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When Apple updated its ad tracking ID from opt-out to opt-in with the launch of iOS 14.5 in April, the industry’s primary concern was how it would affect mobile app marketing — and rightfully so, given how reliant marketers were IDFA’s capability to target relevant, high-value users. This policy change has disrupted the entire app marketing ecosystem, with significant repercussions to the way we track, measure, target and re-target ad campaigns. But perhaps just as important, if less heralded, as those changes were, is that Apple’s policy has also had significant implications for game design and monetization.
Already we are seeing notable differences to the way many games are designed and developed, and especially to the game mechanics that drive their monetization strategies. After all, when game developers can no longer target ad campaigns based on specific criteria and are forced to rely on a broader campaign distribution strategy, they must rethink the way they monetize the broad-based audiences they will now attract.
The hybridization of hardcore and casual games
Hardcore and casual games have traditionally represented opposite ends of a spectrum based on factors such as the depth of the storytelling experience, the length of the sessions, and more. These disparate gaming styles have typically attracted very different audiences: Core gamers are more committed and more…