Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
Product placement inside games can be a lucrative addition to freemium models.
Zynga has courted traditional companies like Farmer's Insurance by offering them
in-game access to a fresh market.
For years now, the occasional ad campaign has taken the benefits of in-game
advertising so to heart, that they created a stand alone “game,” whose primary
job is to function as advertising. In this advertainment model, the game is usu-
ally offered for free, or at least very cheaply, in exchange for the brand aware-
ness its creators hope the game will create. One of the earliest of these was
Dominos Pizza's strange 1989 Commodore 64 and DOS game called Avoid the
Noid , in which the user played as a pizza boy who had to escape the pizza-
wrecking attacks of Domino's Claymation mascot, the Noid. This product was
successful enough to spawn a sequel for the Nintendo Entertainment System
called Yo! Noid . Later, companies like Doritos and Burger King funded games
that were given away free to willing users. (These advertainment games can
take on a life outside of the original marketing endeavor. For instance, Burger
King's Xbox line of games, Sneak King and Big Bumpin' , are reported to have
sold more than 3 million copies.)
Of course, as a game designer, selling out your game to hawk fast food may
not be particularly appealing, but developing software of this type can be an
excellent way to hone your game engine and tech or to experiment with differ-
ent user models. Moreover, the exercise of creating games which target a specific
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