Free Gaming Special Report


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Excellent report from 12-18 months ago by Contagious magazine.

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Free Gaming Special Report

  1. 1. the gaming industry / executive summary / p.02 01 / pages 02-03 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY CHAPTERS / A / Video games constitute the fastest-growing market in the entertainment sphere 01 / B / Internet-connected consoles and PCs have opened up new opportunities for brands SUMMARY 02 / C / Dynamically-delivered ad content is increasingly becoming the norm INTRO D / Advergames, MMOs and mobile content are getting more sophisticated 03 / TECHNOLOGY E / The profile of the average gamer is changing; wider age ranges and more women 04 / ADVERTISING 05 / LANDSCAPE 02 / Introduction 04 / The Advertising 06 / Consumer Behaviour 06 / CONSUMERS The relationship between advertisers and video The advent of broadband connectivity for Evidence is mounting to suggest that gaming is games has evolved nearly as much as game play computer systems and consoles has ushered in taking significant chunks out of television viewing 07 / MARKETING itself. PricewaterhouseCoopers recently forecast the next generation of game-specific advertising. time. Usage patterns are also expanding - gamers that the worldwide video game market would Dynamic networks now have the ability to deliver are gaming more, and for larger chunks of time. 08 / become a $46bn industry by 2010. Gaming is user-targeted ads in real time. New technologies The numbers are also skewing to a much older, BUSINESS coming of age as a formidable player alongside in Flash and Shockwave have re-energised more affluent, and more gender-neutral 09 / television, music and film for the timeshare and advergames. Social worlds such as Second Life demographic. Part of that is due to the massive DISRUPTION entertainment dollar spend of the average 18-34 and Habbo Hotel have the potential to provide success of Nintendo's Wii, which combined an 10 / year-old. richer, more meaningful brand interactions. inclusive marketing campaign with a revolutionary FACT gameplay interface. 11 / 03 / The Technology 05 / The Landscape FUTURE Gaming exists across many different devices, and Dynamic in-game networks such as Massive and 07 / Marketing & Promotion 12 / changes accordingly. The dominant platforms are IGA currently dominate the market. They operate Product placement is one of the most desirable CONCLUSION computers, consoles, mobile phones and handheld as virtual media planners of sorts, and act as a forms of integration, but few marketers have cracked 13 / devices. Computers are still the most dominant facilitator and service delivery solution for the case so far. Brands are flocking to Second Life, REFERENCES platform, but seventh generation consoles such as developers and brands. Dynamic in-game banners where the marketing possibilities are endless; the Nintendo Wii, Microsoft Xbox 360 and Sony and video ads are currently the most common form entertainment, autos, banking services, clothing PlayStation 3 have captured the imaginations of of advertising; more integrated forms of product lines all have a voice when life is the name of the gamers worldwide. Handheld units such as placement are set to define the future. game. The question of effectiveness is dominating Nintendo's DS and Sony's PSP are also factors. current industry discourse - are players too immersed in what they're doing to get the message?
  2. 2. the gaming industry / executive summary / p.03 CHAPTERS / 01 / SUMMARY 02 / INTRO 03 / TECHNOLOGY 04 / ADVERTISING 05 / LANDSCAPE 06 / CONSUMERS 07 / MARKETING 08 / Disruption the art of misdirection. The merit of social worlds 11 / Contagious Point of View 08 / Is there a backlash ahead? Gamers only relative to brand and agency investment in them Early adopter brands look set to reap long-term BUSINESS appreciate ads that increase the realism and/or continues to be an industry hot button. benefits from involvement in this area. The trend of 09 / reward them somehow. Gamers' strong and vocal branded utility - the provision of services and DISRUPTION online presence means that an ad that's too 'loud' 10 / The Future View experiences as opposed to marketing messages - 10 / or delivered in the wrong context can have a As the Internet, television and consoles converge, is thrown into sharp relief in the gaming arena. FACT damning and lasting effect. Social communities developers will begin 'the battle for the living room' Respect for the environment and the gamers 11 / such as Second Life may eventually resent an in earnest. Gaming fidelity will improve as always, themselves is key for successful innovation. FUTURE influx of brand involvement; virtual citizen anarchy but the real innovators will focus on the interface. 12 / groups have already been launched as counter Games and gaming IPs will become even more 12 / References, Links, Jargon CONCLUSION measures to excessive branding. inextricably entwined with Hollywood and the Links to references, games, companies and a 13 / mainstream media. In the face of Microsoft's breakdown of jargon. REFERENCES 09 / Fact Or Fantasy purchase of in-game advertising specialists New technology and the public's unquenchable Massive, further synergies between game networks thirst for 'casual' games have the potential to give and developers loom. the advergame genre a much-needed facelift. Many believe that the Second Life phenomenon is a house of cards constructed by PR flaks skilled in
  3. 3. the gaming industry / index / p.04 INDEX / THE GAMING INDUSTRY CHAPTERS / 01 / pages 02-03 08 / pages 37-42 01 / SUMMARY EXECUTIVE SUMMARY THE BUSINESS ANGLE 02 / INTRO 02 / pages 05-06 09 / pages 43-44 03 / INTRODUCTION DISRUPTION & RESISTANCE TO CHANGE TECHNOLOGY 04 / 03 / pages 07-10 10 / page 45 ADVERTISING THE TECHNOLOGY FACT OR FANTASY 05 / LANDSCAPE 06 / 04 / pages 11-22 11 / page 46-47 CONSUMERS THE ADVERTISING THE FUTURE VIEW 07 / MARKETING 05 / pages 23-25 12 / page 48 08 / BUSINESS THE LANDSCAPE CONCLUSION 09 / DISRUPTION 06 / pages 26-31 13 / pages 49-51 10 / CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR REFERENCES / LINKS / JARGON FACT 11 / FUTURE 07 / pages 32-36 12 / MARKETING & PROMOTION CONCLUSION 13 / REFERENCES
  4. 4. the gaming industry / introduction / p.05 02 / pages 05-06 IN THE BEGINNING... CHAPTERS / …there was nothing but black, white, and a single brand 01 / SUMMARY In 1976, a game developer called Midway released a standup arcade game titled, endearingly, Datsun 280 Zzzap. Outside of the 02 / INTRO friendly liberties it took with the spell check function, there was little on the surface to distinguish Datsun 280 Zzzap from its counterparts. An 03 / TECHNOLOGY iteration of the 1976 first person racer Night Driver, it offered a monochromatic graphical interface, clunky gameplay and little-to-no 04 / ADVERTISING replay value. Although it sank out of gamers' consciousness with a quickness, it has since achieved a posthumous notoriety in the world 05 / of advertising. By virtue of its title, the function of a simple contra deal LANDSCAPE with the now-defunct auto brand, Datsun 280 Zzzap is believed to be 06 / one of the earliest examples of advertisers and video game CONSUMERS developers working together. 07 / MARKETING 30 years on, the relationship between both entities has evolved nearly as much as the gameplay itself. PricewaterhouseCoopers 08 / BUSINESS recently forecasted that the worldwide video game market would become a $46bn industry by 2010 (up significantly from 2005's 09 / DISRUPTION reported total of $27bn). Another study from ABI Research had an even more optimistic outlook, predicting the overall market would 10 / FACT balloon to just under $65.9bn by 2011. On its own, the American market posted a robust growth in 2006, accounting for $12.5bn in 11 / FUTURE sales, a $2bn increase over the year prior. Meanwhile, software sales in the UK totaled $2.7bn in 2006, a number likely to increase 12 / dramatically now that the Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii and PlayStation 3 CONCLUSION have entered the market in 2007. So far, the early sales results from 13 / 2007 point to another rapid increase in growth. According to the NPD REFERENCES Group, retail sales of hardware and software increased by 78% year- on-year from January 2007 to January 2006, where it accounted for an impressive $1.25bn. Leading the pack among consoles was the Wii, which, despite shortages, still sold 436,000 units. Rounding out the top four sellers in America for January 2007 was the PlayStation 2 (299,000), the Xbox 360 (294,000) and the PlayStation 3 (244,000).
