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Electronic Arts Signs In-Game Ad Agreements

by Rainier on Aug. 31, 2006 @ 6:23 a.m. PDT

EA today signed agreements for in-game advertisement with not one, but two agencies. The deal with Massive Incorporated covers four titles, X360 and PC, starting with Need for Speed Carbon, while the IGA Worldwide contract covers at least 3 titles, starting with Battlefield 2142.

A portfolio of EA games developed for the Xbox 360 and PC worldwide will be incorporated into Massive's Video Game Network. Massive is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Microsoft. Financial terms of today's agreement were not disclosed.

The initial EA title to incorporate dynamically delivered in-game advertising via Massive is Need for Speed Carbon, the newest title from the best-selling Need For Speed franchise which was developed at EA Black Box in Vancouver, British Columbia. Fans of the franchise have seen static ads in the prior three titles and now will see both static and dynamic brand presence integrated into the game environments, across the platforms and across the geographies where they play.

The dynamic execution allows for in-game advertising elements to be updated and changed in real-time, keeping the advertising fresh and relevant for gamers. EA's development teams work closely with Massive to ensure that advertising is placed in areas that fit within the game environment. Additional EA titles will offer dynamic ad serving capabilities as a result of the strategic relationship with Massive.

"The agreement with Massive is a first step in a detailed strategy for serving advertising in a seamless format that doesn't disrupt game play," said Chip Lange, EA's vice president of online commerce. "In places like a basketball court, football stadium or roadside in a racing game, advertising is not only nice to have, but it's an essential component to create the fiction of being there. This agreement with Massive allows us to vary what relevant ads are served to the game player."

"This is a great partnership," said Mitchell Davis, CEO of Massive. "Dynamic advertising opportunities in top EA titles across two platforms represents an unprecedented marketing opportunity for advertisers to target the youth demographic in the most engaging medium."

The initial EA title to incorporate dynamic in-game advertising via IGA is Battlefield 2142, developed by DICE in Stockholm, Sweden. Fans of the franchise will see new, realistic brand presence integrated into contextually relevant game environments across the platforms and across the geographies where they play. At least two additional EA titles will offer dynamic ad serving capabilities through the course of the agreement with IGA.

"Consumers are increasingly gaming in deep, virtual worlds and advertisers need adapted ways to reach these audiences," said Frank Sagnier, Vice President for Online and Strategic Relationships for EA in Europe. "The agreement with IGA is a first step in a detailed strategy to deliver advertising in a seamless format. We are continually looking at how to bring more connected experiences and services to consumers, and working with a network like IGA is a start to building this dimension of our business."

"At IGA, we are establishing a global advertising network with the consumer reach to rival any cable channel, yet with the proven advantages of engagement, measurability and consistently hitting the demographic sweet spot," said Justin Townsend, CEO for IGA Worldwide. "EA's strategic commitment to the space is one that many leading advertisers have been waiting for, and no advertiser should even think about building a comprehensive marketing campaign without considering in-game advertising as a key component of their overall advertising spend."

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