tl;dr: Embedded video ads are really annoying, even if you can skip them. You might want to compare your ad revenue to how much traffic you’re actually driving away when people just close your game when they see the ad, especially since most of the people playing your game are offering you helpful feedback, for free, in their spare time.
I’ve played over 100 games, mostly web versions, and I’m starting to get really sick of watching loud embedded videos (especially since it’s the same video for Max Payne 3 over and over again) every time I want to try out a Ludum Dare entry for a couple minutes. Even if the movie is skippable (not all of them are), you’re still adding a loud (usually unmutable), obnoxious barrier that makes it harder for people to play your game. And since the people playing it are doing so in order to give it a rating and offer you some helpful feedback, for free, in their spare time, you’re basically trying to make a profit from them helping you. It seems a little rude/selfish/whatever, which definitely seems to go against the spirit of Ludum Dare.
It’s getting to the point where I’m probably going to start skipping over games that force me to watch an embedded ad. I don’t want to do that because most of the games here are really awesome and the people who made them are rock stars so I want to give them some feedback, but if I’m annoyed, then chances are other people are annoyed too. Also, some people have older/slower computers that might play your game just fine, but lag because of the video. So you might want to compare your ad revenue to how many potential players are just closing out your game as soon as the ad starts.
I understand the need for indie developers to get some return on their games. I pay for hosting and offer it for free to Java and Processing developers, so I get it. And I do run ads on my site, but I try to make them as unobtrusive as possible- right now, just banner ads at the bottom of the screen. I will probably never play embedded video ads.
I’ve been giving developers the benefit of the doubt since most of this complaint is about games hosted on kongregate, and I’m not sure if there’s even a way for you guys to disable that ad. But I’ve also seen embedded ads in games hosted on sites like dropbox. So I figured I’d issue a friendly “hey, that’s kind of obnoxious and might not actually be good for you” gripe to give fellow developers some feedback.
Anyway, does anybody else feel this way? Or am I just getting tired and grouchy after playing so many games?