  5. 5. the gaming industry / introduction / p.06 Because of these numbers as well as the gaming demographic's gradual shift towards an older, more sophisticated and increasingly gender-neutral player base, marketers are beginning to cotton on. Fuelled by CHAPTERS / rapid advancements in the dynamic advertising spheres, the bullish computer game market, and the 01 / online integration of 7th generation consoles such as SUMMARY Microsoft's Xbox 360, Nintendo's Wii and Sony's 02 / PlayStation 3, not to mention a sudden awareness of INTRO gaming as a formidable player alongside television, 03 / music and film for the timeshare and entertainment TECHNOLOGY dollar spend of the average 18-34 year old, advertisers 04 / are officially in full-on gold rush mode. And while most ADVERTISING brands are still behind the curve in trying to find clever, 05 / valuable and seamless ways to integrate themselves LANDSCAPE with the gaming experience, they're catching up quickly. Night Driver / 06 / Between in-game advertising, advergames, product CONSUMERS placement, mobile games, underwritten titles and other 07 / creative integration approaches, marketers have their MARKETING eyes and pocketbooks turned towards the gaming 08 / industry in a way they didn't as recently as two years 280-ZZZAP / BUSINESS ago. So: where is all this all headed? How is the market evolving? What types of games lend themselves best to 09 / DISRUPTION advertising? What kind of advertising lends itself best to games? What is the marketer's ultimate role in the 10 / FACT gaming sphere? And what does the future hold for game developers, advertisers and brands? 11 / FUTURE In the following pages, Contagious will attempt to 12 / answer those questions. But, before we go any further, CONCLUSION let's first outline the most popular gaming platforms and 13 / the most common ways in which advertising and video REFERENCES games have converged. link /
  6. 6. the gaming industry / what is the technology? / p.07 03 / pages 07-10 WHAT IS THE TECHNOLOGY? CHAPTERS / 03.01 / The Major Platforms 01 / Personal Computers SUMMARY Traditional video game consoles may get most of the attention, but 02 / INTRO don't let the smokescreen fool you: personal computers are still, by far and away, the single most dominant platform in the gaming industry. 03 / TECHNOLOGY While their sheer ubiquity makes it difficult to estimate exactly how many people are using computers for gaming purposes on a global 04 / scale, VP sales for the in-game advertising network Double Fusion ADVERTISING Julie Shumaker says that there were '250m global-connected PC 05 / gamers' in 2006, a number that still tops the combined current global LANDSCAPE sales of the big six consoles: Sony's PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3; 06 / Microsoft's Xbox and Xbox 360; and Nintendo's Gamecube and Wii. CONSUMERS Despite the larger user base, however, the overall sales of computer 07 / games pale in comparison to those for consoles. In fact, according to MARKETING a report released by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), 08 / the total dollar sales of computer games in America decreased from BUSINESS $1.1bn dollars in 2004 to $953m dollars in 2005. 09 / DISRUPTION Consoles 10 / While 2006 saw the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii - FACT known collectively as 'seventh generation consoles' - finally unveiled 11 / to gamers, their predecessors still account for the majority of the FUTURE world's console penetration. Leading the pack is Sony's PlayStation 12 / 2, which, as of last September, had shipped 115m pieces worldwide CONCLUSION (roughly 45m of those in the U.S. and 42m in Europe) and, thanks to 13 / aggressive new price cuts, shows no signs of slowing down. REFERENCES Next up is Microsoft's Xbox with global sales just under 25m, followed by Nintendo's Gamecube with around 21m.
  7. 7. the gaming industry / what is the technology? / p.08 03.02 / Console hardware sales Console hardware sales / Although their staggered release times make them Company Platform Released Sales (Millions) difficult to compare, the quest for seventh generation supremacy appears at this point to be a Sony PlayStation 2 2000 115.36 CHAPTERS / two horse race. The earliest out of the gate (and, Sony PlayStation 1995 102.49 01 / consequently, the current sales leader) is the Xbox SUMMARY 360, which, according to figures released by Nintendo Nintendo Entertainment System 1985 61.9 Microsoft in January, has sold 10.4m consoles Nintendo Super Nintendo Entertainment System 1991 49.1 02 / INTRO worldwide. Next up is Nintendo's Wii, which has Nintendo Nintendo 64 1996 32.93 so far logged roughly 4.5m in global sales and 03 / Sega Sega Mega Drive/Sega Genesis 1988 29 TECHNOLOGY maintains huge consumer demand in the face of worldwide scarcity. Meanwhile, Sony's PlayStation Microsoft Xbox 2001 24 04 / 3 has so far been unable to recreate the levels of Nintendo GameCube 2001 21.52 ADVERTISING consumer demand that defined its predecessor. Sega Sega Master System 1986 13 05 / Hamstrung by a long string of manufacturing Microsoft Xbox 360 2005 10.4 LANDSCAPE delays, the lack of a killer, must-have title, 06 / Sega Dreamcast 1998 8.2 mediocre reviews and an exorbitant price tag (the CONSUMERS low-end version sells in America for a list price of Sega Mega CD 1991 6 07 / $600US), the PS3 has so far only managed to sell Nintendo Wii 2006 4.4 MARKETING about 1.4m units worldwide. In terms of Sega Saturn 1994 1.4 08 / technological specifications, the PS3 is easily the BUSINESS Sony PlayStation 3 2006 1.26 most advanced of the trio, but pundits now 09 / suggest that Sony's preoccupation with graphics DISRUPTION engineers, processor power and other technological 10 / bonuses (such as the inclusion of a pricy Blu-Ray FACT high definition DVD optical drive) have had the 11 / adverse effect of pricing it out of the range of the Handheld device sales / FUTURE average gamer. With this strategy, Sony appears 12 / to have grossly misread the market; as the Company Platform Released Sales (Millions) CONCLUSION breakout success of the Wii is demonstrating, gamers still prize the overall gameplay experience Nintendo Game Boy Advance 2001 78.86m 13 / REFERENCES (ie. the fun factor) over visual and audio fidelity. The Nintendo Game Boy 1989 69.42m Wii is an organic extension of Nintendo's Nintendo Game Boy Color 1998 49.54m philosophy to appeal to lapsed and non-gamers. Nintendo Nintendo DS 2004 35.61m Design plays a big part in this. Where the Nintendo DS handheld console echoed the original orange Sony PlayStation Portable 2005 17.03m Donkey Kong dual screen that makes anyone over Sega Sega Game Gear 1991 8.65m
  8. 8. the gaming industry /what is the technology? / p.09 30 all misty-eyed with nostalgia, the Wii sports a limitations in this area could hinder its continuing futuristic straightforward design. Simplicity is key. adoption. In order for the console to thrive, As Nicola Espindola, account director at Leo Nintendo and third party games publishers need Burnett in London, the agency that handles the to persist in creating innovative titles and inventive CHAPTERS / above-the-line account points out: 'You don't have online services.' to understand how the controller works; anyone 01 / can just pick it up and play.' The graphics don't 03.03 / Mobile/Handheld SUMMARY pretend to come close to those on an Xbox 360, 02 / The resurgence of handheld gaming platforms while the low price tag suggests family fun or an INTRO such as the Nintendo DS/DS Lite and the Sony additional console for a serious gamer. PSP, (not to mention the iPod's coming out as a 03 / TECHNOLOGY second-tier gaming utility) has combined with the Targeting strong-as-ever 3G mobile phone market to give 04 / Saneel Radia, vice president and group girector ADVERTISING handheld gaming its rosiest outlook to date. Since at Play/Denuo, LA, believes targeting in this area is its release in 2004, Nintendo's DS and DS Lite 05 / simpler than it looks. 'In terms of which platform to LANDSCAPE have sold over 34m units worldwide. In that time, start from, gaming is surprisingly segmented in Sony's pricier PSP has also performed decently, 06 / terms of demographics,' Radia told Contagious. CONSUMERS selling close to 25m units worldwide. 