Parks Associates Blog

Friday, February 01, 2008

IGA Worldwide is a Ferrari and Doublefusion is a Ford?

This was a quote from a Gamasutra interview with Justin Townsend, the CEO of IGA Worldwide, one of the two independent in-game advertising networks focusing on the PC and console platforms. I guess he's referring to IGA Worldwide as a Ferrari and Doublefusion (the other independent) as a Ford? I'm sure Jonathan Epstein at Doublefusion will send over his rebuttal soon...

"The Ferrari Of In-Game Ad Networks? Of course, IGA is not the only company eyeing the lucrative ad industry around video games. Double Fusion, for example, notably has begun retrofitting back catalog titles for ads, and supports interactive ad elements. We asked Townsend directly why IGA is different."It’s a fine line; it may be a nuance," Townsend says, "But our focus is predominantly on mainstream gaming titles, be it PC or console, whereas Double Fusion is not so mainstream. Yes, you can have all sorts of interactive ads inside what you might call B and C-type games, but it’s unlikely something like that would be in Madden NFL or a similar type game. On the surface it's not dissimilar, but I guess the difference between driving a Ferrari and driving a Ford."

IGA Worldwide has made a string of significant announcements in the past several weeks, including a strategic partnership with NBCU, new investment from several Japanese firms, in-game advertisement for EA's Burnout Paradise game, and several publisher relationships in Spain and other countries. However, the industry is still young, and bickering doesn't serve the fledging market very well. Come on, even Hilary and Obama were showing some love for each other after last night's debate. We are all in the same boat. To have enough inventory and audience, it's important to work with both established publishers and emerging publishers relying on alternative business models. The battle between Microsoft (with its Massive division) and Sony (which recently announced its own in-game advertising SDK) is already bad for the industry and we really don't need further fragmentation.

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