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Segerstrale: promoting monetisation in-game is key

Playfish founder says that games must market themselves whilst being played

Kristian Segerstrale, founder of Playfish and now EA's EVP of digital, has said that games must market themselves to players as they play in order to make money from new business models.

Speaking at a marketing event yesterday, the executive spoke about the way in which a shift towards digital has increased the importance of consumer relationships, and reiterated the comparison between the progress of the games industry and the path taken by film and music.

"The games industry isn't alone in this transformation we're seeing," Gamasutra reports Segerstrale as saying.

"Music and movies have also made the digital switch. Sure, the business models have changed, but the consumer experience is vastly superior. We're clearly going from boxed products to digital services. We're going from up-front business models to games where the up-front cost is smaller and smaller, where there are free to play games out there," he continued.

"With this shift, our relationship with our consumer sometimes becomes more important than our relationship with the [retail] channels."

That relationship manifests, he says, in a constant marketing stream to customers in-game. Citing The Sims Social as an example, Segerstrale maintained that the direct advertising of content is essential to future revenues.

"No longer is the event of picking up a game tied to monetization. We're going to see a decoupling of those things. You need to think of it like a consumer internet business, where acquisition is just the beginning. Rather than having one side of the company making games and other getting them to consumers, now the whole company needs to take part in those processes.

"The [promotion] outside the game is important, but what really matters is the real-estate in the games themselves."

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Dan Pearson