'Just knowing who your target consumer is will 07 / drive which platforms are most relevant right off The mobile sphere currently boasts 1.94bn MARKETING the bat. Clearly, a women 35+ is more likely to be users worldwide, carriers and developers are 08 / playing an online casual game than a console heralding 3G networks as the shot in the arm the BUSINESS game and a teen is more likely to be using a mobile gaming industry requires. While network handheld device than their older counterparts.' uptake is inevitable, 3G is still years away from 09 / DISRUPTION becoming the de facto mobile phone protocol. It's important to remember that variables such as According to a study released by Analysys 10 / free firmware fixes, price drops and desirable new FACT Research, 3G penetration is currently at 40% in platform-specific games mean that the next- mobile phone crazy Japan and South Korea, while 11 / generation console war is far from over. In other FUTURE the Forrester Group predicts that the UK will finish words: this one's a marathon, not a race. Chris 2007 with a penetration rate just under 20%. 12 / Khouri, Media and Broadcasting Analyst at CONCLUSION Nonetheless, research groups forecast huge Datamonitor, considers that the Wii's long term gains in 3G penetration rates over the next few 13 / success is not assured. 'There is strong years; last June, ZDNet Research predicted 3G REFERENCES competition from Sony and Microsoft (particularly would enjoy a 60% market share in Western Wii Sports / as price points drop) and the Wii's initial hype Europe by 2010, while mobile research company might fall by the wayside,' he commented. NSR says there will be 1.2billion global 3G users 'Consumers are expected to increasingly use by the same time. video games consoles as portals to access, view and store all forms of media content and the Wii's
  9. 9. the gaming industry / soundbites / p.10 GAMING / SOUNDBITES CHAPTERS / 01 / SUMMARY 'Connectivity takes this industry from a one-time, once ‘Users are using social virtual worlds in very different a year relationship to a 24/7, 365 day relationship with ways than they are using gaming worlds. Gaming 02 / INTRO a consumer, and brings an opportunity for a marketer to worlds can be an escape where you concentrate on participate in a way that they get access to the leveling up. For its users, social virtual worlds are all 03 / consumers they want access to.' about extending their own personality … I've found that TECHNOLOGY Julie Shumaker / VP Sales / Double Fusion lots of users, especially the younger ones, are really 04 / savvy about associating themselves with brands that ADVERTISING 'Videos games are the fastest growing and largest of they identify with in order to communicate something 05 / any entertainment category. It's bigger than film, books, about themselves or at least what they aspire to be. You LANDSCAPE and music, and it's growing at 20-25% compound per might see kids in There or Second Life or Habbo Hotel 06 / annum.' running around with brands in their screen names or CONSUMERS Mitch Davis / former CEO and founder / branded items that convey something about who they 07 / Massive Incorporated aspire to be.' MARKETING Betsy Book / founder of and 'Gamers aren't one group anymore. Gamers will soon product manager / Makena 08 / BUSINESS become as diverse as the movie-going population and the television-watching population.' 'We're seeing a lot of user-created brands. These 09 / DISRUPTION Sam Bergen / Digital and Emerging Media Strategist / worlds have their own life and the advertising that takes Saatchi and Saatchi, LA place inside them has to account for the fact that this is 10 / FACT not the real world, this is a world in which their 'I think the number one mistake marketers are making is competitors are not the other big retail apparel stores 11 / FUTURE not seeing the individual values of the various in-game but rather some guy who makes shirts that are really advertising opportunities.' popular, and that's a different kid of strategy for a 12 / Julie Shumaker / VP Sales / Double Fusion company to think about.' CONCLUSION Ian Bogost / Georgia Institute of Technology assistant 13 / REFERENCES professor and ad-gaming pundit
  10. 10. the gaming industry / the advertising / p.11 04 / pages 11-22 THE ADVERTISING 04.01 / B.O. vs A.O. (Before Online vs. After Online) CHAPTERS / It's probably most helpful to think about the history of 01 / SUMMARY advertising and video games in two distinct parts: pre- and post- online playability. In the pre- era, advertising in 02 / video games remained static by necessity, and evolved INTRO from models that saw brands such as Purina and 03 / Johnson & Johnson releasing branded games as TECHNOLOGY promotional rewards in the early 80s to the eventual 04 / purchase of ad space within existing games themselves, ADVERTISING such as adidas, Nokia, Coca-Cola, Mastercard and 05 / Gillette did across a variety of EA-branded sports titles LANDSCAPE in the mid-90s. These partnerships would take the form 06 / of ads in sports arenas, such as adidas and Panasonic's CONSUMERS field-level ads in FIFA International Soccer 1994, or 07 / rinkside tags for MasterCard and Coke in the hockey MARKETING title NHL’ 98. While there are other examples of creative 08 / synergies between brands and games from this period, BUSINESS the overwhelming majority of pre-era deals were 09 / relatively unsophisticated from a media buying DISRUPTION perspective, the virtual equivalents of simple sponsorship 10 / contracts and billboard purchases. FACT Although personal computers and dialup access go 11 / back to the late 70s, mass market computer games FUTURE didn't fully embrace the communal properties of the 12 / Internet until the broadband boom of the early CONCLUSION noughties, at which point designers facilitated a sea 13 / change away from single-player offline titles towards REFERENCES games that emphasised a multiplayer, online experience. Led by PC games like World Of Warcraft and console titles like Halo and Gears Of War, multiplayer online games have quickly become the standard for serious gamers. Paired with the decision by hardware developers to embrace online access as a fundamental
  11. 11. the gaming industry / the advertising / p.12 part of gameplay, this massive shift has opened the door change those out in real time so you saw an ad for for newer, far more sophisticated kinds of advertising. Chrysler one day and for Pepsi the next?' So that was 'We're a 25-year-old industry that has spent pretty the idea. I immediately jumped on the Internet to see much 22 years thinking about game consumers in one who was doing it - this was back in 2002 - and, to my way,' says Shumaker. 'Connectivity takes this industry surprise, nobody was.' What a difference five years CHAPTERS / from a one-time, once a year relationship to a 24/7, 365 makes. Emboldened by the positive forecasts, and 01 / day relationship with a consumer, and brings an looking to leverage their software catalogue against a SUMMARY opportunity for a marketer to participate in a way that proven gaming network, Microsoft purchased Massive 02 / they get access to the consumers they want access to.' for somewhere purportedly between $200-400mn last INTRO year. Let's look at some of the most common types of 03 / Second Life / adidas / TECHNOLOGY revenue models for video games and advertising: Caution Advised link / 04 / But marketers shouldn't interpret this rosy outlook as ADVERTISING 04.02 / Revenue Models permission to run rampant. Gamers are still extremely 05 / In-game Advertising protective of their gaming environments, and only LANDSCAPE Thanks to its generous trend outlooks, in-game tolerate ads if they're delivered within the appropriate 06 / advertising dominates the video game and advertising context. Saneel Radia of Play comments, 'How a brand CONSUMERS approaches the gaming industry should be directly tied landscape. Last summer, American research 07 / conglomerate the Yankee Group made waves by to their objectives. Some brands simply want an MARKETING additional medium that will help them get in front of projecting the in-game ad market would quintuple in 08 / value to $732m dollars by the end of 2010, while IGA target consumers. That's easy enough these days as BUSINESS networks forecast the market would be worth $1.2bn most game publishers have a team dedicated to 09 / by the same time. In a keynote address delivered during working with brands for integration, or are represented DISRUPTION the Advertising in Games conference in New York last by a third party, such as Double Fusion or IGA. On the Jeep Games / Mountain Madness / 10 / year, Massive Incorporated former CEO and founder other end of the spectrum are those brands that are link / FACT Mitch Davis revealed an even bolder outlook, predicting leveraging games as a communication platform. It's 11 / the overall market would tally $1.8bn by the end of the these brands that tend to approach the industry in the FUTURE decade. Regardless of which view (and whose market most broad-based way. They're looking at the game definition) you subscribe to, massive growth is on the experience well beyond when consumers have a 12 / CONCLUSION horizon. All this upside is for an industry that, according controller (or keyboard) in hand. These are the brands to Davis, didn't even exist five years ago. 