This firm is inserting video adverts in video games and EA has already signed up

A new advertising platform will enable companies to incorporate video ads into PC and console games similar to those seen in mobile games or on free-to-air television. The technology, known as playerWON and owned by Simulmedia, is based on rewarding in-game items and currencies to players who view ads and is aimed at free-to-play, according to an Axios report Play.

And it will likely catch on: Simulmedia has already made deals with EA and Hi-Rez, and a pilot has already run in Smite. According to the report, if gamers could gain advantage from viewing ads, it was “much more likely” that gamers would play a game and spend money on it during this pilot. It is possible – although not specifically mentioned in the report – that gamers can purchase in-game currency by tuning into 15- or 30-second ads rather than using real money, thus turning a free game into a viable video marketing platform.

The tech aims to target younger gamers (18-34) who are harder to reach through traditional video marketing. To be “rewarded” for viewing an ad, the ad must be viewed in its entirety. Simulmedia’s own research claims people would be willing to watch up to 10 videos a day for rewards, which sounds crazy, but hey, I’m not a market researcher.

Simulmedia’s Dave Madden points out that 90% of the free-to-play audience never buy in-game items, so this is another way to get money out of them. By the end of 2021, the company plans to implement these ads in “around a dozen” games. It’s a bleak vision of the future of gaming: volunteers marketed for virtual rewards in your scarce free time. Watch a 15 second ad on Cheetos to unlock a Marvel cape in Fortnite. Where’s the exit?

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