Despite recent revelations that Microsoft-owned in-game advertiser Massive Inc has shed its full-time workforce by 28 per cent, a new study believes that the modern marketing practice is set for serious investment.
In fact, according to analyst group Screen Digest, in-game advertising investment will total over $1bn by 2014.
In its new report – In-Game Advertising: Market Assessment and Forecasts to 2014 – Screen Digest states that the game sector’s growing audience will make it “impossible for brands to ignore”.
The group added that “a combination of audience media habits and the unique advantages of dynamic in-game advertising” will drive this spending spree. It is estimated that by 2014 dynamic in-game ads will represent about 1.5 per cent of all global spending on digital advertising.
“Dynamic in-game advertising offers brands the same accountability as other digital platforms but in a more controlled environment than social display media and through a more standardised value chain than mobile advertising,” said Screen Digest Senior Analyst for Advertising, Vincent Letang.
The report acknowledges a recent “softness” in game ad spending, but also lists the many advantages it has over other delivery systems, particularly the opportunity to communicate with demographic groups that are proving increasingly hard to reach via other media.
To reach its conclusions, Screen Digest has surveyed a number of clients from a leading global media investment management firm, GroupM.
“Games are proven recession-beaters,” opened Adam Smith, Futures Director at GroupM. “There are many ways in which advertising can help evolve business models for video games and we have only just begun to explore that potential. Given gaming is now a mainstream leisure interest, in-game deserves the same consideration as mobile and social media.”
The report cites and profiles key early adopters of in-game advertising, from eBay to Nike to the somewhat viral Barack Obama campaign (pictured).