'The original that understand that the gaming experience includes 13 / REFERENCES idea for the business actually came when I was playing opportunities well beyond in-game integration. The Grand Theft Auto on a connected console,' he said to wisest of the group are even looking to leverage these us, just a month before leaving Massive to start his own AAA content creators for proprietary brand business. 'There are fake ads in that game; I had experiences.' experience in the media industry and software The general rule for successful integration is as development, and thought, 'Wow, what if we could Wrigly’s Candystand / Dodgeball / follows: in-game advertising should either enhance link /
  12. 12. the gaming industry / the advertising / p.13 gameplay by adding to the overall realism or somehow deployment strategies. 'One thing that has become reward the gamer (via free bonuses or subsidised more sophisticated is that brands have started to put subscription costs). Anything else has the potential to their games in places where people find games rather backfire. We'll explore those positive and negative than on their websites,' says Georgia Institute of CHAPTERS / uptake factors more in-depth later in the report. Technology assistant professor and ad-gaming pundit Ian Bogost. 'Yahoo Games has this Jeep games 01 / 04.03 / Advergaming channel, for example, that's a very different strategy than SUMMARY In the loosest sense of the word, 'advergame' we saw in the '90s.' Similarly, one of the largest online 02 / encompasses any game experience that is underwritten gaming portals on the Internet is the Wrigley-owned INTRO or initiated by a brand or product. Under the more and branded, which, with over 03 / modern definition, 'advergame' represents a branded, 80 titles, plays like traditional advergaming on designer Tetris / TECHNOLOGY link / browser-based game programmed in Shockwave or steroids. 04 / Flash. At their best, these games scratch the 'casual' (as ADVERTISING The term advergaming, as with everything in the new opposed to 'hardcore') gaming itch by virtue of their marketing world, can be applied to a broad range of 05 / simplicity and re-playability. Although traditionally the LANDSCAPE experiences. US stationery retailer Office Max scored a most maligned of the major formats, no doubt as a result hit in December 2006 with a viral campaign entitled 'Elf 06 / of the sheer glut of inferior examples plastered all over Yourself'. Users were encouraged to upload a picture of CONSUMERS the Internet, advergames are nonetheless an increasingly their faces to the site, which was then superimposed 07 / popular component of the gaming marketplace. In a onto a manic dancing elf. Crucially, the elves could then MARKETING separate report issued at the very end of 2004, The forward their Yuletide message on to friends. The 08 / Yankee Group predicted that the then $79m industry campaign received over 36m hits in just five weeks, BUSINESS would become worth over a quarter of a billion dollars by which bested the previous accepted benchmark for 2008. 09 / viral success (Crispin Porter's Subservient Chicken) by DISRUPTION Bejeweled / While many brands and developers have traditionally over 20m. It also contributed to a 20% increase in 10 / been guilty of lazily repackaging known games such as holiday traffic to Office Max's website. FACT Tetris and Bejewelled in branded skins, a new 11 / generation of ad-friendly, game developers are pushing 04.04 / Social Worlds/MMORPGs FUTURE the advergaming model forward. Led by companies like MMORPG stands for 'massively multiplayer online 12 / Boston's Barbarian Group, which has created roleplaying game'. While it's generally used as a catch- CONCLUSION compelling web games for brands like HP, Comcast all for any computer game that relies on a massive 13 / and Red Bull, and Ottawa's Fuel Industries, which has community of players to help drive the action, the most REFERENCES done the same for 20th Century Fox Home interesting and relevant sub-genre as it pertains to Entertainment, Sprite and Mazda, the advergame has brand involvement is the one known as 'social worlds'. slowly become relevant again. Not only have advances Best exemplified by titles like Sims Online, Habbo Hotel in Flash and Shockwave technologies enabled and, most notoriously, Second Life, social worlds house developers to do increasingly complicated work, but self-contained virtual societies and economies that marketers are suddenly revisiting traditional advergame allow users to interact with each other, as well as trade Need for Speed Underground 2 / link /
  13. 13. the gaming industry / the advertising / p.14 in goods and services. Because the cultivation of an well. Large global network agencies Leo Burnett and online persona and the accumulation of cultural capital BBH embraced the technology by establishing their play a significant function in these environments, social own Second Life digital outposts in 2006. Elsewhere, worlds are not only well suited to brand intervention - October saw Crayon - a Second Life-based 'new CHAPTERS / they practically demand it. Brands like adidas, American marketing' company founded by author-blogger Apparel, Dell and Pontiac are among the many to have Joseph Jaffe - open its virtual doors to the public. While 01 / established some sort of online presence in Second controversy rages over the rate at which Second Life's SUMMARY Life over the last two years. Meanwhile, other meaningful user base is actually increasing (more on 02 / companies have utilised Second Life's unique that later), environments such as these offer brands and INTRO environment in decidedly non-traditional ways; last institutions arguably the most room to evolve from a 03 / year, hotel conglomerate Starwood (owner of the technological and creative standpoint. TECHNOLOGY Westin, Sheraton and W chains) used the venue as a 04 / platform to introduce users to a new line of hotels, while 04.05 / Politics in Second Life ADVERTISING institutions like the Harvard Law School, the University The nature of social networking has made it a potent 05 / of Florida and Pepperdine University have seized upon tool for political electioneering, with many candidates LANDSCAPE SL as the ideal platform from which to offer distance turning to MySpace and YouTube to put their point 06 / education courses. across and connect with new followers. Second Life is CONSUMERS no exception, yet it is not without its pitfalls. Democrat Because Second Life has a real dollar to 'Linden dollar' 07 / presidential candidate John Edwards' presence in exchange rate, its fledgling economy has thrown up MARKETING Second Life, whilst being popular amongst the largely some extraordinary statistics. Since January '07, around 08 / left-wing liberal community, was defaced by a group of $1.8m real dollars have been spent daily in-world, and BUSINESS Second Lifers bearing 'Bush '08' tags in March 2007. in December 2006, Second Life's first dollar millionaire 09 / was spawned off the back of some shrewd property France's presidential candidate Ségolène Royal has DISRUPTION development. Second Life can thus offer an actual also opened an office in Second Life, where visitors can 10 / revenue stream for brands integrating products into the pick up badges for their avatars marked 'Ségolène FACT world. For example, Reebok's SL presence allows Royal for France'. The office drew a stream of visitors in 11 / users to design their own shoe, and then click straight its first week, chatting about issues such as France's FUTURE through to the Reebok website where the design is position in the European Union. 