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Major in-game ad firm struggling
Even though video gaming has, thus far, been recession resilient, one of the industry's major in-game advertising companies is in trouble.
There is much debate around whether IGA Worldwide's rumored revenue problems are self-inflicted or a symptom of an ailing economy, but the fact remains that the company is struggling and seeking investment or a sale.
The company is one of many that enable ads to be displayed inside games. Inserted dynamically, the ads can be displayed in a variety of locations including billboards, vehicles or even blimps. Competitors include Microsoft's Massive and Double Fusion.
IGA Worldwide's in-game advertising networking reaches over 30 million gamers across four gaming platforms - Mac, PC, Flash and the PS3.
According to CEO Justin Townsend, the recession has taken its toll on ad budgets and he felt it was nearly impossible for the company to achieve its projected revenue figures.
Cnet's Dave Rosenberg feels there are larger issues at play, such as a lack of standards, a dearth of success stories and limited vendor options.
"The bigger issue is that in-game advertising is not like other mediums and requires the industry as a whole to mature," wrote Rosenberg. "The current problem is that every in-game advertisement is a custom project. You can't just pop in text or graphics as you do with an ad network such as Google or Yahoo and have it appear correctly in a video game."
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