Ad-based entirely or free first two chapters only?

So… I’m starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel for my latest game (according to Murphy’s Law, it is the headlamp of the incoming train…).

I was toying with the idea of releasing it as ad-based only (looking at things like Dragon or Great Tournament), and given that the theme is superheros and there should be a fair amount of replayability in it (with all the different powers that can be chosen).

Any thoughts on this? (I have some of my own, and obviously the final decision will be greatly influenced by staff members at CoG, who certainly understand these things better than most of us). But, I basically just wanted to hear what others thought…


Ad-based is going to be better for your ratings on Google play, since so many people complain about having to pay money for games.

That said, I personally hate them, and sometimes the upgrade option takes a day or so to take effect for me (this is 100% on sprint’s and Google’s end, not CoG’s), so I personally abhor it.

It’ll probably get you a longer stream of money and better ratings, though.

Side note: some of the ads are popups and others break the screen - making it move side to side as well as up and down, so, at least on android, it can affect gameplay.


You might want to look at some of the other options, which is time-gated content. Say, after 3 chapters, the next chapters will be locked for X mins, increasing substantially at cap of Y hour. This is what they’ve done with Doomsday on Demand.

At least, that’s the option I’m leaning at.

I’m not fan of ads, I’d rather pay but @ashestoashes018 does have a point, you’ll have better ratings.

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Personally I’m not a fan of what they did in Doomsday on Demand, having to wait a certain set of time just to move on to the next chapter. I’d probably chalk this one up to impatience on my part.

But I don’t really mind the ad based story since it takes several seconds for it to do its thing and we all move on from it. But like the others has stated before, you could get some high ratings because of that and people tends to complain because they think it should be free.


Ads themselves are crap money, though you can make some on people paying to turn them off. How much you wanting to charge for that?


This sounds like a cheap way to force people to pay up for the game. I’m fine with how Vampire House and The Geat Tournament did it, there is the ad at the bottom of each page and we have to wait if we want to replay the game but to make people wait between chapters? That’s a sure way to break immersion imo. Sure I could just buy the game and this wouldn’t be an issue anymore, but there is something seriously annoying about game developers using cheap tacticts to make players pay instead of being upfront about wanting that money.

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we talking…about demo right ? not shoving ads in a finished broduct…right?

IF we are indeed talking about demo…I have yet to see ads. Then again…I have SO many Adblocker…because…nothing drive me nut…then ADS! I refuse to see ads and nobody gonna make money by shoving that shit at me . Thats why I dont watch Teevee…

So if its a demo…me , personally…I think the countdown…and the 2 chapter free…is a good way to go . Its frustrating…but…usually its fine . Much better then bloody ads…

If you want good ratings and the ability to use your new game to cross promote your other 4, (how do you have so many games?!) that’d probably be the way to go, but if you wanted to make money back on this game in particular, from what I’ve heard, ad supported only is quite poor and I wonder how many people would pay to replay since it seems as if a lot of people aren’t replaying these games anyway. Pay to advance the chapter or stay on a timer might be a bit better but get crankier people about it. And you know the deal with the chapter cut off situation by now :wink:

Edit: I’ve always wondered if there’d be a market for DLC based extra stuff. (ie more points to assign powers, or get the choice of 3 power sets at the begining (meaning the senarios with the rock at the start), unlock the rest with a “microtransaction” (as much as I hate that word). It’s personally not where I’d like to see heaps of games going, but wonder if it’d fit in more with the google store mentality? Not sure.

@E_RedMark I have ads on my google store demos until I buy them :slight_smile:


I think this has been done already in the HR series, in The Lost Heir Trilogy and in ZE:SH

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Ah…you won’t catch me buying from there then :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

I buy COG from steam usually…when they are on there . Or directly from COG website…though I hate the format…

and if it isnt there…I just skip it.

Yep I think there was that Worning bird thing in Verses and the Mechip for Heroes. I personally didn’t buy either. I wonder how many people did and they’re both within paid games as well. No idea if people liked that concept or hated it. I do remember being vaguely annoyed it prompted me more than once about it though considering I’d already bought the game then said “no” to the extras.

