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We Interrupt This Video Game....

Techstination feature for Friday, April 22, 2005

We interrupt this video game, for a commercial message. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. It's not quite as blatant as that, but advertising in video games is poised to become pretty big business. The Yankee Group is forecasting advertising in games will rise from 120 million dollars last year….to 800 million by 2009. A company called Massive Inc. has developed software that puts dynamic ads into online games. CEO Mitch Davis….

"18 to 34 year old men really don't watch much television any more. Their viewing habits are down to 27 minutes a night on average, whereas video games…they're playing two hours a night. So, if you're a big advertiser, like Dunkin Donuts, or T-Mobile, or Parmamount Pictures and you want to reach 18 to 34 year old men, you need to do that in video games."

Some companies have been experimenting with what is called advergaming for years….creating games that promote their products. What Massive is able to do…is place ads within online games…that can run for only a week or a month…and change the way radio and TV ads do…

"So our publishing partners include 12 of the top 20 publishers, video game publishers on a global basis. They include people like Atari, Ubisoft, Vivendi Universal games, Take2 Interactive. And it's advertising that's seamless and contextual. So it looks good in the game and adds realism to the game and gamers really like that."

And Davis says…ads in video games…are here to stay. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.