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IGN launches in-game advertising service

Gaming information network and technology solutions provider IGN Entertainment has announced plans to launch an in-game advertising and marketing service.

The new venture will enable advertisers to operate cross media programmes that include in-game and online ads. Developers and publishers will have the facility to manage their online content throughout the game lifecycle.

"Our in-game technology is already proven in over 300 games, and includes online matchmaking, chat, CD key verification, unified registration, and statistics and tracking," said Mark Stieglitz, general manager of IGN's publisher services arm.

"We are extending our current platform and solution set to enable game publishers to manage the space within their games dynamically, for in-game marketing, advertising or for other purposes based on their unique needs."

IGN says the service will allow publishers to enhance the player experience by continually adding new levels, patches, skins, weapons, buildings, maps and even soundtracks to their games.

The next instalment in a game franchise could be advertised using the same tools - trailers, new assets and special offer promotions could all be placed within the game.

Publishers can either sell the in-game advertising space themselves or allow IGN to do it for them. The new technology is said to track impressions, time spent viewing items and the type of each interaction so that advertisers can monitor and adjust their campaigns.

"IGN Entertainment's in-game marketing service allows publishers and advertisers to reach the elusive target audience of young males where they are: online and in the game," said marketing VP David Tokheim.

"We already capture the attention of the largest group of gamers worldwide. We are now able to reach this same vital audience in multiple mediums."

At present the service is only available for PC and PS2, but versions for next-generation platforms are planned.

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Ellie Gibson: 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.