In-game ad netword to target casual players

A new in-game advertising network is set to launch, taking advantage of the casual gaming market, which numbers in the tens of millions of player. MochiAds works for games built using Macromedia Flash technology – typically used for smaller, more basic online games. It claims to be the first ad network for casual games.

Advertisers will be able to run runs before the game starts, with a line saying “This game is sponsored by…” Some ads are also shown at natural breaks, for example when a player progresses to a new level. Advertisers testing the service include file-sharing network BitTorrent, casual gaming giant Real Arcade and Hot or Not, a humorous site rating peoples’ attractiveness.

The ad network opens up a new avenue for in-game advertising. Most recent attention has focused on placing ads in more sophisticated PC and console games. The leading companies in that space are Massive, which was bought by Microsoft, DouleFusion and IGA.

These companies have been gaining interest from brands targeting the hard-to-reach audience of 16to 35-year-old men. However, Flashbased games may bring in a new audience as they have a broader demographic than the young males who typically buy PC or console games.

MochiAds is offering games developers a revenue share arrangement for accepting ads. The company claims that the average casual gamer spends 58 hours a month playing games and estimates that the in-game advertising market could be worth as much as $900m (£471.7m) by 2009.

The new network fits well with San Francisco-based MochiMedia’s other activities. One of the main elements of its existing business is a tool to monitor levels of traffic for Web content built using Flash.

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