How To Get Into Advergaming

In his last post, my fellow Gaming Insider Josh Lovison mentioned the possibility of advertisers reevaluating the advergame space, especially in light of the success of the distribution channels through the Xbox Live Marketplace and the Playstation Network store.

While it would be great to see an uptick in quality branded games, there are definitely some barriers. For one, the skill set for making fun, simple, casual games isn't especially widespread -- it seems like it's easy to make an OK advergame, but very difficult to make a good one.

That said, with all the tools available on the wide variety of social media and content sites, there are many ways that companies without a lot of experience in gaming can nonetheless create a strong casual game offering without necessarily outsourcing or hiring someone with the video game developer skill set. A great example is a  a simple choose-your-own adventure game developed by the English Metropolitan Police, designed to educate British youths about the dangers and consequences of carrying knives (and the fact that British police can search you without probable cause, apparently). The game, while very slickly produced, only requires a solid understanding of YouTube annotation functionality and video production skills -- something any medium-to-large-sized firm should be able to muster.



An advergame doesn't necessarily have to be developed from the ground up. The existing tools that exist in the social media space provide a great playground to work with -- with the extra benefit of being spaces where users implicitly understand the rules and mechanics by which you can play. For brands looking to get their feet wet in the world of gaming, they might be a great place to start.

2 comments about "How To Get Into Advergaming".
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  1. Mike Wood from, September 14, 2009 at 3:03 p.m.

    At GamesThatGive, we've partnered with our advertisers to provide uninterupted, and unabrasive gameplay that isn't hindered by pop up ads. During our games, we have one sponsor's logo hidden in the background of our games. When users play the games, 70% of the ad revenue generated is then donated to charities of their choosing. It's a win for the users, charities, and sponsors. Check it out at

  2. Edward Hunter from Loop Analytics, October 15, 2009 at 10:11 a.m.

    I know of at least two companies out there currently developing advergames rigged to produce back end effectiveness metrics. I think that moving forward, more companies developing games that brand push need to design themselves out of a walled garden from day one. It's refreshing to see some beginning to emerge.

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