Just when I think racing games can't possibly edge any closer to their (spoken or unspoken) goal of achieving unadulterated photorealism -- then the next racing game comes along with an even better lap time than stuff released only months before it. This time, it's GRID
, the next gearshift up in the Race Driver series, that's enjoying a very warm moment of pre-release limelight. Along with this latest video, developer Codemasters along with Engage In-Game Advertising have designed a contextually relevant way to integrate the eBay Motors marketplace directly into GRID
ENGAGE DRIVES IN-GAME BRANDING BEYOND THE BILLBOARD
Codemasters' GRID Racing Game Incorporates eBay Motors
Marketplace to Reach Car Enthusiast Community
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - April 22, 2008 - Engage In-Game Advertising, an independent video game advertising company in conjunction with Codemasters, a leading game publisher, designed a contextually relevant strategy for incorporating the eBay Motors marketplace within GRID™, the highly anticipated, next-generation blockbuster console and PC auto racing game.
The in-game integration of the eBay Motors marketplace experience allows GRID players to buy and sell performance vehicles in a realistic setting. The marketplace experience becomes an essential element in a player's strategy to win races by upgrading cars for optimal performance. This marks the first time a real world application has been deeply immersed as a core function in a driving title.
"This is an exciting and creative way to reinforce our brand among core auto enthusiasts," said Curtis Kroeker, director of vehicles for eBay Motors. "Engage In-Game Advertising brought the video game channel and opportunity into view. GRID was the logical platform to reinforce eBay Motors as the leading online destination for buying and selling all things automotive," said Kroeker.
GRID takes players to dramatic and beautifully realized race locations over three continents to compete in an unprecedented variety of racing events. Packed with the most powerful racecars - new and classic, circuit and drift - players will compete in urban street races, as well as conquer the most prestigious official racetracks and championships. The eBay Motors experience becomes a revolving plot point as players continually upgrade or swap out vehicles to keep up with the competition and changing road conditions.
"It's not often a brand, a game publisher and a common element align perfectly in a video game environment," said David Smith, president and co-founder of Engage. "eBay Motors involvement within the game play of GRID is 100% relevant to the game plot and offers players a functional benefit."
eBay Motors will also sponsor their own race series in the game titled, "The eBay Motor Muscle Series" allowing players to compete on branded tracks in downtown San Francisco, Long Beach, Washington D.C. & Detroit, featuring the eBay Motors Mustang GTR concept racecar.
"The eBay Motors in-game strategy goes beyond simple ad placements in video games and delivers a whole new level of realistic game functionality for players," said Peter Chan, director of business development at Codemasters.
Codemasters will release GRID in June for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft®, the PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system, Games for Windows®, and Nintendo DS™. For additional game details go to www.grid-game.com.