Personalization, Play-To-Earn and the (obligatory) Metaverse

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AdInMo’s 2022 predictions starting with good riddance IDFA; hello personalized advertising relationships that respect privacy.

In-game advertising platform AdInMo’s CEO and Co-founder Kristan Rivers takes a look at three trends shaping the year ahead for mobile gaming.

Personalized advertising experiences will prevail: Consumers, who were already irritated with invasive ads that track them across apps and websites, are realizing their attention is worth a lot more than the value they’ve been receiving from the free-to-play model.

In a recent Harris Poll, 57% of Gen Zs stated they disliked the current barrage of targeted ads so much that they had curtailed social media consumption or completely stopped using certain platforms.

Consumers will demand that their attention is properly valued or else will simply vote with their eyeballs and move on.

As we inch closer to a cookie-less world, the content-creator/consumer/advertiser relationship will be enhanced by a value-based paradigm. Relevant engagements based on first and zero-party data, complemented by user choice and transparency will create personalized brand experiences and sustain the ‘free content’ ecosystem beyond cookies/IDFA/AAID et al.

Play-to-earn games will be the new hyper-casual: Last year saw games like Axie Infinity propel the play-to-earn revolution. It’s both a fascinating short-term fad and a possible new economy, with immediate downsides as well as long-term upsides.

What gamer doesn’t love the idea of getting paid to play games? The downside is: grinding is inherently not fun.

Like the early of days hyper-casual games, play-to-earn games will go through a heyday of rapid growth with a lot of crap games churned out in 2022. There will be a lot of losers and a few winners, but by the end of this year the genre will become meaningful and probably the best mainstream enabler for NFTs.

The Metaverse will be mobile and enhance the real world: Only a fraction of the world’s population will ever have an Oculus or PSVR headset that will allow them to “Snow Crash” into the metaverse; but pretty much every single person over the age of 12 has an AR-capable device in their back pocket.

Apple has been a game-changer for mobile gaming since 2007 and I have a bet with our CTO, which for accountability purposes I will share here as well: Within 18 – 24 months Apple will win the metaverse hardware game by releasing an AR device, probably some form of glasses (although I would not be surprised if it was instead based on AirPods headphones), and within six months that device will outsell every AR and VR device – from Oculus to PSVR to HoloLens – sold up to that point.

Time will tell.

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