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GDC Mobile: Epstein talks in-game ads for mobiles

Jonathan Epstein, the CEO of in-game advertising firm Double Fusion, has warned that a different approach is needed when it comes to placing adverts in games for mobile phones.

Jonathan Epstein, the CEO of in-game advertising firm Double Fusion, has warned that a different approach is needed when it comes to placing adverts in games for mobile phones.

Epstein's comments came during a panel discussion titled The New Era of Mobile Games: Advertising and Sponsorship at GDC Mobile, which began today.

He told the audience that Double Fusion is now looking to broaden its penetration into the mobile market, adding, "The reason we're here and we're involved is that we can see that, looking at sales figures, more and more of the sales of mobile games have been coming year after year for the companies that are officially leaders in publishing games in perhaps other sectors.

"Typically we've noticed that publishers look for single point solutions so that they can offer advertisers, through one company, the entire franchise."

Epstein went on to observe that although there are healthy revenues to be earned from mobile in-game advertising, an understanding of how the PC and console markets differ is essential.

"I don't really see a place for in-game ads in the way that we do in videogames in the mobile world... There are some remarkable parallels to the way advertisers market with videogames, but there are also some remarkable differences," he said.

"I've certainly seen demos of textured mapping and the screen's just too small."

According to Epstein, "it's more about reach in the mobile games environment than it is in the videogames environment. [Videogames] are much more well-fleshed out, bigger entertainment productions, so you're selling on the value of making an emotional connection and a deeper game experience".

However, Epstein was optimistic with regard to the opportunities in the mobile market as it changes over time. "I'm sure we'll see further work being developed; these are new media," he said.

"The cellphone has this tremendous response capability. I don't think we can hold a $30 CPM rate over time, but I think you can really build a tremendous economic based on follow-on action, which is something that the videogame market doesn't really do often."

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Ellie Gibson

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Ellie spent nearly a decade working at Eurogamer, specialising in hard-hitting executive interviews and nob jokes. These days she does a comedy show and podcast. She pops back now and again to write the odd article and steal our biscuits.

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