Microsoft Makes Xbox 360 Advertiser Friendly

    May 18, 2005
    WebProNews Staff

Within games, brand and product placement have been around for a while, as part of the various cityscapes and other settings where a gamer might encounter ads in real life.

Items like vending machines and billboards sport ads from real-life firms, all eager to reach a coveted demographic that has begun shutting off television in favor of the latest game title.

Now, advertisers can benefit from Microsoft’s support of games designed around virtual tournaments, according to a Reuters report.

A corporate sponsor could host an event, and thousands of viewers could login online to see the action. One scenario could have celebrities competing in a sports game, with fans logging on to see if Michael Vick could beat Dan Patrick in NCAA ’06 Football.

“If you are the sponsor, you’ve captured the attention of hundreds of thousands of people who’ve spent the last six months living and breathing your tournament and your brand,” Peter Moore, the Microsoft vice president in charge of advertising for the Xbox business, said at a Xbox 360 launch event.

In-game advertising may become as large a market as TV, newspaper, or Internet advertising. Game playing rivals time spent surfing the Web now.

In the Reuters report, Yankee Group analyst Michael Goodman predicted that the game advertising market will reach hundreds of millions of dollars in annual revenue by 2010 as advertisers increasingly tap into the changing demographics of the gaming market.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.