@E_RedMark Yep I personally hate ads with a passion and have all sorts of blockers on my laptop (with the added bonus that it seems to really help with stopping all sorts of malware getting in there.) If I remember, I whitelist sites that aren’t going to malware me and rely on ads for income, but TBH I often just buy something rather than wait though tonnes of ads. Seems we’re not in the majority though considering that’s how most of the big microtransaction games work- Watch 5 mins of ads and get 10c worth of coins! Sounds like a deal to me :stuck_out_tongue:

Edit: I’m not sure about the DLC for The Lost Heir Trilogy and ZE:SH but I think it was brand new content post release which is fine as a DLC. I have no problem paying for story extensions since it’s all new work. If people want to pay for the Mechip thing I don’t have a problem with it either, I just didn’t want to use it personally.


I can tolerate CoG ads in games downloaded from Google, at least they don’t give me the urge to throw my phone at something, bc they are discreet about it. No aggressive pop up ads occupying the whole screen and having to wait a minute or so to be able to tap that x mark to make it disappear. Tho I fail to see the point of having them in a game I’m gonna have to pay for anyway?

Edit: In ZE:SH all it does is giving extra skill points but in TLH it gave some extra content too so I don’t regret having bought that one.

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Oh yeah I agree. Small unobtrusive ones don’t bother me overly, but full page ones that go on for 30sec+ every couple of mins are a bit rage inducing after a while. I’m sure they’re the more profitable though. I have actually seen a few full page ones starting to pop up on COG demos, but if they’re not overdone I don’t mind overly for this in particular. (My personal all time hate is lock screen ads put there without permission btw, and is an instant uninstall for me- but that’s probably getting off topic as COG doesn’t use those thank goodness!)

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My feelings is that a super hero genre game would do better as a demo-pay model based game than an ad-based game.

Games such as the Great Tournament are closer to the free pay-to-win style of games on the mobile platforms, so the model is expected to transfer over.

If I were presented with two super-hero genre games, one ad-based, the other demo-pay based, my instinct would be telling me the developer/author is much more confident and positive that the demo-pay game is a better game.

I would expect weaker games or those not so well made to go the ad-based route.


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It depends on the frequency and placement of the gate, I think.

I’m seeing it as a grace-period where you’re “forced” to relax after a tense episode, giving you time to process the story subsconciously while the timer went off. Kinda like episodic show where each episode air every week.

Of course, as a result, each “episode” must conclude their own arc well, else it’ll feel cheap. SAO III cough

If we need time to process what happened we can just put down the book/game, right? No need for it to be forced on us imo.

Maybe I’m overreacting a bit but this sounds like the first step towards the ticket/energy/whatever system used by many free games out there.

Energy-gating limits by prompting you to buy “energy” whenever you run out of them, or wait a certain period.

That’s totally different with what I had in mind as time-gating can be unlocked wholly with a single purchase, unlike energy-gating that puts the timer in MTX.

Not all that different imo. They both use the players impatience to make them pay. But I see now where your suggestion is better than an energy system. Purchasing one time would solve everything while with the energy system you’re back to squere one once you run out of energy. (And this became offtopic, sorry guys.)
Tho I’d still vote against putting a waiting period in between chapters, even if there is just a few of them in the whole game.

I’d like to elaborate more on this topic.

So, to profit from your product, you need to make your audience pay money to you. You can do it in some ways, but in this topic, we’re discussing two: Premium and semi-free.
(I fabricate those terms my way. I’m sure there’re accurate terms in academic env.)

Premium is your basic purchase and get full-product. It’s simple, nothing complicated, so let’s move on.

Semi-free is the one where you can “peek” a bit on the product before finalising your purchase. We got demo, trial, time-gate, free w/ ads, etc. In a sense, this is different to true-free or even open-source, where a product is given to public domain.

There’s another one, which is subscription/service-based, where you can gain access to a product as long as you pay regularly. I’d say free w/ MTX belongs to this category.

In case of semi-free, you need to find a way for ppl to pay their money to you. This can be done by limiting the content, adding “obstruction” to experience, and so on.

In case of ad-based vs. time-gating, you obstruct the experience in some ways. This “obstructing” is unavoidable, if you truly intend to make profit.

The reason I prefer time-gating over ads is, when I peek on DoD’s code, I see that their time-gate is fairly simple and CS-like. If I want it, I can personalize the time-gate menu with something else, so it won’t feel like you’re slamming against a cold and silent wall. It’ll feel like the author talks to you “So that’s the chapter for now. What do you think will happen next? You can find cool easter eggs if you pay attention to previous chapters.”

Unlike ads which feels robotic and can be “in the face,” at least to me.

Of course, you need to coordinate with the staff if you want to do this “personalized time-gate” thing.