Gaming advertising business Venatus has today announced it has acquired AdinPlay, an ad tech business which specialises in monetisation of browser-based games. This is the first acquisition Venatus has made since receiving investment from private equity firm LivingBridge in 2021, designed to help Venatus scale its gaming technology offering. AdinPlay has forecast revenues of over €20 million this year, which Venatus says complements its own strategic growth plans.
Venatus offers solutions which help brands reach gaming audiences – but this takes quite a few different forms, and often happens outside of videogames themselves. For example, Venatus will place ads on gaming-focused websites like FIFA website Futbin and League of Legends community site Mobafire (which Venatus describes as ‘next to the game’ placements), or facilitate sponsorships around major gaming events.
But obviously ads which appear in the games themselves are a major part of the business. Venatus splits these into two formats – ‘in-game advertising’, where ads appear within the in-game environment (for example, on an in-world billboard), and ‘around the game’ advertising, where ads run within a game, but during breaks in gameplay (for example, rewarded video ads).
AdinPlay primarily runs ‘next to the game’ and ‘around the game’ placements, offering, video, display, audio, rewarded video, and interstitial ads. Its game publisher partners include Kongregate, Ubisoft Nano, and Rakuten.
Thus, the acquisition will give Venatus direct access to a wide range of new inventory (AdinPlay claims to reach 51 million gamers worldwide across 700 multiplayer games), as well as the technology which backs AdinPlay’s ad solutions.
But it may be AdinPlay’s focus on browser-based gaming which made it a target for Venatus.
A lot of focus in gaming advertising centres on mobile and console/PC gaming. But browser-based gaming, which has been around pretty much since the dawn of the internet, remains popular. It has even seen something of a resurgence over the past ten years through the popularity of “io” games – browser-based multiplayer games with a .io domain such as agar.io, slither.io, and hole.io.
Venatus, in a blog post announcing its acquisition, pointed to Google AdSense’s recent launch of a specialist HTML5 offering as evidence of enthusiasm and belief in browser-based gaming’s potential.