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Top 15 Gaming Ad Networks in 2024

With over 3.22 billion players worldwide and 285 million in North America alone, gaming has become a universal pastime, engaging multiple generations across various devices. This broad appeal has made gaming a social experience with incredible engagement and brand impact, making it a prime spot for advertisers.

There are various advertising opportunities in gaming, from programmatic ads and real-time bidding (RTB) to deep integrations and custom-branded experiences.

Here are 3 primary ways brands can engage with the gaming audience:

  • Away-from-the-Game Ads: These opportunities exist outside the game itself, including platforms like gaming news and review websites, streaming services, e-sports events, influencer marketing, and content marketing.
  • Around Game Ads: These include display units that appear during natural breaks in gameplay, such as between levels or rounds. This category encompasses game skinning ads, standard IAB units, pre/post and inter-level game ads, and interactive digital videos.
  • In-Game Ads: Ads placed directly within the game environment can be static or dynamically served. Static ads are integrated into the game’s environment and remain unchanged, while dynamic ads can be updated remotely through an ad server, allowing for targeted advertising based on geographical location, time of day, and other factors.

What are Gaming Ad Networks?

In the gaming advertising ecosystem, the two primary components are the publisher, who provides ad space within games, and the advertiser, who seeks to display ads to the gaming audience. A gaming ad network is a specialized platform that acts as an intermediary between these publishers and advertisers. Functioning much like a broker, a gaming ad network aggregates impressions from various game publishers and offers these impressions for sale to advertisers, facilitating the connection between advertisers looking to reach engaged gamers and publishers aiming to monetize their games.

How do Gaming Ad Networks Work? 

Gaming ad networks receive ad inventory from game publishers and then sell this inventory to interested advertisers. The network consists of numerous gaming publishers, enabling advertisers to access a wide range of ad spaces within games. Advertisers can set up campaigns directly through a control panel provided by the ad network, or use third-party ad servers if they are working with multiple networks. They configure the necessary parameters for their campaigns to ensure effective targeting and delivery. Once an advertisement is published, advertisers can manage the order and placement of banners or in-game ads using the ad network’s control tools. This system eliminates the need for direct communication between the advertiser and the publisher, streamlining the process.

Advertisers often use multiple advertising platforms and networks to place ads, aiming to maximize their marketing returns. These advertising platform companies range in size and include major players like Facebook, Google, and Amazon, along with numerous private companies. In this article, we will explore the top 18 gaming ad networks that are leading the industry in 2024.

Top 15 Gaming Ad Networks to Work With In 2024

1. Venatus

Established: 2010

Headquarters: London, UK

Venatus is a global AdTech platform specializing in gaming and entertainment publishers, co-founded by Rob Gay and Matt Cannon in 2010. It was established to provide advertisers with direct access to the gaming audience, catering to both premium publishers and advertisers eager to connect with this valuable demographic.

Venatus exclusively manages direct and programmatic ad sales for over 250 core publishers, including prominent names such as Rovio, EA, OP.GG, What Culture, and FUTBIN. Their in-house sales teams have successfully delivered award-winning creative campaigns for major brands like Unilever, BBC, Universal, Hasbro, Activision, and Intel.

As a global company, Venatus has offices in London, New York, Los Angeles, Sydney, and Seoul, ensuring a wide-reaching presence. The platform leverages market innovation, data insights, and high-quality service to create meaningful connections between publishers, advertisers, and audiences. This is achieved through various ad formats, including display, mobile, rich media, and video.

2. Playwire

Established: 2007

Headquarters: Florida, US

Playwire is dedicated to accelerating the growth of publishers, creators, and app developers by maximizing ad revenue and enhancing operational efficiency. Founded in 2007, Playwire provides a comprehensive monetization solution through its RAMP (Revenue Amplification Management Platform), utilizing advanced machine learning technology, branded as Revenue Intelligence™, to manage the ad ecosystem for digital publishers.

Playwire's journey began in the gaming industry, quickly becoming the largest ad network for video games with exclusive partnerships, including World of Warcraft. Today, Playwire’s portfolio includes the management of thousands of publisher properties, serving 70 billion impressions and more than 3 billion page views each month. The company’s extensive vertical reach now includes entertainment, kids' sites, real estate, parents and lifestyle, food, and finance.

Headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida, with a global presence from San Francisco to Singapore, Playwire continues to innovate. Playwire's excellence in the field was recognized when it was named a Google Certified Publishing Partner (GCPP) in early 2020. In April  2024, Playwire announced partnership with Enthusiast Gaming to leverage its expertise in digital monetization and advanced technology, driving revenue and community growth for Enthusiast Gaming's expansive network of gaming websites, channels, and apps.

