Massive Incorporated Interview

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posted 4/11/2005 by The GN Staff
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GamingNexus: Has in game advertising reached the point where companies are coming to you looking to be placed in that next big game?
Nicholas Longano: Dynamic in-game advertising, not to be confused with product placement, provides many benefits for advertisers, publishers, and gamers. For advertisers, it provides them the first ever ability to directly target the coveted 18-34 male audience, which is becoming increasingly more difficult to reach with traditional media. Today, this audience is spending more time playing video games than watching prime time television. Over 70% of males play video games. For publishers, it provides them an opportunity to generate revenues from the ‘lost sales’. Every entertainment medium enjoys several revenue streams to offset production costs. Until now, video games have had to rely only on retail sell-through. For the gaming audience, dynamic in-game advertising adds to the realism of the game, and adds to the immersion into the game world.

GamingNexus: What's the weirdest placement you've tried to arrange?
Nicholas Longano: As noted earlier, we don’t arrange product placements. We work with global advertisers to run their advertising campaigns across a network of premier videogame titles. Advertisers that have traditionally reached the male 18-34 year old demographic are looking to Massive to put their messages in front of those target customers where they currently spend the majority of their entertainment hours—playing video games.

GamingNexus: Have you ever had a situation where the placement was a little over the top? (Something like Sam Fisher breaking out too Advil pills after a mission)
Nicholas Longano: Each game’s creative development team ensures that all ads are placed in an appropriate manner that makes sense to the story and to the environment.

GamingNexus: Will in game ad placements eventually subsidize the production of games enough to lower the costs of games or will it just help sustain current prices in the face of increasing development costs?
Nicholas Longano: Dynamic in-game advertising will be a major advertising medium, and hence, source of revenue for publishers and developers, alike. With dynamic in-game advertising, publishers can earn significant new revenues of $1-2 per box sold. In the past, games with high levels of replayability have sold at the same price as those with a few hours of gameplay. Now, developers and publishers can be rewarded for those efforts, and gamers can benefit by getting more game play for their dollar.
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