New Era for Advertisement in Games Begins With Anarchy Online
Company: Funcom
Durham, USA — July 25, 2005— Funcom, developer and publisher of top video game titles like Anarchy Online and The Longest Journey, has once again broken away from the pack to bring a bold new direction for advertisement in videogames. By working in conjunction with Massive Incorporated, creator of the world’s first video game advertising network, Funcom is now offering dynamically delivered video ads in Anarchy Online. The new advertising elements accompany the dynamic billboard ads introduced earlier this spring.

In Anarchy Online the video and audio ads start playing on billboards or other appropriate locations when gamers enter select areas or zones within the game. This ground-breaking new advertising element has two distinct applications; it can be used to dynamically deliver television equivalent 15-second advertising spots, as well as audio messaging. The advertisements, using a combination of code created by Massive Incorporated and Funcom coders and utilizing technology licensed from RAD Game tools, do not increase latency, interrupt gameplay or gather personal information from players. Like the prior advertisements, those opting for the entirely free version of Anarchy Online will see the videos as a natural part of the city environments, while paying subscribers may opt in to view the content. The first video ads were unveiled to players at the four year anniversary for Anarchy Online in June, and brought fictional video advertisements from the warring factions in the game. Now the first paid video advertisements are in, with Panasonic and Channel 4 being the first companies to kick-start the new era for advertising in games.

“The visions we have had for Anarchy Online have been given a boost by this technology and the years ahead are now looking more promising than ever before.” said Trond Aas, CEO of Funcom. “We are once again first in bringing a great new innovation to the market, and by combining what players desire with what we need and what advertisers are requesting we are opening more doors of opportunity for us all. The high professionalism of Massive Incorporated, mixed with our own unique design and technology implementation, have made the advertisements a hit with the Anarchy Online population. Now we set our eyes towards the next ad evolution and Funcom is naturally pleased to be a driving force behind this innovation.”

No stranger to innovation, Funcom’s Anarchy Online has introduced numerous design and marketing innovations, including the 7 day free trial and the instanced dungeon / mission on demand system, while also being the first graphical MMO in the western world to be offered at no fee. Morten Byom, Game Director for Anarchy Online stated, “Ever since we started working with Massive we have seen how positive our players have been about the free subscription and the way the ads have created life in many areas of the game. I now believe that advertisements and games may form a perfect symbiosis in the years to come as long as it’s tastefully implemented.”

This new ability to bring exciting video advertisement to players from across the globe does not only open the door for advertisers, it also enables developers like Funcom to toy around with a wide variety of new design and marketing opportunities. Someday games like Anarchy Online might stage live concerts and live appearances, show the latest music videos in the clubs and even deliver in-character newscasts to entertain and inform players. The technology gives numerous possibilities and expands the opportunities for creative game developers.


ABOUT FUNCOM - Funcom is an independent developer and publisher of computer and console games with a focus on action adventure and subscription based online games. Funcom has provided outstanding entertainment since 1993 and continues to expand its track-record of 24 released games to date. Recent successes include ‘The Longest Journey’ and ‘Anarchy Online’. For corporate information please visit http://www.funcom.com. For information about Funcom games visit http://www.anarchy-online.com , http://www.dreamfall.com or http://www.ageofconan.com . Funcom is backed by Northzone Ventures, Stelt Holding and Teknoinvest.

ABOUT MASSIVE INCORPORATED - Massive Incorporated has created the world's first video game network across all platforms. With its patent-pending technology, Massive dynamically serves advertising across the largest aggregated network of premier video game titles and delivers measured results on consumer interaction with this brand messaging. Massive has partnerships with 20 leading game publishers, over 30 blue-chip advertisers, and has served over six million game sessions, to date. Massive allows publishers and advertisers to capitalize on the largest cultural and economic entertainment force in the world. Massive was selected to AlwaysOn’s 2005 list of top 100 private companies. Massive is backed by DFJ Gotham, DFJ New England, RRE Ventures, NeoCarta, Tobat Capital, and Newlight Associates. http://www.massiveincorporated.com.
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