3. Chartboost

Established: 2011

Headquarters: San Francisco, US

Chartboost, based in San Francisco, is a leading platform for in-app programmatic advertising and monetization in mobile games. The Chartboost SDK allows developers to monetize their apps and connect with advertisers globally. This platform enables game developers to create customized interstitial and video ads to promote new games, offering direct access to valuable game data.

Chartboost's capabilities include designing custom ads, tracking and analyzing sales data, and providing high-definition video ads through its Reward Video service. The platform also offers InPlay, an interactive ad layer integrated into gameplay, and releases monthly global heat maps detailing average cost per install on iOS and Android.

In May 2021, Zynga acquired Chartboost for $250 million, enhancing Zynga's advertising and monetization capabilities. With Zynga's support, Chartboost is well-positioned to continue its growth and impact in the mobile ad tech industry.

4. Enthusiast Gaming

Established: 2014

Headquarters: Toronto, Canada

Enthusiast Gaming is a leading Canadian digital media company specializing in video game journalism, founded in 2014 by entrepreneur Menashe Kestenbaum. Based in Toronto, the company aims to build the world’s largest platform for gaming and esports communities.

Enthusiast Gaming's digital media platform includes approximately 100 gaming-related websites and 1,000 YouTube channels, collectively generating 4.2 billion views monthly. This makes it the largest gaming platform in North America and the United Kingdom, reaching over 300 million gamers and earning a spot on the list of the top 100 internet properties in North America as the #2 among gaming properties.

Enthusiast Gaming’s content studio and creator network provide turnkey brand integration opportunities through content and social activations, further solidifying its influence and reach in the gaming industry.

5. Gamer Network

Established: 1999

Headquarters: Brighton, UK

Gamer Network is a leading global media company specializing in video game journalism. Gamer Network is renowned for its flagship website, Eurogamer.net, the world's leading independent video games site available in ten European languages. The company also publishes influential websites such as GamesIndustry.biz, a top trade resource, and Outside Xbox, a dedicated video channel for the Xbox community. Additionally, Gamer Network represents partner websites including VG247.com, RockPaperShotgun.com, and NintendoLife.com. 

In 2018, Gamer Network was acquired by ReedPop, known for events like PAX and New York Comic-Con. Under ReedPop, the company continued to expand and innovate. In May 2024, IGN Entertainment acquired Gamer Network, leading to significant changes, including layoffs and the sale of several editorial brands.

Gamer Network remains dedicated to producing high-quality editorial content and fostering a strong community. Its network of award-winning websites, video channels, and social platforms reaches tens of millions of gamers every month. The company’s services division creates bespoke advertising and gaming content for a diverse range of clients, maintaining a strong focus on editorial excellence and community engagement.

6. AppLovin

Established: 2012

Headquarters: Palo Alto, US

AppLovin empowers developers to market, monetize, analyze, and publish their apps through its advanced mobile advertising, marketing, and analytics platforms, including MAX, AppDiscovery, and SparkLabs. The platform enables advertisers to reach suitable users with personalized content, maximizing user engagement and downloads. By offering monetization and analytics technology, AppLovin helps advertisers secure high ad impression values. It also provides developers with tools to optimize their apps and streamline business operations. Additionally, with the integration of Wurl, AppLovin has entered the CTV advertising market. The platform facilitates real-time auctions for publishers to attain attractive values for their ad inventory. Combining these elements creates a robust marketing and monetization engine that effectively connects advertisers and publishers.

AppLovin also boasts a globally diversified portfolio of over 200 free-to-play mobile games spanning five genres, managed by eleven studios worldwide. These studios, staffed by talented developers, have created games across genres such as casual, match-three, card/casino, midcore, and hyper-casual. AppLovin’s studios utilize live operations to rapidly iterate and enhance in-game monetization, optimizing app economies and improving conversion rates for items and offers. At hte same time, a substantial part of AppLovin's revenue comes from its Software Platform Revenue and In-App Advertising Revenue, generated through ad inventory within its extensive portfolio of mobile games.

7. Ad4Game

Established: 2008

Headquarters: Dublin, Ireland

Ad4Game is a leading gaming ad network specializing in monetization solutions and yield optimization for MMO, RPG, and browser-based games. The company helps hundreds of top-ranking developers monetize their traffic through CPC, CPM, and CPA advertising solutions.

With a mission to maximize the potential of mobile apps, Ad4Game increases demand for developers' traffic and provides expert optimization advice. The network has access to over 20 billion impressions worldwide each month, representing some of the world's leading app developers, including Rollic Games, Musi, Fugo, TextPlus, AudioMack, and Pinso. Ad4Game boosts advertising revenue through banners and video ads from Google, direct clients, and leading demand-side platforms (DSPs).

