Massive Incorporated Interview

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posted 4/11/2005 by The GN Staff
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GamingNexus: What game companies are you currently working with?
Nicholas Longano: Massive has signed long-term exclusive partnerships with videogame publishers and has developed the first videogame advertising network. We then sell advertising to global brands who want to reach the elusive male 18-34 year-old demographic. Our current publisher partnerships include Ubisoft, Vivendi Universal Games, Legacy Interactive, Atari, Codemasters, Eidos, and Funcom. Our advertisers are global brands in industries such as automotive, fast food, retail, telecom, and entertainment.

GamingNexus: How does the process of matching games and advertisers work? Is it similar to how products are placed in movies and television?
Nicholas Longano: Dynamic in-game advertising works in much the same manner as matching TV spots to a television audience. Advertisers match their messaging and their creative to their target demographic. Massive’s network delivers that message, in real time, to the respective gamer audience.

GamingNexus: Who came up with the idea of in-game advertising/what was be the first game to incorporate in-game advertising?
Nicholas Longano: The first network title to incorporate dynamic in-game advertising was Mall Tycoon. The idea first surfaced several years ago, when, and this is true for many games, it was noticed that publishers were serving fake ads and store-fronts in their videogames. Given the creative trouble that developers go to in order to make their games more realistic to their audience, immersing them in these worlds, dynamic in-game advertising seemed the most logical step for the industry.

GamingNexus: In game advertising is starting to become ubiquitous. Do you think there’s a point of over saturation?
Nicholas Longano: Traditional product placement can cause brand-fatigue for advertisers, and over-expose a gamer. However, dynamic in-game advertising cannot. Because the advertising messages are constantly changing, it gives the game a fresh and entertaining experience each time gamers enter their game. Massive also conducts many play tests to ensure that gamers are never over-saturated to advertising messages, and work side by side with development teams to ensure that ads are placed in the most logical and natural areas in the game environment. Fit is very important, and we leave that to the creative eye of the game developers.
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