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BizReport : Blogs & Content : December 09, 2011

Gaming growing in popularity, moves to help advertisers engage

Gaming isn't just for fun anymore. A growing number of people are downloading 'edutainment' apps - to help their children learn numbers, shapes, letters, reading, math and the list goes on. Added to that are social games - which are taking up over half of social consumers time online - and traditional video game consoles.

by Kristina Knight

According to a recent PopCap Games survey of US and UK gamers nearly 120 million people are now playing social games weekly, a 71% increase from 2010. What's more these gamers are more likely to spend actual cash buying content for these virtual games. Most social gamers (52%) are between ages 22 and 49.

There are apps for reading, apps for learning; Pluto Games is a leader in the space and has closed a financing round to expand their brand of edutainment games into new categories and across new platforms.

"With families looking to provide the best in education for their children, participatory and responsive technology like the iPad has the potential to revolutionize learning," said Pluto Games founder Luis Sampedro. "The combination of proven gaming principles with subtle educational lessons is a powerful tool that can give children a head start, all while they have fun!"

Three symbols of the strength of the gaming community come from MoPub, FreeWheel and vzaar.

First, IGN Entertainment, one of the largest gaming media companies in the world, has tapped FreeWheel to expand an existing agreement. They'll use FreeWheel's Revenue and Payments platform; in their existing agreement, FreeWheel powered IGN's monetization rights management platform. Through the new agreement IGN will utilize FreeWheel's RPM Partner platform to manage business development deals.

Meanwhile Virgin Games has tapped vzaar to serve video content within their online gaming centers - casino, bingo, poker and mobile sites. Vzaar also serves video content for the likes of Toys 'R' Us and the Press Association.

And, finally, MoPub is launching support for MRAID and ORMMA rich media ad standards, established by the IAB. The company recently launched their Marketplace, a real-time bidding 'trading floor' for mobile ads and allied with ngmoco, a leader in the mobile gaming realm. The standards adoption should help mobile publishers better leverage rich media ads.

Tags: edutainment, MoPub, online gaming, Pluto Games, PopCap Games, social games, vzaar

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