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This startup has been helping brands advertise to gamers without interrupting their gamesEWar Games
EWar Games' brand placements in games have led to way more brand impressions when compared to conventional in-app ads
ad-tech

This gaming startup’s in-game brand placements is helping them win over both gamers and advertisers

EWar Games' brand placements in games have led to way more brand impressions when compared to conventional in-app ads
  • Online gaming has witnessed a surge during the lockdown, opening up doors for advertisers.
  • However, in-app advertising can be intrusive, leading to bad consumer experience.
  • Mobile gaming and e-sports start-up EWar Games has been innovating and coming up with non-intrusive ways of advertising on its platform. Parth Chadha, Founder & CEO, EWar Games tells us about the startup’s journey so far.
The lockdown brought with it a lot of changes in consumer behavior. It also led to the speedy adoption of a lot of things. More people started spending time on the internet, OTT and audio streaming platforms witnessed an uptick.

However, one industry that has witnessed massive growth is the online gaming segment. Be it fantasy sports that is finding millions of users, especially during the ongoing Indian Premier League as well as the English Premier League, mobile gaming otherwise is witnessing a big jump too, in terms of new users playing, and the time being spent on these platforms. People who are now saving the time they would otherwise spend on travelling and that has given many the space to spend time on gaming.

Meanwhile, advertisers have also realized the opportunity that online gaming throws to them. This is, afterall, an engaged set of audience that is spending a substantial amount of time playing these games. There has been a rise in gamification of apps that belong to other segments too. Apps like Google Pay, Goibibo, BYJUs have introduced games to engage users and most of these games aren’t exactly intrusive.

There are many more examples of how platforms are innovating, to make advertising less intrusive since nobody wants the flow of their game to be interrupted by ads.

Taking cue from exactly this, mobile gaming and e-sports start-up EWar Games has come up with a really smart, unconventional and unobtrusive way of advertising.

EWar is a platform that is used by all kind of gamers including casual and serious ones and its audience is not just limited to the bigger cities. It also provides features of streaming and is available in 8 languages to cater to the larger Bharat market.

Why in-game advertising works

The startup recently partnered with smartphone brand Poco, introducing their new launch to gamers while playing Tappy birds in their week-long tournament called ‘Tappybird showdown’. The mobile phones were placed inside the game, wherein players had to collect the phone to earn extra cookie points.

In-app advertising, while helping brands showcase their ads to players, and bringing in revenues for the platforms, hardly does anything to bring the consumer closer to the brand. “In-app ads are definitely a revenue source for gaming platforms, but we believe there are much better ways to advertise. We have recently started in-game environment advertising I.e. brand placements inside the game for a particular duration in the form of a tournament or any event. The benefits are multifold. Firstly, it has helped us giving our users a better experience. It has led to way more brand impressions when compared to conventional in-app ads and the user gets a motivation to play as the new interface is exciting and has additional prizes, not just cash but additional brand products/offers etc. All this gives much more engagement and good ROI for the brand,” Parth Chadha, Founder & CEO, EWar Games tells us.

These non-intrusive ads, considering they are a part of the gameplay, help in increasing impressions. Giving an example of their latest association with POCO, Chadha says, “For instance in POCO Tappybird Showdown, players had to score maximum to top the leaderboard and average games played per user were around 23. Also adding logic to it, like collect more POCO phones inside the game to win POCO M2 pro motivates the player. Our numbers prove that brand definitely gets a better ROI as compared to a conventional in-app ad.”

Why brands are showing an interest

Following the ROI that the POCO campaign got the brand, EWar has been able to excite brands from other categories too. “We have received great inbound interest from brands from different categories including edtech, healthy snacking etc. We are already closely working with brands and curating interesting concepts for future projects, says Chadha. He also adds that there has been interest from a mix of advertisers who want to promote their brand. “It is not only big brands that are exploring this option. We have also increasingly been seeing new brands wanting to leverage this concept to catch more eyeballs and have an edge over their competitors. Brands are themselves coming up with ideas and communicating it to us after seeing the offerings on EWar,” he says.

EWar’s growth story so far

Started in January this year, EWar Games has already witnessed good growth. While pre-Covid, the startup was witnessing good traffic from Tier II and Tier III cities, post-lockdown, it has seen a spike in its Tier I users, as gaming became the best recreational activity for people locked in their houses.

Throwing light on the kind of growth they have seen, Chadha adds, “We have seen a 3x growth in our user base, taking our total user count to over 500,000 amid the COVID-19 lockdown. We have noted an over 40% increase with respect to the average time spent per day by users on the app, and 4x growth in the average number of games being played daily.”

He further states that the number of serious gamers playing for money has also gone up significantly as ‘real money skill gaming is a great source of revenue during these tough times.’

Future plans

Considering online gaming has been witnessing massive growth in usage and popularity, EWar has its growth strategy in place.

“Vernacularity and being a one-stop solution for gamers has helped us acquire 30% of our users organically. We do have a strong marketing team taking intelligent decisions on the basis of data,” shares Chadha.

On how they plan to achieve their next phase of growth, he adds, “We have always worked on the feedback loop. All decisions are based on a lot of data, analytics that we do internally and I think we will stick to this approach.”