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EA To Sell In-Game Ads Directly

Electronic Arts plans to handle dynamic in-game advertisements for its titles in-house beginning this August, abandoning its current partnerships with specialist advertising firms like Massive Incorporated and IGA Worldwide.
Electronic Arts plans to handle dynamic in-game advertisements for its titles in-house beginning this August, abandoning its current partnerships with specialist advertising firms like Massive Incorporated and IGA Worldwide. The publisher held an event earlier this week in New York City where executives pitched possible in-game sponsorships and other ad opportunities available in its upcoming titles to advertisers and media buyers. EA showcased popular series such as Madden NFL, NBA Live, FIFA, and Need For Speed, as well as social titles from its recently acquired Playfish division. SVP of Global Media Sales Elizabeth Harz boasted EA's releases as "the best in the world, reaching the most engaged, forward-leaning user base," according to a report from digital marketing site ClickZ. She noted that advertisers aren't so much concerned about the networks its reaching consumers through as they are about the EA brands themselves. The company's move to manage its dynamic in-game ads across all platforms and its brands cuts out long-time partners IGA Worldwide and Massive Incorporated. Both companies will continue to provide in-game ads for EA's releases until the publisher ships Madden NFL 10, which would have been a crucial title in Microsoft-owned Massive's ad network. EA also made repeated references to the ad potential of Apple's upcoming iPad tablet. The company's SVP and GM of Pogo and Social Games Michael Marchetti said the publisher is "really excited" about the iPad and also discussed opportunities on Facebook, describing the social network as the "largest gaming platform in the world." Marchetti went on to estimate that total revenue for the casual/social gaming market will grow 59 percent by 2012, predicting that "large portion of which will come from advertising."

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