Here is a thought that came to our mind after playing for a while with webGL. While the technology is flexible enough to support any landing or promotion page, its future remains in the hand of game companies with the port of their smartphone games. This actually means that two distinguished process design are up and running in webGL development: The Web Development and the Game Development. Our concerns here are about the In Game Advertising and how much the process behind game companies occult the potential brought by web technologies.
WebGL based game created by game companies are compiled by their game engine as a target among others, or by using third tools such as emscripten. So IGA, if any, will be planned in the same process design that other targets. But WebGL can allow a complete different process. Contents are downloaded from web servers and so are updated at download time. While this is actually running fairly well for website and apps, it will not be considered by any major game companies because it would mean re-factoring game engine code or plug-in for one target only. It would also be quite tricky to implement an asset management dealing with on-load time texture against already compiled binary asset. But not impossible, and this is our point there: web technologies can show the way.
Let’s illustrate this with an example. A game engine will optimise the texture asset for minimal GPU load. In no way loading an image at runtime, converting its bitmap data to a compressed GPU format, then loading and asserting it in the already running game data can balance the merit of an ad. But in the IT world, the same ad can just be loaded and inserted in game without any effort using webGL if done right. In this case the merit is real and appealing, especially when the actual major downside of IGA, means the lack of analytics, is also already solved by the web Ad ecosystem.
While we agree that for game companies a simple web target doesn’t really worst any plug-in development cost, such an option would make sense from an AAA production pipeline perspective. Think about all the sport game out there where sponsorship could be re-run from scratch with new sponsor sharpened for the game audience. From this point of view, it would be like redefining sponsorship for the e-sport.