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I have a game for iOS that will show advertisements.

One form of advertisement offered is a rewarded video (a video that the user can watch by choice). This is actually an important aspect of the game because watching these videos allows the user to continue playing after running out of a certain resource (balls, in this case).

Now, the user can remove the advertisements via In App Purchase.

Question: Is there anything wrong with keeping the rewarded videos as an option for the user, even though they paid to remove ads? If I disallow the rewarded videos, the user will lose a really useful feature of the game, but I'm worried about initializing the advertisement SDK and therefore tracking users who probably think they've disabled any tracking for advertisements.

Thank you for your thoughts!

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Players are smart. When they realize that reward ads are a valuable resource to them, then they will also realize that performing an in-app purchase which takes that resource away from them would be counter-productive. Which is one less reason for them to give you that money. On the other hand, when players make the "no advertising" purchase and the game still compels them to watch ads, they will feel rightfully cheated.

So how do you solve that problem?

Implement that the benefit the players received by watching the advertisement is now obtained immediately by the press of a button.

Do you think that's too easy? Then your reward ads themselves also made the game too easy. It's still the exact same mechanic, after all, just with less intentionally wasting of the players' time. When adding quality-of-life features makes your game too easy, then the difficulty they removed was just fake difficulty anyway.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the info! :) I would make a couple of arguments: 1) The user is not being "tricked" into watching ads because the rewarded ads are 100% opt-in/opt-out with absolutely zero ambiguity, 2) I do think pressing a button to give oneself more balls would be bad design, and I think it's perfectly sensible/good to offer more balls for watching a video. This is, I'd say, a pretty standard strategy across all kinds of successful iOS games -- underlying "fake difficulty" or not. I mean, what's the alternative...infinite balls? That's not much of a game at all. \$\endgroup\$
    – West1
    May 28 at 9:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ When your player can get infinite balls by watching infinite ads, then they already got infinite balls. \$\endgroup\$
    – Philipp
    May 28 at 9:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ A user's time is finite -- and their available time to play a game is small. So, no, offering more balls for watching an ad would not be infinite balls -- not even effectively so. \$\endgroup\$
    – West1
    May 28 at 9:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ So you think intentionally using the players time is a good game mechanic? It's a necessary evil if you want to monetize your game by getting the player to watch ads or get them to pay for the removal of timegates. But do you honestly think that consuming more of the players time without giving them more gameplay make your game better? \$\endgroup\$
    – Philipp
    May 28 at 9:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ 1) "without giving them more gameplay" --They are literally given more gameplay for watching the ad, so I'm not sure I agree with you there. 2) Intentionally slowing the rate at which a resource can be replenished is standard operating procedure for games, wouldn't you agree? Think "Lives" replenishing after a time period. Isn't that all I'm doing by offering a "Watch Video" option with a reward...rate checking the replenishing of a resource? \$\endgroup\$
    – West1
    May 28 at 10:19

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