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$140 CPM for ad-sponsored games. That’s pretty aggressive.

By on May 28, 2008
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Wild Tangent CEO Alex St. John declared at a recent conference that in-game advertising is dead.

Long live in-game advertising.

His primary point is that interrupting the player during a game is disruptive, not fun and extremely difficult to track effectiveness. Without effective measurement, advertisers aren’t biting.

WildTangent have switched models. Users get the choice of whether to pay for a game or to watch a 30 second clip from a sponsor. They watch the ad while the game downloads into their browser.

WIld Tangent claim to be getting $140 CPM for this activity. $140 per thousand plays of the ad. That’s a hugely high number. I have to imagine that is not the effective CPM across the whole site, just the best rates they ever achieve, but either way, it’s a fantastic achievement.

I have to agree with them: browser-based games where users can play for free seem to be a great way of drawing a wider market into gaming, and Wild Tangent appear to have created a model that works.

Which is good news for the industry, because their model is replicable, and we can all start finding ways to monetise free browser games.

About Nicholas Lovell

Nicholas is the founder of Gamesbrief, a blog dedicated to the business of games. It aims to be informative, authoritative and above all helpful to developers grappling with business strategy. He is the author of a growing list of books about making money in the games industry and other digital media, including How to Publish a Game and Design Rules for Free-to-Play Games, and Penguin-published title The Curve: thecurveonline.com