Sony Computer Entertainment America has sold an estimated 12.5 million PlayStation 3 units worldwide, and yet dynamic advertising has remained an untapped market. The console manufacturer, in an announcement today, said it opened its system to in-game advertising, and named IGA Worldwide, an in-game advertising network, as the first partner.
IGA signed a separate, multi-title deal with Electronic Arts, a game publisher, to run dynamic ads on the PS3.
In November last year Sony established an in-game advertising business unit. Since then Sony has been quiet, leaving room for speculation on how advertising will be allowed on the PS3. While IGA doesn’t have an exclusive relationship, it is the first to be publicly named.
“Any industry like this will thrive upon competition in the early days, it’s something that we welcome,” said Justin Townsend, CEO of IGA Worldwide.
In March, EA signed a deal that covers dynamic in-game advertising on the Xbox 360 with Massive.
Because EA has two-year deals for both the Xbox and PS3 consoles, advertisers should be able to make more informed planning decisions. This is a strategy both IGA and Massive are seeing happen with advertisers.
“What we’ve noticed in the last 12 months, most of the major publishers and advertisers have moved from being tactical to strategic,” Townsend said.
EA titles under the PS3 deal include EA Sports franchises Madden NFL football, NBA Live basketball, NASCAR racing, and NHL hockey. It also includes EA franchises Need for Speed and Burnout.
Ad units include posters, fliers, billboards, megaboards hanging down five stories of a building, and digital billboards. IGA can transfer print creative for use in a game setting; it can also render 3D objects and products.
Townsend said deals are close with other publishers, and the calls from publishers and advertisers have come in since the announcement was made. Advertising on the PS3 platform will begin soon, and EA titles will likely be the first to be seen.
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