Monday, January 29, 2007

In-Game Ads Selectable by Users of Casual Games

Big Fish Games, with over 25 million unique visitors a month is planning on allowing their users to select which ads they want to see as they play their games.

Big Fish Games is a gaming site with hundreds of flash games oriented towards the casual gamer is owned by AWS Convergent Technologies. In order to maximize the revenue brought by the traffic and advertising click throughs are planning an opt-in system for advertising chosen by the people playing those games.

This is a smart move, not only do users select advertisements that they're interested in, and therefore more likely to convert upon, AWS/ Big Fish Games are getting valuable demographic and behavioral information from the users on the front end. Which will allow for more relevant and targeted advertisements.

According to MarketingVox, they've already secured Microsoft Live,, Western Union, Hoover and Walt Disney World as initial sponsors. This is not geared for the "hard core" or "nerd core" gamers, but the players who enjoy challenging puzzles and flash "twitch" games.

With this data, they can deliver contextual ads that enhance the experience of the user, maximize the conversion click throughs and allow the user to customize their experience, as personalization starts pervading through users' internet experience.

Most of the time when I mention in-game ads, I'm talking about PC or console games with billboards, or locations that represent real companies, or interactive objects like a bottle of Slurm that you can drink. The other kind of ad that is being looked at can be derived from your search and internet habits to deliver real time contextual ads into your game. As cleverly drawn from the excellent web-comic/ industry watcher site Penny Arcade. (Seriously, check them out, they're brilliant).

This kind of in-game advertising makes me a little nervous, not because it'll ruin the purity of dismembering zombies (an activity I heartily endorse), but because I am still not convinced that the companies engaged in the advertising will have the users' experience and best interests in mind.

Anyway, in-game ads are here, they're here to stay... lets just hope they do it right.

No comments: