Friday, February 3, 2006

Scratchpad: Ad Tracking Helps Game Design

"In December, Massive signed THQ in Calabasas Hills, Calif., to its stable. Dave Miller, senior global brand manager at THQ, says although in-game ads promise to be a source of revenue, he and his colleagues are careful to avoid overloading games with ads. To their surprise, they found Massive's ad-tracking system to be a useful design tool. "Because ad units can be tracked immediately, we can determine how many times a character walks past or interacts with an ad," explains Miller. "So if the character is stuck in front of a brick wall with an ad poster on it, we know that the level might be too hard. We now see the ad-tracking system as a way to find ways to improve on a game's design." While THQ can't disclose which forthcoming title will be the first to feature Massive's dynamic ads, Miller says it will debut this year."

  • Dave Miller, senior global brand manager at THQ.
  • Julie Shumaker, EA's director of video-game ad sales.
  • Chicago's Play, a division of media buyer and planner Starcom MediaVest Group, helps match in-game advertisers with developers. Contacts: Tim Harris and PJ MacGregor (press release, June 13, 2003)
  • Ogilvy Interactive, a division of international agency Ogilvy Worldwide, is currently working with in-game ad companies to research how to best target the coveted 18- to 34-year-old male market.
Reena Jana, Business Week, Jan.25, 2006, "Is That a Video Game -- or an Ad?"

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