For today's Gamasutra feature
, we talk with Threewave Software CEO Dan Irish to learn more about the developer's business model of developing free, sponsored first-person shooter content, including an upcoming Source engine Xbox 360 title and new XBLA titles in development.
"No one’s really figured out how to get ads into gaming and make it effective and measurable. Massive [Inc.] is really only starting that process now, with their dynamic ad technology.
Where we fit into that picture is not so much creating the content and then placing an ad in it, but by creating the content around a brand. For example, one of the projects that we completed recently (though it’s not announced yet) features terrorists taking over the Alienware computer factory.
But creating that sponsor driven content is really how we would like to evolve multiplayer games - so you’re not just shipping with the ten maps that come with the game, then maybe you release five maps later, and then mod community does 500 maps but only about three are really good. We’d like to provide sponsored content that also supports the brand of the FPS, allowing it to have a whole stream of maps that are available month after month, featuring different product placement each time. Maybe in a Jeep-Chrysler level you’ll be able to drive their vehicles. Maybe a Pepsi branded level where you jump through a Pepsi logo to materialise somewhere else.
We’re looking to implement ads in the content in a way that isn’t obtrusive to the user. You know the way that pop-up ads are so annoying, and you just want to escape that? We want to integrate it better than that, something that adds to the experience rather than subtracts from it."
You can now read the full Gamasutra feature on the topic
, including more on the company's console and online distribution plans (no registration required, please feel free to link to this feature from external websites).