Free version of Fruit Ninja makes $400,000 a month on ads

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Halfbrick Studio's popular Fruit Ninja game is proving to be a serious cash cow for the Brisbane based games developer. In addition to the licensing deals for Fruit Ninja related T-shirts, Gummy Candy & Fruit Snacks, plush toys, and now a comic series, the actual game itself is bringing in some considerable bank every month for both the free and paid mobile versions.

Speaking to Halfbrick CMO, Phil Larsen, Adage.com has some interesting numbers on the kind of money Fruit Ninja makes a month. In last April, the free version of Fruit Ninja on iOS and Android made a $400,000 in ad revenue, while the paid version made a $1 million in total revenue across all the different platforms.

Phil details why Halfbrick chose Mobclix to handle the ad service for Fruit Ninja free, which frees up the Brisbane based developer to put their limited resources elsewhere rather than micromanaging an in-game ad service themselves. Mobclix, a mobile ad exchange where ad networks bid against each other for mobile ad space, has helped in filtering out the more lower-quality dating or spam-like ads from appearing in their game.

Surprisingly, the $400,000 monthly ad revenue isn't thought of as an "exorbitant amount" by Halfbrick when it's compared to Fruit Ninja's incredible popularity and the amount of downloads (300 million and counting) it has accumulated. The action fruit slicer gets most of its revenue from the paid version of the game and via in-app purchases, and Halfbrick has not seen sales for the paid version compromised by the ad supported free version.