Ad4Game employs internal and third-party tools to swiftly identify and prevent invalid traffic and activity, maintaining deductions at less than 0.25% of total revenues. Additionally, 98% of Ad4Game's partners include the company in their ads.txt and app-ads.txt files, ensuring transparency and trust. The network runs only direct ads with no third-party ad tags, giving clients the flexibility to exclude any ad categories that do not fit their audience.

8. Overwolf & Nitro

Established: 2010

Headquarters: Tel Aviv, Israel

Overwolf is a prominent platform in the gaming industry, celebrated for its innovative ad tech solutions and dedication to empowering in-game creators. Recognized by Comscore as a Top 10 US Game Publisher, Overwolf enables advertisers to reach over 100 million monthly gamers across leading titles like Minecraft, Fortnite, and League of Legends. Supporting over 1,500 games and boasting a community of 178,000 creators, Overwolf facilitates the creation, distribution, and monetization of in-game apps, mods, and private game servers. These desktop apps enhance player experiences by adding extra content during gameplay, seamlessly integrating ads to engage an exclusive, hard-to-reach audience.

Nitro provides website publishers with a comprehensive monetization solution, including simultaneous bidding for display ads, a customizable video player for instream and outstream ads, and the option to offer premium memberships for ad-free browsing. Hundreds of premium publishers utilize Nitro's leading ad technology and data tools, which consistently outperform other market solutions. Nitro serves over 500 premium websites, including prominent gaming sites like Maxroll.gg, Liquipedia.net, and VLR.gg. By enabling publishers to offer users premium subscriptions for an ad-free browsing experience, Nitro's advanced monetization solutions help efficiently manage ad inventory, boost revenue, and ensure a seamless user experience.

Recently acquired by Overwolf, the all-in-one platform for building, sharing, and monetizing in-game apps, mods, and private servers, Nitro (formerly NitroPay) has expanded Overwolf Ads' reach to over 100 million unique monthly gamers, significantly increasing its audience.

9. Unity Ads

Unity Ads, a mobile ad monetization platform developed by Unity Technologies, is designed to support developers with in-app advertising, user acquisition, and in-app purchases. It provides publishers with access to a comprehensive advertising ecosystem, participating in a large ad exchange with over 60 demand sources.

Developers can design and customize campaign options to meet their unique goals, allowing for precise control over their operations. The platform supports a variety of mobile app ad formats, including full-screen interstitials, banners, and rewarded videos, maximizing CPMs through its extensive demand network.

The advanced and comprehensive reporting tools in Unity Ads, such as the Monetize Dashboard, enable developers to manage campaigns and make real-time adjustments based on insights. Unity Ads also offers features like ad targeting, analytics, and reporting tools to help developers optimize ad revenue and enhance the overall user experience within their games. 

10. Publisher Collective

Established: 2022

Headquarters: Bath, UK

Publisher Collective is a global advertising platform that integrates publisher values to help games and entertainment communities grow through effective monetization strategies. With an exclusive network of over 200 gaming and entertainment sites, Publisher Collective reaches more than 130 million unique users each month, making it a prime choice for targeting gaming audiences.

The company specializes in delivering tailored advertising solutions that combine contextual and behavioral targeting across its portfolio of gaming and entertainment channels. This approach ensures the relevance and specificity of a site brand while leveraging the reach and scale of an extensive network. Publisher Collective caters to a wide range of gamers, from casual mobile gamers to mid-core console owners to competitive gamers, providing advertisers with unparalleled access to diverse gaming audiences.

Publisher Collective supports programmatic trading, enabling efficient and scalable ad transactions. Its commitment to user experience and contextual content stems from a passion for gaming, ensuring that partners can sustainably grow their communities. As both a publishing house and a digital sales house, Publisher Collective is dedicated to helping partners achieve their monetization goals while maintaining the integrity and quality of their content.

11. CPM Star

Established: 2005

Headquarters: Santa Monica, US

Since its inception in 2005, CPMStar has stood out as the first and largest advertising solution dedicated to reaching gamers. With an impressive reach of over 800 million monthly active users (MAUs), CPMStar caters to gamers across all demographics. Leveraging proprietary technology, a global network, exclusive partnerships, and high-impact formats, CPMStar consistently meets and exceeds key performance indicators (KPIs) while optimizing to offer competitive pricing.

CPMStar operates as a real-time bidding (RTB) advertising platform and monetization solution, utilizing advanced machine learning and code generation. This platform allows advertisers, game publishers, and developers to maximize revenue through state-of-the-art technology and a robust direct sales team that collaborates with top-tier game studios.

