EA selects single player for in-game ads

EA selects single player for in-game ad formats (EA)The news that EA is dropping third parties from selling into the company’s dynamic in-game ad inventory is a pretty interesting development. At first blush, it looks like a move to increase margins and control pricing of the inventory. The more I think about the announcement, though, the more I hope the rabbit hole goes deeper.

When publishers of any sort integrate a third-party ad-serving solution, it essentially puts the sales teams and the creative teams at odds. Sales teams want to dream up incredible, never-done-before done campaigns with brands. A third-party solution acts as a bottleneck, shattering many of those dreams. Creatives look at those third-party solutions as invading their space, and find viewing the ads as a necessary evil.

When the ad-serving technology sits with product teams that work in parallel with the core product teams, this changes in a significant way. Suddenly the core product makes concessions to organically integrate with the ad products coming down the pipe, and then the sales teams are able to dream a bit bigger, doing some very neat stuff. I really hope this intention played a part in EA’s decision, in addition to the desire to control pricing and maximize profits. Read full article on Mediapost.

EA: A market trend?

EA: A marketing trend? (Sims3)Column originally featured on MediaPost

Electronic Arts is shaking things up and leading by example. The video game company seems to be evolving a new approach to game publishing, one that promises a cross-platform distribution model fortified against piracy.

The game worth looking at closely for following this trend is “The Sims 3.” The title launched but a few months ago, and has now seen over 3.7 million copies sold, outstripping the previous bestseller “The Sims 2.” What’s interesting about these sales is that they follow a torrent (pun intended) of pirated downloads from a leaked version of the game prior to release. Rather than lamenting the piracy, EA execs suggested that internally, they shifted the viewpoint to seeing the leaked version as an “extended demo.” The reason behind this was the sheer volume of additional content exclusive to registered users that didn’t ship on the retail disk.

EA has instead approached the Sims franchise as a content portal to additional downloads, some of which were free, and others for pay. They are now adding this same model to the iPhone version of “The Sims 3,” making use of in-app commerce enabled by the iPhone 3.0 software release. This brings up the other facet of EA’s burgeoning model that’s extremely compelling: cross distribution.  Read more.