Double Fusion signed a nine-title deal with 2K Games for integrated and dynamic ad placements in games publishing through spring of 2008.
“This is a hugely significant deal for Double Fusion as well as 2K Games,” Double Fusion CEO Jonathan Epstein told ClickZ. “We believe this partnership, the twentieth for us, clearly cements us as the leading independent company in the in-game advertising space.”
In the deal, Double Fusion is granted exclusive worldwide representation for integrated advertising in at least nine titles with release dates spanning spring of 2007 through 2008. A partial list of titles includes NHL 2K8, NBA 2K8, College Hoops 2K8, and MLB 2K8. A full list was not disclosed but is said to include additional sports and entertainment titles.
Both integrated and dynamic executions are part of the deal, with Double Fusion acting as the exclusive representative and technology provider for all dynamic in-game advertising. However, due to development cycles, the first few titles set to release under this agreement may see limited ad integration. Dynamic placements will run across the PC and all console platforms except the Xbox and Xbox 360. Double Fusion, along with its competitors and video game publishers, are waiting for Microsoft to implement dynamic advertising functionality. “Microsoft has said to the market that it is not going to stay closed, but it also has said it will take them a year or so to integrate the work they acquired from Massive, until that time our approach is to provide reach to Xbox gamers through integrated placements,” said Epstein. The ability to run dynamic placements on newly-released consoles PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii remains at the discretion of Sony and Nintendo respectively. “All console manufacturers and publishers want to do well by their gamers,” he said.
Double Fusion offers additional cross-promotional components to game publishers. “We’ve done arrangements with other publishers, where you see assets from the game within the promotion of other products. Historically our team has done promotions where game brands were featured on clothing tags.”
Double Fusion also works to create new opportunities for advertising, even after a game’s release. Downloadable content and extra game levels create inventory. As many of the titles under the deal are sports games, natural opportunities include sponsorships of signage, timer and clock branding, replay sponsorships, leaderboard placement in multiplayer modes, and advertising on screens where players customize their athletes.
Epstein thinks sports games are among the most important categories for advertisers who want to buy in-game advertising. “[Sports games are] family friendly, brand friendly, and they also represent aspiration values such as excellence, teamwork, and competition that brands seek to associate themselves with.”
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