “live” experience. As we move on, we see things like branded vending machines, branded venues like cafés, fun fairs etc. Avatars will be able to wear branded clothes as well as purchase branded accessories.
How do you think in-game advertising compares to other monetization formats
As we are strong in several tier 3 markets, we rely on in-game advertising to be able to monetise the members that don’t typically pay. Also, we feel this ad form is less intrusive compared to other monetization formats.
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