12 / ready and waiting for them to purchase. However, there France's National Front also has a presence in the CONCLUSION has been considerable negativity from the Second Life online world. Cyril Parisi, who manages the party's 13 / community towards ill-thought brand presence in this Second Life presence claims: 'In cyberspace we can REFERENCES area - for example, American Apparel's store can be make ourselves heard, which isn't the case in the official difficult to access via the front door and is often media.' But, as in the real world, the National Front's Second Life Agitators / understaffed, and Nissan was criticised for giving cars movements have drawn protests. A group called the away for free - a mistake which could upset the balance 'Second Life Left Unity' have moved in next to the of an fledgling economy. French National Front's office, vowing to carry out Not surprisingly, the ad world is getting involved as protests there until the ultra-right wingers move out or
  14. 14. the gaming industry / the advertising / p.15 are ejected. They wrote on their blog: 'Wherever MMORPG to watch fascists are, we will ensure they get no peace.' Despite The Lord of The Rings MMORPG game will be released fears, it appears that freedom of speech on the Internet by Turbine, Inc in April 2007. Given the existing is alive and well. enthusiasm for the original books and subsequent films, CHAPTERS / plus the dedicated community already surrounding the LOTR, it's fair to say that the game could attract 01 / 04.06 / World of Warcraft SUMMARY audiences of millions. Talking to The Guardian Other MMORPGs include the hugely popular World of newspaper's games blog in March 2007, Turbine’s 02 / INTRO Warcraft, a subscription-based fantasy game boasting executive producer Jeffrey Steefel said: 'what Blizzard something in the region of 8.5m players. Through the has managed to do [with WOW] is hugely expand the 03 / trade of various objects and the completion of missions, market from something that was niche to mainstream TECHNOLOGY The Passenger / players can build up their character's strengths and entertainment. It has changed the entire landscape link / 04 / undertake ever-more complex tasks. The game is which means now is the perfect time to come out with a ADVERTISING published by Blizzard Entertainment, and financed product like Lord of the Rings Online. After all, there's 05 / through cheap subscription packages, at around $15 barely a person on the planet who hasn't heard of Lord LANDSCAPE (£8) per month. Profits from World of Warcraft are of the Rings right? It also gives us a chance to reach out 06 / frequently cited as saving parent company Vivendi from to a wider space, not just the WoW players, but RPG CONSUMERS a profit plunge in 2000. fans generally who have always wanted to experience 07 / this world.' MARKETING WOW's first expansion pack - World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade - was launched in January 2007. It hit The nature of World of Warcraft was satirised to great 08 / 2.4m sales in its first 24 hours of availability, and effect in series 10 of the popular animated series South BUSINESS Blizzard claims it has 'established the new one-month Park, in an episode entitled 'Make Love Not Warcraft.' 09 / record for PC game sales,' selling around 3.5m copies The mechanics of the WOW were also spoofed in this DISRUPTION in total. It's worth pointing out that if WOW were a video for eco-brand Fair Trade. 10 / nation it would be the 91st most populous nation on FACT earth, just after Rwanda. 11 / 04.07 / What impact have MMOs and social worlds FUTURE WOW, as with many other MMORPGS, is fantasy- had on gaming? based. Other games such as Roma Victor are historical 12 / Much like user-generated content has fundamentally CONCLUSION in orientation. This obviously poses problems for altered the way marketers think about advertising, so advertisers, as any kind of in-game integration would be 13 / have MMORPGs changed the way developers think REFERENCES incongruous and, no doubt, emphatically rejected. about games. Connectivity and mass-playability have However, brands such as Coca-Cola in Japan have quickly become standard in the software worlds. Very managed to achieve integration with games such as few current high-profile titles, whether console or PC- Final Fantasy by using the characters to decorate based, ship without some form of online-playability packaging, and giving players the chance to win function. Granted, some of today's most popular titles World of Warcraft / merchandising and tickets to gaming events. link / might not lend themselves particularly well to
  15. 15. the gaming industry / the advertising / p.16 advertising, but it's a general development that Bogost gaming market will near the $2bn mark by 2009, while says bodes well for future marketers. 'MMOs -- Juniper Research contends the worldwide market will especially now that World of Warcraft has become so be worth $18.5bn by the same time, with 39% of that ridiculously popular - have broken out of their coming from the Asia-Pacifics, 37% from Europe and CHAPTERS / perception as a niche market for weirdos and are now 15% from North America. Of all the mobile games clearly an opportunity to get a wide variety of people,' he accessed in the U.S. in 2005, 53% were user 01 / says. 'I think we'll probably start to see the kinds of new downloaded, 39% pre-existed on the carrier service, SUMMARY MMOs developed and tuned slightly in favour of and 8% were web-based. Downloaders say the largest 02 / advertising.' factors in their purchasing decisions were price, free- INTRO trial period, and graphics - in that order. While 34% of 03 / 04.08 / Mobile Gaming downloaders were between the ages of 13-17 and only TECHNOLOGY Unlike video game consoles and computers, mobile 22% were over 35, an eye-opening 44% were women - 04 / phones are traditionally regarded as a much more more proof that there is no longer one dominant market ADVERTISING personal extension of the user. As a result, advertisers in any particular sphere. 05 / have traditionally trodden more lightly in the mobile LANDSCAPE gaming sphere. Nonetheless, with some of the most 04.09 / Alternate Reality Games 06 / popular mobile games funded by the one-time user Above and beyond these major categories, there are CONSUMERS purchase model, many believe it's simply a matter of other, more niche areas where advertisers and gamers 07 / time before brands make significant inroads into the can intersect. Of all the brand spanking new means of MARKETING market. Where in-game advertising represents an communication currently befuddling marketers, the 08 / additional revenue stream for console titles, many concept of the alternate reality game (ARG) is perhaps BUSINESS companies, such as the San Francisco-based Greystripe, the hardest to compute. Put simply, an ARG is an believe that marketers have a more fundamental role to extended experience through which a large group of 09 / DISRUPTION play in the mobile gaming world. In an interview given to players collaborate to solve clues and reach the game's last September, Greystripe CEO conclusion. The gigantic reservoir of intellectual capital 10 / FACT Michael Chang outlined that distinction. 'What is assembled online is known as the hive mind - a revolutionary in mobile is that ad-supported content will seething, yet industrious community held together by a 11 / FUTURE become the total revenue stream for the publisher,' he shared love of problem-solving. said. 'The consumer will never have to pay.' It's that 12 / 42 Entertainment CONCLUSION critical difference that has industry watchdogs such as and Game Developers Conference Despite what the press coverage might indicate, only a 13 / very small percentage - about 5%, according to popular '07 heralding the convergence of advertising and REFERENCES mobile games as a major development to watch for in web destination the Alternate Reality Gaming Network 2007. ( - features some kind of branded involvement. To date, most of this activity comes from Statistically, the mobile gaming world poses another the leisure and entertainment sectors, tapping into the massive opportunity for brands. According to research wired community to create a phenomenal buzz for, say, conducted by In-Stat/MDR, the American mobile a videogame launch or a film release. For example, in
