Electronic Arts Signs In-Game Ad Deals with Massive, IGA

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Interactive entertainment software publisher Electronic Arts Inc.  signed two ad deals Aug. 31 with video game advertising companies Massive Inc. and IGA Worldwide.

The deal with IGA Worldwide, Chertsey, UK, first integrates in-game advertising with Battlefield 2142. Two additional game titles will also be incorporating brand presence into relevant game environments over the course of the agreement. IGA acts as an in-game advertising agent for game publishers and online game networks.

Massive Incorporated, New York, will be placing dynamic ads into the Electronic Arts' Need for Speed Carbon game. Previous game versions only included static ads. The dynamic ads can be changed in real time, which increases the relevancy and originality for gamers.

The incorporation of in-game ads may be a less intrusive way to interactively reach consumers. In its recent report, "Why Game Marketing Matters." Forrester analyst Shar VanBoskirk found that 35 percent of online household were bothered by branded messages in videos compared to 85 percent that dislike pop-up ads.

The study also found that recall rates for the in-game ads range from 30 to 40 percent as compared with 10 percent for TV ads.

By partnering with Massive and IGA, Electronic Arts, Redwood City, CA has put trust in a relatively new and emerging advertising platform.

"Marketers can no longer afford to ignore games as an advertising channel," Ms. Boskirk said in her recent report.

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