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Facebook's 2nd-place publisher rakes in money with unique interactive ads
Facebook's 2nd-place publisher rakes in money with unique interactive ads
November 15, 2012 | By Frank Cifaldi

Virtual goods still make up the bulk of revenue for most social game publishers, but many are finding that ad revenue is making up for those players who don't want to pay.

Bubble Witch Saga publisher, which commands the second-largest game-playing audience on Facebook (the first being, of course, Zynga), said on Thursday that the money brought in by advertisements has increased tenfold during the year so far, accounting for nearly 15 percent of its total revenues. By comparison, Zynga's latest financial results show that only 10 percent of its revenues come from ads. says its players frequently click on incentivized ads that interact directly with the games they're playing. In one such example, an ad awarding players an extra life in exchange for viewing a 15 to 30-second video saw a click-through rate of 5 percent, nearly five times the average U.S. benchmark. also touted its "Brand as a Friend" solution, where advertisers can take the place of friends in a multiplayer game to help a player advance or unlock new content.

The company says ads will play an increasingly important role in its business moving forward, and to that end, they've hired former Gaia Online and Telemundo ad executive Charity Sabater to head up its new East Coast expansion as its senior director of ad sales.

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Alan Barton
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@"an ad awarding players an extra life in exchange for viewing a 15 to 30-second video"

... click on ad ... go make coffee while video runs ... come back and I have an extra life.

I remember back to a time when playing games was about having fun.

Lennard Feddersen
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I remember back when gamers would spend $45 of 1982 dollars to buy a new game.

Aaron Hain
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Let's be frank, the financial success of advertising integration into EVERYTHING is freaking us out on the inside. This is not going to a happy place.

Andrew Taylor
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I've been playing Candy Crush Saga a bit and have some observations.

a) The game itself is pretty good fun.
b) You can play for a reasonable time before your lives run out.
c) Skipping the option to purchase more lives you then get the option to watch an advert to get another life, which I don't personally find too intrusive.
d) If you want to go and make a coffee, don't bother opting to watch the ad, you will get more lives as time passes in any case.

Overall I feel that this game gets the difficult balance between gameplay and monetization about right.