Officials from in-game advertising specialist IGA Worldwide have announced that the company has acquired Hive Partners, a communications agency best known for its recent in-game advertising work for energy drinks giant Red Bull, placing the brand in interactive roles within games such as Worms 3D
and Judge Dredd: Dredd vs Death
For example, Judge Dredd: Dredd vs Death
contains a level in which Dredd must arrest smugglers of Red Bull, since caffeine is an illegal substance in the game's Mega-City One universe. In Worms 3D
, the game has a specific Red Bull power-up which doubles the worm's movement speed when used.
"We are now able to offer brands a more cohesive approach to getting inside the game," says IGA Partners North America CCO, Darren Herman, "Hive allows us to not only build out our media network but allows the in-depth static and plot-integration deals that generate buzz for advertisers."
Operating out of New York, London and Berlin the IGA Worldwide network of companies has expanded to include IGA Partners North America (formerly In-game Partners LLC), IGA Partners Europe, IGA Technologies, and the aforementioned Hive Partners. As a result of this expansion, IGA Worldwide will open new offices in Paris, Benelux, Los Angeles and Tokyo in the coming months.
Consumers playing game titles enabled with the IGA technology will see a range of territory-localized and context-sensitive advertising content both during and between gameplay sessions, including billboards, interstitial screens, TV spots and a wide variety of other formats comparable with real world advertising.
With rival Massive Incorporated also receiving considerable financing for its in-game advertising network, and titles such as Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory
featuring much more obvious product placement than previously seen, it appears that advertisers are serious in their ambition to make video games as profitable as TV advertising for certain demographics.