I'm in ur gamez, serving u adz
September 6, 2012 8:02 AM   Subscribe

The In Game Advertising Business for Dummies - please drop some science on me regarding notable vendors and rates for this kind of thing given that Massive was killed.

The names and job descriptions of some characters discussed below have been changed to protect the innocent, namely me as I'm under an NDA. Please note the part in BOLD where I talk about what I don't want. When I say 'in game' I am not referring to 'around the game frame' or 'during the load screens'.

I am working on a project for a top 50 international brand. The project involves the development of an interactive game that will begin as an HTML 5 browser based game for phase 1 and most likely extend into iOS and Android for phase 2 around third or fourth quarter '13. Part of what I need to do for this game is serve in- game advertisements for co-sponsors or other contracted advertising partners. The problem I'm having is that since the demise of Massive, no one seems to do this and so I am faced with not having an avenue for finding an off the shelf technology to plug in and not having any rate card for industry standards around this.

If it was a simple matter of serving some banner or flash ads around the frame of a game or during load screens, I'd be golden but that's not what we want to do. We want to do something more like product placement in movies or tv shows -

meaning, the game environment will have places like billboards on streets or the sides of buildings, ad space on the sides of buses or inside subway stations or trains, ad spots during radio broadcasts in taxi cabs or in a coffee shop, etc etc. We will also sell sponsorships for things like an entire Starbucks on every corner, for example. I can find no real model for how to charge for this kind of thing.

Anyone have ideas or companies large or small they can point me to? NYC, SF, Portland OR, Boston companies are fine. Probably Vancouver too. I figure I need a vendor to supply the technology to serve and track the ads and a someone to talk to about industry standard rates for this ad space.
posted by spicynuts to Technology (5 answers total)
Very interesting question.

I recently founded a mobile game development company, about which I am happy to discuss offline if you want (I'm located in NYC), and have sketched out a financial model for what you propose, though I am not planning to use such a mechanism in current games that my company is developing.

If you're located in NYC, the NYC Gamers Meetup is an invaluable source of information. Unfortunately, I am not aware of any companies that do specifically what you're looking to do.

One company I know if, but which I have no connection to, is TapJoy. They may have some ideas.
posted by dfriedman at 8:52 AM on September 6, 2012

I will be at the next NYC Gamers MeetUp. If you're going to be there, let's meet up. I am in Brooklyn. I'm heading to a meeting right now but I'll reach out later in the day.
posted by spicynuts at 8:55 AM on September 6, 2012

The founder of a startup I used to work for is the founder and CEO of a startup in this space, PaeDae. It seems like their business model is slightly different from what you're looking for, they're focused on offers tied to in-game achievements, but he might at least be a good person for you to talk to. MeMail me if you'd like me to make an introduction.
posted by Kwine at 10:32 AM on September 6, 2012

Just sent you an email, but check out this article from VentureBeat.
posted by dfriedman at 10:10 AM on September 7, 2012

Thanks, Kwine...PaeDae seems a little different than the model we're trying to integrate - we don't really want to kick people from the adventure out into a separate experience of viewing or staring at an ad (like when you submit a word on Words With Friends). However, I think there may be small areas of compatibility with his company. At worst, he's another lead inside the industry. I'll PM you.
posted by spicynuts at 10:36 AM on September 7, 2012

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