Ashu Mathura on mobile advergaming; free games anyone?

August 9th, 2004 by Ashu Mathura Posted in Ad Funded Gaming, Analysis & Editorial | 6 Comments »

Can we convince consumers to pay money for advertisement driven games?

The business of video games for mobile phones must be one of the most dynamic and fast paced industries in the world today. New phones are hitting the shelves faster and faster. Phones are becoming more and more powerful by the month. Innovative technologies like 3D and multiplayer games are pushed into the hands of end consumers. Mobile game development studios are working on steroids to develop better, bigger and more complex video games (and yes, we at Overloaded are very proud that our latest game “Xyanide” has received The Mobile Gaming Award: “This is one of the best games for mobile phones so far” by Midlet Review). But in the midst of this all a new trend is emerging; free mobile video games.

In today’s world end consumers are bombarded with hundreds of marketing messages each hour. Finding ways to connect to end consumers and create awareness is becoming increasingly critical and more difficult for high profile brands like Coca-Cola, Suzuki, BMW and Heineken. Traditional mass marketing (TV / radio / print) campaigns seem to have less effect every year and consumer preferences are even more difficult to predict and influence.

Clever brand marketers are finding in mobile games a new way to reach the young people who are ever more stubbornly ignoring their sales pitches. As more consumers have game capable mobile phones, the potential for advergaming and thus free sponsored games is huge.

For brand marketers there could be a number of good reasons to deploy a sponsored mobile game. First and most obvious is to create awareness for a brand. Second is to introduce a (new) product or service in a way that involves and entertains the consumer and interacts with the actual product. Third is to educate consumers in an entertaining way about the product features and way of usage. Any combination of these reasons is also possible.

Creating awareness for a brand sounds easier than it actually is. Consumers are not easily fooled and today it is simply not enough to recreate Frogger or Pac-Man and simply put your logo on top of it. Coca-Cola for example is by no means linked to Tetris or Arkanoid and consumers will simply have a negative experience if brands chose to do so. Creativity and understanding the brand values become very relevant skills for game development studios to understand and apply.

Currently many mobile games released are focused on console gamers or at least are inspired on console games. Think about the Ubisoft, Atari, Sega, Namco, Capcom and Microsoft games that are heavily pushed by operators worldwide. In contrast, brand marketers are focussing on the casual gamers instead. Casual gamers tend to like games that are quick to learn and have a relative short playtime per game, typical 5

    6 Responses to “Ashu Mathura on mobile advergaming; free games anyone?”

    1. MoGaLiMe says:

      Mobile Advergaming

      Mobile Games & Gaming Blog: Analysis & Editorial “For brand marketers there could be a number of good reasons to deploy a sponsored mobile game. First and most obvious is to create awareness for a brand. Second is to introduce…

    2. gomes blog says:

      gomez article

      it’s my opinion on that theme

    3. Paul says:

      With a mass-market medium like mobile games, there are lots of ways to make money. Sites like MobileRated.com distribute all of their games for free; some have ads but some are try-before-you-buy (and some are even totally free – loss leaders?)

    4. Frank says:

      I checked out http://www.mobilerated.com and its not bad.. many of the games are free. I see open source games and other free games mixed with limited game demos. They tell you which is which (thankfully!) and you can decide what you like. It is easy to download and a simple site to navigate. What does this mean for pay sites?

    5. joker says:

      can you send me a bluetooht multiplayer nokia game

    6. I recently visited http://www.hovr.com, and i was surprised to see that they are offering all the highly rated mobile games absolutely free. And that’s not all they have free mobile games for virtually all the brands of mobile games. You need to first register and choose your mobile phone and then you can download the games via SMS, WAP or you can download them on to your pc.

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    Arjan Olsder is the Vice President of Pixalon Studios. Opinions expressed on this publication do not have to represent those of Pixalon Studios.


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