  16. 16. the gaming industry / the advertising / p.17 2001, a team at Microsoft Game Studios 04.10 / Case studies on key branded ARGs Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas was the attempted an experiment entitled The Beast to first of these real world events, with messages promote the Steven Spielberg film AI: Artificial MICROSOFT VISTA / THE VANISHING POINT projected into the night sky above the Bellagio. Intelligence, headed by a team including Jordan (42 ENTERTAINMENT) Countdown timers, GPS codes and faded CHAPTERS / Weisman and Elan Lee. The Beast began with a Challenge / Enthuse everyone - from the pictures were posted to the website as clues to fictitious credit planted in the pre-release technically aware to the man on the street - about the next stage of the game, which generated 01 / SUMMARY marketing material, and quickly unravelled into a the launch of Microsoft Vista significant buzz for the brand. murder mystery involving the web, phone lines, live 02 / Results / 90,000 people registered for the events, cryptic emails and, crucially, over 3m INTRO contest to win the prizes, and over a million people players worldwide. The team of 'puppet masters' 03 / played along with various elements of the game. eventually formed a company called 42 TECHNOLOGY Entertainment. 04 / ADVERTISING 'The core concept of what we do is in the idea of A&E TELEVISION NETWORKS / THE a distributed narrative - a storytelling process SOPRANOS (CIVIC ENTERTAINMENT GROUP) 05 / LANDSCAPE organic to the web,' explains Weisman. 'Everyone Challenge / Create a national campaign to drive is trained to act online as an archaeologist does - viewership and optimize The Sopranos viewing 06 / CONSUMERS search through the crap for a scrap of info, or a experience for launch on A&E shard of pottery. Eventually, if you find enough link / 07 / Solution / An online game and scavenger hunt, MARKETING shards, you don't only get the pot - you get to understand something about the culture. And if conceived by Civic Entertainment Group New Solution / Vanishing Point' was an experiential 08 / millions of people are helping you look, your York. Players attemped to predict the events of BUSINESS online and offline campaign. The global puzzle understanding is accelerated.' each episode in order to win prizes, including a challenge offered an array of prizes, from Vista 09 / season finale of a massive suitcase containing DISRUPTION Since then, Pasadena-based 42 Entertainment PCs to Xbox 360s to ZUNEs, as well as the $100,000. Participants were challenged to have constructed ARGs for a number of varied prospect of a trip into space to see 'the Ultimate 10 / FACT clients, most recently for the launch of Microsoft Vista'. In December, special puzzle boxes Vista. Other companies working in this area containing a USB key and a note from puzzle 11 / include New York's Campfire, an extension of film mistress Loki (Norse goddess of mischief) were FUTURE producers Chelsea Pictures dedicated to creating sent out to bloggers. Each week, twelve puzzles 12 / were be posted on a bespoke website along with CONCLUSION immersive and interactive brand experiences. Their work to date has included the hugely footage of an unusual real world event. To arrive at 13 / the correct answer, players combined both online REFERENCES successful buzz campaign around hit movie 'The Blair Witch Project', and an ARG for the launch of and real world elements. Audi's A3 entitled 'The Art of the Heist'. Players could either show up at the physical location when a countdown hit zero, or check online to view the recorded footage, encouraging the spirit of collaboration between players. The link /
  17. 17. the gaming industry / the advertising / p.18 collect a total of 36 game pieces from the real Results / The series premiere was the highest Characters from the book also appear periodically world, including roadside billboards, print ads and rated ever for an off-net cable series. High profile on this forum. online ads, each representing a different character media exposure stories ran in the New York Times, Despite initial difficulties in bringing the book to or setting. Pictures of the trophies were registered Chicago Tribune and Hollywood Reporter press, publishing House Running Press sold the CHAPTERS / by sending pictures via mobile phone. amongst others. The game spurred active rights to Cathy's Book to five other countries at Surveillance-style imaging technology designed conversion and extended engagement levels 01 / this year's Bologna Book Fair. Concurrently, it was SUMMARY by Mobot in Massachusetts was programmed to through thousands of posts and hundreds of suggested that, P&G's web recognise the pictures. Players strategically thousands of views on the A&E and 02 / destination for teenage girls, conduct an editorial arranged selected pieces on a grid-like game message boards, and generated the greatest user INTRO tie-in with various CoverGirl products and an board online, and points were scored when each activity in the history of the message 03 / advertising campaign conducted through the character appeared onscreen, with additional boards. TECHNOLOGY Beinggirl website. Direct mailouts via AOL also points scored if characters placed next to each 04 / targeted 3-4m teenagers. other on the grid appear onscreen together. ADVERTISING P&G, COVERGIRL, BEINGGIRL.COM / Results / Prior to publication in October 2006, 05 / CATHY'S BOOK: IF FOUND CALL extensive media coverage generated in excess of LANDSCAPE 120,000 pre-release hardcover orders in the USA 650-266-8233 (42 ENTERTAINMENT) 06 / alone. Foreign rights in countries such as CONSUMERS Challenge / Create the first immersive multimedia Germany, Japan and the UK have also been book experience - and get it published! 07 / snapped up. MARKETING Solution / Writer Sean Stewart teamed up with 08 / Jordan Weisman and illustrator Cathy Brigg, to BUSINESS spin a narrative based around a feisty young 09 / heroine, the eponymous Cathy. Recently dumped DISRUPTION unceremoniously by her mysterious boyfriend ACTIVISION, GUN / LAST CALL POKER Victor, Cathy sets about unravelling his secrets (42 ENTERTAINMENT) 10 / FACT with the help of best friend Emma, recording all Challenge / Promote GUN, a Wild-Western events in her trusty journal. themed videogame, to a gaming audience 11 / FUTURE The book comes with a clear 'evidence pack' of typically drawn to First Person Shoot-Em-Ups various items that Cathy picks up on her search (FPS). 12 / CONCLUSION containing phone numbers and clues to be unravelled. In addition to this, Cathy's doodles 13 / REFERENCES leave hints throughout the text, and amateur sleuths can 'hack' into private voicemail messages to reveal extra information. Cathy and Emma boast their own MySpace pages, and the Cathy's Book site directs users to a bespoke forum designed to link / look like a Chinese phone company website, where they can discuss the story with other fans. link /
