IGA users top 30 million

LONDON - In-game advertising network IGA Worldwide has reached the milestone of 30 million unique users viewing its virtual ad spaces across more than 80 game titles.

IGA: users reach 30 million
IGA: users reach 30 million

As a rapidly growing medium, adopted even by US Presidential candidate Barack Obama, IGA said it achieved the equivalent of a third of its total 2007 revenues in September 2008 alone, with forward-looking forecasts looking equally bullish.

Ed Bartlett, vice-president Europe of IGA Worldwide, attributes the rise in popularity to advertisers moving their spend into more measurable media in the economic downturn.

Bartlett said: "The current economic climate will hit traditional advertising vehicles hard, as brands look for new ways to project their message with demonstrable and cost-effective results.

"Gaming is a recession-beater, pure and simple," he added. "When times get tough, people spend more time in their homes and videogames provide the ultimate in escapist entertainment."

Separately, the network has launched a new software development kit that allows smoother integration of dynamic in-game ads that can be updated according to time and location into games for PC, Mac and PlayStation 3.

A recent Nielsen games study revealed more than 80% of consumers felt games were just as enjoyable with ads as without, and enjoyed having ads for real brands as it enhanced the players' suspension of disbelief while playing the game.

"With such a captive audience, it's no wonder so many brands are keen to engage their key demographic through this medium," said Bartlett. "In-game advertising provides a way to organically connect advertisers to consumers from within their favourite medium."

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