IGA Releases New In-Game Ad Platform

In the nascent competitive landscape of in-game advertising, companies must continually update their products and services. That’s why, only 18 months after the launch of its Radial in-game ad technology product, IGA Worldwide has today released Radial 2.0.

“We can now introduce a much wider range of advertising formats,” said IGA Worldwide CEO Justin Townsend.

Ads can now go beyond the basic billboard, the standard unit in the previous version of the in-game ad service, to build TV spots or animated 3D objects that can be dynamically switched out. “If you walk into a room, on a table there could be a frothing can of Coke you can drink,” said Townsend. “We have the ability to make that Sprite the next time a player visits the room.”

Three-dimensional images are not new to IGA’s offerings, which previously offered them through its Hive Partners U.K. division. Meanwhile, competitor Double Fusion works with partner Vykarian to handle 3D modeling. “Hive Partners, apart from doing creative work, also comes up with creative concepts directly with brands as well,” Townsend said.

Also on the list of enhancements are city-level geo-targeting, metrics for hard-coded ads, live inventory forecasting, enhanced data mining and an encrypted local ad cache. A Web-based ad booking system will smooth the campaign management process. “It’s very similar to interfaces [media buyers] are used to using for other advertising mediums,” he said.

IGA’s plans are to move game publishers to the new system since most of the changes are on the publisher side rather than the buying side. “It’s a fairly natural evolution,” Townsend said.

IGA works with about 25 to 30 game publishers, including Valve Software, Electronic Arts, Codemasters, Atari and Acclaim. Titles include Counterstrike 1.6 (Valve); Battlefield 2142 (EA); Colin McRae Dirt (Codemasters); Race: The Official WTCC Game (Simbin); Test Drive Unlimited (Atari); and 2Moons (Acclaim). Advertisers working with IGA include Jeep, Orange, T-Mobile, Ben Sherman, FHM, Fox Studios, Coke, Procter & Gamble, and Red Bull.

Radial 2.0 also adds an Adobe Flash software developer kit. Townsend estimates about 30 to 40 percent of online or casual games are Flash-based, and the firm recently signed 12 new casual game titles, though the category isn’t a focus for the ad network. “We are speaking with creators of all sorts of casual games on a weekly basis. A Flash SDK expands the total amount of available games we can bring into our network,” Townsend said.

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