Is it game over for the virtual ad?
Posted in: Internet Use/New Technologies at 18/02/2011 20:35
It seems like only yesterday that Barack Obama was using computerised billboard promotions for his election campaign in Burnout Paradise, every petrolhead's favourite video game. But within a few years of in-game advertising being touted as a potential $1bn-a-year industry, its star has waned even more dramatically than that of the new President.
Gaming presents myriad opportunities for advertisers, from billboards in urban landscapes for driving or shoot-'em-up games or pitchside signage for sports formats, to product placement and soundtracks. Microsoft thought it could capitalise on the potential in the sector when it acquired Massive Incorporated, a specialist provider of advertising in games, for around $300m (£186m) in 2006. Months later, Massive was predicting it could add up to $2 in advertising revenue for every game sold and its CEO, Mitch Davis, was predicting a market worth $2bn a year. Then a few weeks ago, the company was closed down. Microsoft will concentrate instead on applying that expertise on Xbox Live, its gamer-focused subscription service, which allows it to keep all ad revenue for itself, rather than share money with game publishers.