  18. 18. the gaming industry / the advertising / p.19 Solution / A fusion of avatar culture, real world video game properties and has hinted at the awarded new cars. interaction, product-based incentives and a possibility of a sequel. popular online sensation, Last Call Poker wove a narrative tracking six stories of American violence MICROSOFT GAME STUDIO, HALO 2 / CHAPTERS / through the ages to the time of the game's release. ILOVEBEES (42 ENTERTAINMENT) The campaign was based around the insight that a Challenge / Create an immersive, interactive 01 / SUMMARY compelling link between the Wild West and the experience for the launch of Halo2, the sequel to present day is poker - now an online phenomenon. hit Xbox game Halo. Attract the attention of the 02 / At, users chose from a variety of mainstream press as well as dedicated Halo fans INTRO characters, and played poker to gain access to and Xbox gamers, bringing non-gamers into 03 / clues and content. TECHNOLOGY contact with the Halo brand Real world integration developed through the 04 / backstory: a wealthy cardplayer, Lionel 'Lucky' Solution / the ilovebees alternate reality game, ADVERTISING based around a radio drama that was broken down Brown set aside a small sum in his will for memorial 05 / poker games in some of his favourite cemeteries. and delivered via ringing payphones. At the centre LANDSCAPE of the campaign was a website run by a Napa Participants in selected cities were invited to Pirates of the Carribean / Valley-based beekeeper, www.ilovebeescom, 06 / attend the memorials and play a round of CONSUMERS link / which had ostensibly been hacked by someone 'Tombstone Hold'em' with other enthusiasts. 07 / These events used the 'language of the leaving GPS coordinates. The URL for the site was MARKETING tombstone'. Different tombstone shapes seeded at the end of cinematic trailers for Halo2, VOLVO / PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN corresponded to different card suits, and the date and small plastic bears containing a scrambled 08 / (HABERMAN & ASSOCIATES, EURO RSCG) BUSINESS of death was used to indicate what the number of version of the URL were sent in the post to keen the card would be. The dealer flipped three cards, Challenge / Raise the profile of Volvo in the 09 / DISRUPTION and participants then searched the cemetery for increasingly competitive worldwide SUV market 10 / the fourth and fifth. Online, they were also Solution / A two month global multi-media FACT encouraged to share their own stories and treasure hunt for an $82,000 car, part of Volvo's 11 / pictures relating to life beyond the grave. sponsorship of Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean: FUTURE Throughout the game, incentives to pre-order Dead Man's Chest. Players picked up maps at GUN were offered, including the chance to their local Volvo dealer, and the top participants 12 / CONCLUSION discover secrets to be unravelled for extra were invited to a remote Caribbean island to weapons and gold. complete the treasure hunt in real time and in real 13 / REFERENCES Results / Over half a million players actively life. The winning participant solved a series of participated during the eight week campaign, and clues to reveal the location of some buried many tens of millions of hands of poker were treasure - a Volvo XC90 SUV. played. Bespoke poker chips designed especially Results / 52,000 people participated in the US for the game became collector's items. Activision alone. Volvo posted webisodes documenting the link / has noted that GUN sold the best among new competition online, and 7 finalists were eventually
  19. 19. the gaming industry / the advertising / p.20 gamers on the Alternate Reality Gaming Network AUDI OF AMERICA / A3 - THE ART OF THE ( HEIST (CAMPFIRE, MCKINNEY SILVER) The story revolved around a futuristic AI entity Challenge / Find a pioneering way to connect from the 26th century known as Melissa, whose with the A3's target consumer, using a fraction of CHAPTERS / the average auto launch budget military starship is thrown back in time and 01 / stranded as part of the hacked code on Solution / Alternate reality gaming meets SUMMARY The code, when unravelled, branded content. An elaborate 3-month viral 02 / revealed the GPS coordinates of 50 payphones in campaign (or 'living movie') allowed the audience INTRO the US and in other locations around the world. to participate on various levels, and began in New 03 / When the player gave a secret password to the York with the fictional theft of an Audi A3. TECHNOLOGY voice on the other end of the line (sometimes recorded, sometimes part of the 42 Entertainment Players participated in the adventures of Nisha 04 / team delivering live information), the next Roberts and Ian Yarbrough, specialists in ADVERTISING instalment of the drama was played out. recovering stolen art, as they tracked down digital 05 / clues hidden in Audis across America. The tale of LANDSCAPE Results / ilovebees attracted upwards of 3m designer Virgil Tatum, developing a game based 06 / players. At the 'top tier' of the gaming pyramid, on Roberts, also played into the narrative. Online CONSUMERS 25,000 players rushed out to answer payphones. ads encouraged people to help find the stolen A3, 07 / Active puzzle solvers comprised 750,000 regular and a microsite at enabled gamers MARKETING contributors to message boards and online to follow the action. Campfire also set up a fictional 08 / research, and around 2m casual players took part site for Roberts and Yarbrough's company at BUSINESS in some element of the game., and a site for Tatum at 09 / logged 80m hits, and as well as extensive DISRUPTION coverage in games publications, the mainstream press such as the New York Times and CNN The campaign used blogs and wild postings to 10 / documented the community's progress. keep the public updated, and additionally, players FACT created wikis and fan sites, such as 11 / At the launch, Halo 2 made $125m in one day, to help others keep up. FUTURE smashing records for both gaming and Hollywood 12 / launch weekends. It was described by Microsoft The effort was also supported by TV, print, and CONCLUSION founder Bill Gates as the 'single most successful outdoor media, which contained cryptic entertainment product launch in history'. The 42 references to the Stolen A3 mystery. 13 / REFERENCES Entertainment team won the 2005 Game Results / Over 45m PR impressions were Developers Choice Awards' Innovation Award generated, including articles in Fortune, Business and the International Academy of Digital Arts and Week, Wired and Forbes. There were 2.5m hits on Sciences' Webby Award. in 3 months, the most in Audi's history, and 200,000 visitors in a single day. The narrative engaged 500,000 story participants,
  20. 20. the gaming industry / the advertising / p.21 CHAPTERS / 01 / SUMMARY 02 / INTRO 03 / TECHNOLOGY 04 / ADVERTISING 05 / LANDSCAPE 06 / CONSUMERS generated 10,000 dealer leads, 4,000 test drives tournament. So the gamer wins, the marketer wins content from it, then distributing it via our partners 07 / and ultimately, Audi sold over a thousand of its A3 and of course [the developer] wins, because their at CBS and the NCAA, that allows Pontiac's brand MARKETING model in 90 days, well exceeding expectations. game gets talked about.' to have one of the deepest college basketball 08 / related marketing experiences currently available to 04.09 / Sponsorship / Content ‘In the case of the Pontiac Virtual NCAA Final 4, BUSINESS fans.’ we approached games as a key part of the overall 09 / Pontiac Virtual NCAA Final 4 college basketball experience. Our target audience DISRUPTION Cadillac V-Series There's also the category of off-game promotions wasn’t just gamers - it was all college basketball Arc and Play/Denuo were the architects of a 10 / and sponsorships, which typically involve the fans. By letting gamers generate content in the FACT similar win-win situation last year for Cadillac and integration the online gaming sphere with some form of video highlights and predict upsets in the Microsoft. Tim Irvine, senior vice president at ARC 11 / sort of real life event. In one example, Double tournament, Pontiac owns a unique and highly FUTURE Worldwide, explains the motivation behind the Fusion's Shumaker recalls a Pontiac-branded coveted piece of the college basketball experience campaign. 'Following the success of the quot;Cadillac 12 / virtual Final Four NCAA college basketball any fan would find compelling,’ explains Chris CONCLUSION Under 5quot; campaign and the launch of the V-Series tournament that was held in conjunction with the Hornberger, the advertising manager at Pontiac. cars, Cadillac wanted to continue to raise 13 / real thing. 'Gamers could play as if they were the ‘Pontiac then uses multiple media channels to REFERENCES awareness with a younger audience, and a tie-in real teams that were playing live that weekend,' distribute this NCAA content to passionate fans with Xbox console gaming emerged as a dramatic she says. 'The beauty there is, it gets Pontiac during key windows of time when they're most way to reach those consumers. Play, the gaming press; it's a promotional activation tool [where] actively craving news about the tournament, but division of Publicis, brokered a relationship with they're getting people to sign up and acquiring a are only finding the same recap and analysis Microsoft. Cadillac became the first advertiser to database of names; and they're getting available through most media. It is this process of sponsor an expansion pack within the Xbox 360 consumers what they want, which is a really cool creating a proprietary brand experience, generating game Project Gotham Racing 3 (PGR3) featuring
