Mid-tier video game publisher Midway Games is ramping up its in-game advertising plans with a comprehensive ad representation agreement. It’s also made a new executive hire to oversee relationships with brands.
The company tapped Double Fusion to sell and serve dynamic ads in multiple games over the next several years. The only title definitely included under the deal is Stranglehold, slated for release in fall 2006.
Additionally, the company hired Atari veteran Sarah McIlroy to head its in-game advertising and promotional efforts. Whereas Double Fusion will represent dynamic ad inventory such as posters and 2D video placements in 3D games, McIlroy will court advertisers seeking deeper integration with the gameplay.
The Double Fusion agreement provides for dynamic, rotating ad placements in PC games — the first time Midway has engaged in anything other than static, permanent ad units.
“When we talk about integration, that’s my role,” McIlroy told ClickZ News. “I’m more in it for long term brand relationships and partners.”
She said the company is very sensitive to user experience, and will only insert advertising in titles that are naturally conducive to it.
“Our [product development] and creative art leads are evaluating the titles to determine the best placements,” she said. “We’re anticipating a good response. We’re excited to see how consumers respond.”
The market for dynamic in-game advertising has so far been dominated by Massive, which boasts a large sales force and established relationships with many brand advertisers. Double Fusion is one of a younger generation of in-game advertising firms that hopes to curry favor with both marketers and game publishers, and hence the Midway relationship is a big win for the company.
Many see a great opportunity in dynamically serving ads to players of console games, but until connected consoles see wider adoption and equipment manufacturers like Sony and Microsoft decide how to approach the market, PC-based games are bound to provide the most inventory.
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