In-game Ads vs In-app Ads

What are In-Game Ads?

In-game ads are advertising in the form of banners, interstitials, and videos that are shown while a player is playing a mobile game. In-game ads are static advertisements in a video game that appear on screen in-between levels or as part of a user interface according to the game’s theme. They do not disrupt gameplay and can be used as a primary source for revenue generation for game developers. In-game ads work well for developers with longer games and those that require less interaction from players.

What are In-App Ads?

In-app ads are advertisements that take the form of banners and interstitials that appear on the screen while playing an app on mobile devices. The term “in-app ad” refers to an ad displayed as part of the application experience, usually a video or audio ad or interactive banner. For some apps, these ads are actually part of the primary app experience. This means they are much more likely to be displayed in the foreground of the user interface and highly visible to users.

Differences between In-App Ads and In-Game Ads


Advertising in games has existed for over a decade, but in-app advertising is more recent. The revenue that companies get from in-game ads is less than that of in-app ads. This is because the amount of revenue increase that is possible for in-app ads will continue to grow as usage patterns develop and values are adjusted accordingly.


One disadvantage of in-game ads is that they are often not tied to an app store, making it hard for developers to promote their game with the click-throughs from ads. When compared to in-app advertising, in-game advertising has the downside of being less effective. 


In-game ads are usually placed towards the bottom of the screen. The player must either click on it or wait for it to disappear after a certain amount of time to play the game.

As for in-app ads, many users will find them irritating, especially when they cover the content being played. This is because they have a smaller size and are more prominent. Therefore, users tend to notice them more prominently.

The main difference between these two forms of ads is that the player is playing a game when an in-game ad is presented, but an app is being used when an in-app ad is presented.

Promotion, Targeted Audience, and Usage

In-game ads can promote new games among players and refer the player to other games that the company is advertising. On the other hand, in-app ads promote the company’s product or service. And they are usually shown at the top of the screen and have a variety of ways to interact with them. 

In-game ads are usually targeted towards specific groups of people based on age, gender, purchase history, and other factors. Whereas, in-app ads are targeted towards the demographics of the population in general.

Both in-game and in-app ads are not limited to just games. They can be applied to any other mobile app as well.

Time Frame

Another difference between in-game ads and in-app ads lie within the fact that there is a longer time frame for an ad to be shown in in-game ads. In most games, the player has a longer time frame to finish the game and see the ads, while in most apps, the user will be more irritated by an ad that is shown more often.