Galactic Fire FREE – Advertising networks on Windows Phone 7

[cross-posted from my blog!]

While researching ad networks on Windows Phone 7 for Galactic Fire FREE, it became clear that ad network support for Windows Phone 7 is a bit fragmented depending on which tech stack an application is written in. Silverlight-based applications have several options for ad networks, and XNA-based applications have… well, fewer options.

The first (and last!) ad network I implemented was PubCenter advertisements. During evaluation of PubCenter, I was unhappy with the format of the ads being served (480×80 banners for a full-screen ad?), the relevance of ads (trucker jobs in England? srs?), and the fact that the portal doesn’t support WebKit-based browsers.

I also evaluated AdMob, which seemed to be an incredibly clear winner. Unfortunately, AdMob didn’t have support XNA titles, so I was out of luck there.

An interesting ad exchange network that did have support for XNA was AdDuplex, in which developers exchange advertisements in their game for advertisements in your game. The monetization model is different in that there is no indirect ad revenue. A developer in the program show 10 ads for someone else in their game, and the developer’s game is shown 8 times in someone else’s game. I’ve seen this recommended a number of times, and may yet experiment with this model, but direct sales of a non-established brand appear to be pretty abysmal, and this model drives only direct sales.

PubCenter, being a Microsoft ad network, had client binaries for WP7 XNA titles and had a monetization strategy that was more in-line with my goals. In the end, the advertisements seen in-game come from PubCenter.

See you at the crossroads…

I suppose it’s a small tragedy in the grand scheme of things, but my friends over at Business Chicken just had a visit from the chicken aspect of the Grim Reaper when Shy Chicken passed away suddenly. It’s definitely unhealthy to dwell on the passing of a pet too much, but I also think it’s a bit callous to breeze over the loss of a pet (and to Jason and Betsy the chicken’s definitely fell in the pet category). Maybe I’m too sentimental, but I think we need to pour a little liquor out at these small losses because they prepare us in a way for the larger losses that come to us.

Not that your losing your mom is on the same scale as losing a pet, but the loss is very similar in feel, just different in size. It seems these days that people grieve the loss of people or things that they had no part of, like the loss of the Twin Towers, or the the shooting of Trayvon Martin. Perhaps fully realizing the loss of the smaller things would give these events and actual losses in our lives some perspective.

Anyway, since this post is about Shy chicken – she was a good chicken. I didn’t know her very well, but she always stood out when I was chicken-sitting. She was relentless trying to escape and she is perhaps the first chicken to ever peck me. Didn’t hurt at all, but hilarious all the same. Some people say chckens are stupid, but there is a pleasing gentleness to them and their rhythms that makes their more annoying mannerisms tolerable. In fact, if chickens were cleaner, they’d be a whole lot more fun since they are pleasant to tease and taunt. They have blatant desires that make them easy to please as they seek to satisfy their hunger, curiosity, or liberty, whichever happens to consume them at the moment.

We’ll pour some liquor out for you. Hopefully you’re up in that great chicken coop in the sky eating all the popcorn you desire.

goodbye shy.