GamePro Strikes Ad, Content Deal With Wikia

gamepro websiteGamePro Media will exclusively handle ad sales for the gaming section of Wikia, the for-profit Web hosting service started by Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales, under a new marketing partnership announced today.

GamePro will serve display ads across the approximately 500,000 pages of game-related content on Wikia covering a wide range of enthusiast topics from the complex fantasy game "World of Warcraft" to Club Penguin. Wikia's game-related inventory accounts for more than 300 million ad impressions a month.

"GamePro has good relationships with advertisers and a lot of credibility built up through the many years they've been doing this," said Gil Penchina, CEO of Wikia, which spans some 8,000 niche content sites created by users. "Our goal is not to be a gaming company. Our goal is to be a library of everything."

In addition to Wikia Gaming, GamePro's online media network includes the flagship GamePro.com, Games.net, MegaGames.com, The GameReviews.com and BlogFaction.com. Traffic across the network in June totaled 14.8 million visitors worldwide, with 4 million coming from the U.S., according to comScore. Not surprisingly, GamePro attracts a mostly young, male, tech-savvy audience.

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As such, its advertisers include major game publishers, auto companies including Toyota and Nissan, makers of male grooming products such as Gillette, and the service branches of the U.S military.

Penchina said Wikia Gaming offers a demographic cross-section ranging from older-skewing fans of massively-multiplayer online games like "Warcraft" and "Halo" to casual games that draw more women to those favored by tweens such as "Zoo Tycoon" "This allows (GamePro) to reach a broad audience," he said.

But with communities built around more than 800 different games on Wikia, GamePro will also be able to offer advertisers highly targeted audience segments. "Wikia offers a very targeted way to broaden ad buys," said Bob Huseby, senior vice president and publisher of GamePro Media.

He said the home pages of individual game wikis would lend themselves to sponsorships involving roadblock ads or tandem ads, in which a leaderboard and skyscraper or other display unit are synchronized to boost the impact of a brand message.

With the upcoming relaunch of GamePro.com on Aug. 12, the company also plans to feature Wikia Gaming content on the revamped home page. Huseby said the redesign is aimed at making the site more accessible to a mainstream gaming audience and more in line with the company's 20-year-old GamePro magazine.

At the same time, GamePro will also allow Wikia authors to grab content from the site including game screenshots, expert reviews and video available to use within their own wikis, Huseby said.

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