Friday, June 6, 2008

PS3 Opens Up In-Game Advertising Platform

Sony has opened up its PlayStation 3 platform to allow brands to advertise on the medium in their bid to capitalise on the successes that Microsoft have achieved with their in-game advertising platform with the Xbox. The deal could be worth $100 million over three years to Sony Computer Entertainment America.

Video game marketer Electronic Arts, will be the first to take advantage of the PlayStation 3 platform via its EA Sports and real-life based EA brands. EA Sports games include Madden NFL football, NBA Live basketball, Nascar racing and NHL hockey. EA itself will run ads for The Need for Speed and Burnout.

The in-game advertising on PS3 can be updated and adjusted in real time. The advertising also enhances the gaming experience, according to one study. In-game ad firm Massive, conducted a survey on in-game ads among Xbox 360 clients and concluded that "an average of 70 percent of gamers agreed with statements that the dynamic in-game ads contributed to realism, fit the games in which they were served and looked cool."

Pricing for in-game advertising is based on a formula that entails ad size on screen, viewing time (minimum: two seconds) and angle view, in addition to a cost-per-thousand factor. A typical budget for one ad across several games would be in the high six figures.

In-game advertising is in a fledgling stage, generating $54 million in sales in 2006, per Parks Associates, Dallas, but could grow to $800 million by 2012.