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IDFA: Mobile games industry up for a bumpy ride?

The mobile games industry is up for a bumpy ride with Apple removing the IDFA (technically IDFA will still exist post September but with a very, very low adoption rate). The change will happen swiftly as iOS14 will quickly adopt.

This article is written by Oliver Kern.

Oliver Kern - Games Specialist - IDFA: Mobile games industry up for a bumpy ride?

Oliver KernGames Specialist – IDFA: Mobile games industry up for a bumpy ride?

So what are the opportunities and risks for game developers and publishers? Well, if you are dependent on media buying, things are going to change. If you are dependent on advertising revenues, things are going to change.

As Eric Seufert mentions in his, a lot of parties in the advertising ecosystem will need to find new ways to provide value. Be it attribution, retargeting, programatic advertising, ROAS based automation – this will all become incredibly vague and you can already see the attempts of some of these providers to find new sexy slogans and test the interest on the advertisers side for new incredibly risky ways of doing business as if nothing has happened.

But a lot will change and we don’t even know all the details.

Today was the first working day of the month (August 2020) and I found 8 (!) updates of people joining Apple in the search ads team – just in my newsfeed (so therefore just in Europe where my network mainly sits). Most of these are account managers which could indicate that a solution for us marketers is already long on the way. This solution is just not going to come from facebook anymore and it may not need lots of service providers either.

The future growth acceleration of Apple may not come from their services but from advertising revenues: Next attempt of Apple building an ad network. But this time they don’t need to build anything marketer friendly and competitive anymore as they will have a monopoly on the data.

Are they in the process of building the Apple Audience Network? With their move of kind of deprecating the IDFA, they are removing the data from facebook, which will create a playing field and where over time Apple’s access to data will be their competitive advantage.

What is going to happen for the game publishers/ mobile advertisers? As some mobile advertisers are already spending as if there were no Q4, the writing is on the wall: Things will get messy and much more unpredictable.

Personally, I do expect, that in the short term we will see a drop in top-line revenues for hyper-casual games, but I don’t see their death. They will be able to buy even cheaper and as their focus is to buy untargeted, they will adjust their bids against their expected revenues. As CPM’s drop, this volume game might be able to work, though at smaller top-line revenues. If the revenues are then big enough is to be seen.

For core, midcore and social casino games, we might see tough times: No more retargeting of whales, no more ROAS based media-buying. But let’s face it: the way we were buying media was always probabilistic. Unfortunately, now the risk will increase significantly and we will have much less signals to react quickly. Some will take that risk, others will be cautious. Sounds like a lottery?

Apple to the rescue (at least for iOS)…to be continued!


About the games podcast;

This podcast is all about gaming. You can listen to many episodes and read daily news and insights from the games industry.

Reinout te Brake - Inside Gaming News 24/7 - Best Video Gaming News 2021

Reinout te Brake – Inside Gaming News 24/7 – Best Video Gaming News 2021IDFA

The podcast host is Reinout te Brake, who is an avid gaming investor and strategic business consultant specialized in the games industry. He is talking, in this games podcast, to a variety of game experts in their fields, and they provide real and valuable gaming insights. 


He touches primarily on topics such as tips and tricks for getting started and grow in the games industry. Other topics include: further insights into the financial aspects of gaming, how to increase your chances of recruitment in the games industry, how to cope with adversity and daily challenges. Lots of people from game industry people find this podcast extremely insightful and is on their shortlist of favorite games podcasts. The Games Podcast Interviews are giving them new insights in the gaming industry. (IDFA)

Reinout te Brake

In a career spanning across 20+ years, Reinout te Brake has raised over 100+ Million Euros in Fundraising for a diversity of companies and has worked with several venture capitals firms. Helping gaming companies expand their brand reach, get the right story telling and make an impact on a global scale. Reinout te Brake has had the honor to counsel some of the major gaming companies operating on a global scale. For the last 12 years, he has devoted his major focus towards the niche of gaming consultancy to provide his insight and expertise to help gaming companies reach outstanding financial and business results.