In March 2024, ad operations startup Aditude announced its acquisition of CPMStar. By effectively doubling its audience to approximately 1.6 million monthly active users, Aditude aims to create scalable private marketplaces (PMPs) tailored to niche gaming audiences. Following the acquisition, CPMStar continues to operate its supply-side platform (SSP) as a standalone business, ensuring that publishers can maintain their current ad operations without mandatory integration into Aditude's ad ops products. 

12. Zynga Ads

Established: 2021

Headquarters: San Francisco, US

Zynga Ads is an ad network tailored specifically for mobile game developers. Serving over 100 million monthly active users, Zynga Ads offers a robust platform that enables game developers to promote their games to a highly targeted audience. The network supports a variety of ad formats, including in-game video, rewarded video ads, and playable ads, providing extensive reach and engagement opportunities.

Compatible with both iOS and Android platforms, Zynga Ads is accessible to a wide range of developers. Its focus on mobile gaming and advanced targeting capabilities make it an ideal choice for developers aiming to promote their mobile games and connect with a highly engaged audience. Zynga’s mission is to connect the world through games, and Zynga Ads plays a crucial role in achieving this goal by facilitating effective game promotion and user acquisition.

Zynga is a global leader in interactive entertainment, reaching over 250 million global players across hundreds of casual and hyper-casual titles. From iconic franchises such as Words With Friends to chart-topping hits like High Heels!, Zynga’s games have been downloaded over 4 billion times. The company’s strength in the mobile gaming space led to its $12.7 billion acquisition by Take-Two Interactive in 2022.

13. Fandom

Established: 2004

Headquarters: San Francisco, US

Fandom is the world's largest fan platform, designed to harness the value of fanatical attention. With a massive audience of 350 million fans worldwide, Fandom puts brands front and center while fans are deeply engaged with their favorite entertainment and games. From Honest Trailers to game reviews, custom videos, and live streaming events, Fandom offers a wide range of opportunities to drive viewership and engagement.

Fandom's ad network offers opportunities for brands to engage with fans through content such as reviews, custom videos, and virtual live events. Fandom also offers brand safety partnerships and content moderation to ensure safe environments for users and advertisers.

The platform's reach and engagement are further enhanced by its acquisition of a portfolio of entertainment and gaming brands from Red Ventures, including GameSpot, Metacritic, TV Guide, GameFAQs, Giant Bomb, Cord Cutters News, and Comic Vine.

14. PWN Games

Established: 2016

Headquarters: Montréal and Québec City, Canada

PWN Games is a leading Canadian performance marketing company based in Montréal and Québec City, specializing in user acquisition for the gaming industry worldwide. With over 750 million impressions served monthly, PWN Games delivers more than 500,000 new players each month from over 100 countries, working with 350+ high-quality publishers across the most popular digital channels. 

Founded in late 2016 by a group of online advertising veterans, PWN Games was established to dominate the Free-to-Play games advertising market. The company's growth has been fueled by its ability to target, convert, and re-engage millions of players through large-scale and innovative user-acquisition campaigns.

The company is dedicated to building strong and durable relationships, carefully selecting partners to ensure mutual success. PWN Games continuously strives to increase EPCs, discover new payout models such as SOI, DOI, and CPP, and provide valuable insights and stellar support for advertisers and publishers.

15. Network N

Established: 2012

Headquarters: Bath, UK

Network N is a global media company focused on the gaming industry, based in Bath, UK. Founded by James Binns in May 2012, Network N quickly established itself with the launch of PCGamesN.com the following month. Initially combining traditional games coverage with user-created content, PCGamesN has since evolved to focus on original content for PC games and hardware.

Network N's publishing arm includes a dozen owned websites such as PCGamesN, Pocket Tactics, and The Digital Fix, along with partnerships with over 150 network sites like TrueAchievements.com. Through its creative agency Project N, the company produces high-quality content for clients and collaborates with publishers and advertisers to maximize audience value via the Publisher Collective.

The company has continually expanded its editorial team, drawing talent from prestigious publications like PC Gamer, GamesMaster, the Official PlayStation Magazine, Edge Magazine, and Kotaku UK. This growth culminated in a major redesign of PCGamesN in 2018, setting the standard for subsequent site launches and relaunches within Network N's portfolio.

Conclusion

With gaming's broad appeal and significant engagement levels, it offers advertisers a unique opportunity to connect with diverse and highly involved audiences. Understanding the role of gaming ad networks is crucial in navigating gaming landscape, as these platforms facilitate the connection between advertisers and publishers, streamlining the process and maximizing the impact of ad campaigns.

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