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Microsoft to share in-game ad revenues with developers

Microsoft Casual Games has unveiled a new initiative which will see developers receiving up to 20 per cent of the in-game advertising revenues generated by their titles.

Microsoft Casual Games has unveiled a new initiative which will see developers receiving up to 20 per cent of the in-game advertising revenues generated by their titles.

The Ad-Share Program, which covers titles hosted on MSN Games, is designed to motivate developers and give advertisers a means of reaching consumers over a longer period of time.

There are two parts to the program. At Level I, developers will take away 10 per cent of revenues and there are no new requirements games must meet to qualify.

At Level II, developers will receive a 20 per cent share - but games must be submitted for an ESRB rating and there are extra phases to the development process such as localisation. In addition, Level II games must offer "a 'deluxe' game experience" that lasts for at least 10 hours.

According to Microsoft, the top five participants in the Ad-Share Program can expect to share more than US$ 250,000 annually.

"Casual game developers traditionally operate on a limited revenue model, typically receiving a set fee from downloadable titles or a small royalty associated with game subscriptions," said Chris Early, studio manager for Microsoft Casual Games.

"Now, by sharing in-game advertising revenue, weâre allowing a more diversified business model that gives our partners more resources to create new, innovative titles for the 13 million people we see every month on MSN Games."

Microsoft says developers who want to take part in the program should contact their Microsoft distributor or email MCG@microsoft.com for more details.

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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.