MocoNews has a commentary by Matthew Bellows, the GM at Floodgate Entertainment, a leading mobile games developer:
Mobile game ad networks combine the problems of the Internet ad networks with the current issues facing mobile games today. Developers still shoulder the porting, localization and support costs of their games, and they still have to fight for deck placement in each download channel. But now, instead of getting paid during development (from a publisher), or getting paid as a percentage of the consumer price (from the carrier or D2C sales portal), they now have to depend on the success of a 3rd party ad team, and the response rate of mobile consumers.
In every media, cross-publication ad networks exist, and in some they do fairly well. But my suspicion is that main impetus behind the mobile games ad networks comes from more from Microsofts acquisition of Massive and Googles acquisition of Adscape Media, than from the opportunity to build real and sustainable businesses. The mobile games industry has been through a lot of investor-funded value chain experiments in its short history. We dont need another one right now, especially one so likely to fail.