  21. 21. the gaming industry / the advertising / p.22 the three V-Series vehicles.' The agencies launched a joint venture that saw them make the entirety of Cadillac's V-Series vehicles available as free links / downloadable add-ons for the Xbox 360 game Project / games CHAPTERS / Gotham Racing 3. According to Irvine, 'the downloadable expansion pack allows gamers to drive the V-Series 01 / SUMMARY vehicles within PGR3, experiencing all of the power, handling and engineering characteristics of the real 02 / cars in the Xbox gaming environment. We wanted to INTRO create excitement and buzz, and to shift perceptions of 03 / Cadillac as an old and slow brand commonly TECHNOLOGY associated with your grandfather to a young, fast, 04 / performance-oriented brand. Arc created a microsite ADVERTISING where users can find out about the expansion pack and 05 / the quot;Cadillac Elite Player Statusquot; gamer picture. We LANDSCAPE also wanted the website to demonstrate the youthful 06 / dynamism of the game experience to those who don't CONSUMERS have an Xbox live connection or who aren't gamers.' 07 / The initiative proved extremely successful for Cadillac, MARKETING attracting attention and plaudits for donating free 08 / content for players of a console for which games cost BUSINESS around $60. 'Overall, this was a great opportunity to 09 / partner with Play and Leo Burnett to provide a truly DISRUPTION integrated campaign-and it has been an overwhelming 10 / success,' commented Irvine. 'In the first month, gamers FACT worldwide downloaded the V-Series Expansion Pack 11 / more than 150,000 times and logged 7,600 hours of FUTURE racing with Cadillac V-Series cars. The vseries 12 / microsite was extremely popular, with CONCLUSION more than 169,000 page views, 58,000 visits and an 13 / average time of 2.27 minutes spent on the website.' REFERENCES He went on to conclude: 'Moreover, free publicity from the game editors' websites reached millions of consumers a month. We gave editors a chance to test- drive real Cadillacs during a major gaming conference, and one of them reported back, quot;That's a Cadillac? This car is bad ass!quot;
  22. 22. the gaming industry / the lanscape / p.23 05 / pages 23-25 THE LANDSCAPE CHAPTERS / 05.01 / How has advertising evolved along with gaming? Where is it going? 01 / SUMMARY Thanks in no small part to the efforts of new-model game networks such as Massive, Double Fusion and IGA Worldwide, which supply 02 / INTRO the software and services required to syndicate dynamic advertising content within online computer and console gaming environments, 03 / TECHNOLOGY in-game advertising has come a long way in a very short period of time. As far as the beginnings of the industry, even competitors like Double 04 / ADVERTISING Fusion readily acknowledge that a lot of that initial groundwork - whether with respect to client education or determining the business 05 / model - was laid by Mitch Davis and Massive Incorporated. LANDSCAPE 'Everything we heard from talking to big advertisers and agencies like 06 / Coke and McDonalds and OMD and WPP and so forth was that they CONSUMERS wanted to be able to buy in-game advertising the same way they 07 / bought [it on] television and cable and the Internet,' recalls Davis. MARKETING 'They wanted to be able to run campaigns across multiple games to 08 / reach a large audience, to be able to change their creative out in real BUSINESS time and to have effective measurement around it.' 09 / DISRUPTION The more conversations he had, the more Davis discovered that publishers were looking for a turnkey solution. 'They wanted someone 10 / FACT to manage it and to deliver against it,' he explains. 'They're not media companies - they're highly specialised at producing great games.' 11 / With that in mind, Massive undertook the task of building its own FUTURE network, first by developing a deployment infrastructure and then by 12 / populating it with publishers, games and advertisers. Massive's CONCLUSION network currently includes 40 major publishers, including EA, 13 / Activision, Universal Games and Microsoft, and expects to service REFERENCES over 100 major titles this year. On the advertising side, its roster includes blue chip brands such as McDonalds, Coke, Warner Brothers, Chrysler and Unilever. In terms of technological growth, Davis is most excited about the network's increasing sophistication in the realm of custom ad-serving. 'Because we connect to consoles like the 360 and PC games, we have the ability to target and to do very
  23. 23. the gaming industry / the lanscape / p.24 clever things,' he says. 'We can do gay pride advertising, we can run campaigns that are only seen after eight o'clock at night, we can do geo-typing. We ran a campaign across 12 different [European] countries in eight languages to launch the V for Vendetta movie.' CHAPTERS / 05.02 / In-game Advertising 01 / According to Shumaker, who left her role as EA's national director of SUMMARY sales for video game advertising to join Double Fusion, in-game 02 / advertising currently takes three major forms: 2D billboards, video ads INTRO (either pre-rolled between gaming levels or integrated into the 03 / environment) and product placement. 2D billboards and videos ads TECHNOLOGY are dynamic, meaning networks like Massive, Double Fusion and IGA 04 / have the ability to deliver them based on user-specific information, ADVERTISING and thus tailor to its demographic in a way that general television can't. 05 / While it's not considered a dynamic technology, the last category LANDSCAPE (product placement) is one of increasing interest to brands and 06 / developers. IGA Worldwide CEO Justin Townsend explains. 'There's CONSUMERS what you would call situation placement and then there's plot 07 / integration,' he says. '[Situation placement] could be a set of Brembo MARKETING brakes [in a racing game] that allow you to brake harder, a pair of sports shoes that allow you to run faster or Red Bull drink that gives 08 / BUSINESS you energy and allows you to jump higher and achieve the goals within the game. A situation placement is where you're really looking to link / 09 / DISRUPTION involve a brand within a storyline of a game. So, if your main character frequently has to use his credit cards to make purchases at shops, you 10 / FACT could see Visa integrated into the storyline and the plot of the game.' 11 / Due to its high level of user engagement, product placement is FUTURE naturally viewed by brands as the most desirable form of in-game 12 / advertising, but Shumaker is quick to caution marketers against CONCLUSION pursuing product placement at the cost of everything else. 'Going into 13 / 2007, I think the number one mistake marketers are making is not REFERENCES seeing the individual values of the various in-game advertising opportunities,' she says. 'What we hear a lot now is, quot;Well, I want product placement,quot; and then [brands] realise that the lead times are longer and that the message is fixed and it has to be a global message, and they go, quot;That doesn't really work for me, but I wanted interactivity and a storyline, so I won't buy 2-D billboards.quot; 2-D billboards as a stand-alone do have value, they just have a different kind of value.' Sony Billboard /