The controversial subject of in-game advertising has reared its head again. This time, Massice and Funcom have announced new technology that will allow players to interact with billboards in-game (Anarchy Online). THe first company to bite into this? Toyota, to promote their new Yaris:
Toyota first company to utilize interactive ads in games
Durham, USA — July 19, 2006 – In-game advertising takes another leap forward as Funcom and Massive Incorporated introduce interactive advertisement technology in ‘Anarchy Online’. The new technology allows players to interact with dynamic billboards in the game, making for a more memorable and interactive advertisement experience. The new Toyota campaign allows players of the free ‘Anarchy Online’ version to walk up to in-game billboards and interact with it to unveil the sleek new Toyota Yaris. Funcom expects this new move in interactive advertisement to pave the way for future endeavors across the entire games and advertisement industry.
Massive Incorporated’s CEO Mitch Davis heralded the joint move as “a tremendous step forward in terms of giving advertisers what they want- the ability to target the elusive male 18-34 range and allowing them to interact with the products for a more memorable experience.” He continued “This is just the beginning of interactive ads in games, and we are very pleased to unveil this new technology together with Funcom and Toyota. What is important to mention here though is that we are not adding this to distract from the game experience itself. Our company always has the best interest of the gamers and the game experience in mind.“
Massive Incorporated has pioneered in-game ad technology, and has grown to become the biggest game advertising network. The company was recently purchased by Microsoft.
“In Funcom we are always trying to push the envelope in innovation and technology, and this recent move with Funcom, Massive and Toyota is a perfect example,” said Trond Arne Aas, CEO of Funcom. “Our primary goal is always to deliver the best possible entertainment, but to offset the high development costs in today’s gaming landscape we need to look at additional forms of income. What Massive is offering us is exactly that, and we are therefore very pleased to continue working with them to introduce new technologies that give us a competitive edge.”
On the 24th of March 2005 Anarchy Online became the first game ever to feature dynamic advertisement billboards. On the fourth anniversary of Anarchy Online on the 27th of June it became the first game to introduce live videos and sound on dynamic advertisement billboards. In 2005 more than 500.000 new players registered for Anarchy Online, and the game continues to draw in impressed crowds in their hundreds of thousands. A new expansion pack entitled ‘Anarchy Online – Lost Eden’ will be released this fall. Go to http://www.anarchy-online.com for more information.
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