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User experience is at the heart of great mobile game design. As creators, we toil over the most minute details to yield a delightful play experience, fluid metagame engagement, and seamless monetization. Despite this, many game developers throw their hands up and accept as inevitable a terrible user experience in one area: advertisements.
From ill-timed, jarring pop-ups, to screen-crowding banners, to offensive content, to annoying bursts of sound, mobile ads can disrupt an otherwise enjoyable experience for even the most loyal of players. Given the outsized cost of risking player engagement and retention, why are so many games actually