Progressive Insurance and Mondo Studios, a branded gaming agency, are taking their online advergame on the road: new versions of Route-Rageous are available this week for the iPhone and iPod Touch.
The game, originally available on Yahoo Games, Wild Tangent, MSN and Facebook, involves navigating a car safely around a series of tracks while avoiding reckless drivers and dangerous conditions. The Progressive logo and links to the insurer's website appear throughout the game, and the Facebook version allows players to post scores on their news feed.
The mobile version of the game is available as a free download from the iTunes store.
"In developing Route-Rageous, we knew that one key to the integrated brand messaging was to ensure multiple contacts with the brand to keep Progressive Insurance top of mind," said Phill Simon, executive creative director at Mondo Studios, in a written statement. "What we needed, and then developed, was a casual gaming experience that would be played multiple times, and could grow from a first deployment online to many key platforms, thus reaching the right people wherever they happen to play."
Casual games have become an overwhelming force online in recent years. Consumers spent 10.2 percent of their time online playing games in June 2010, up from 9.3 percent in June 2009, according to an August report from Nielsen. That percentage is second only to social networking, which accounted for 22.7 percent of online activity in June 2010. E-mail accounted for just 8.3 percent.
Mobile gaming appears to be poised for the same level of popularity, particularly as smartphones become the norm. Sixty percent of mobile users with access to apps played a game on their phone in the past month, according to a Pew Research Center report released this week.
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Douglas Quenqua is a journalist based in Brooklyn, NY who writes about culture and technology. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Wired, The New York Observer, and Fortune.
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