Representatives from Norwegian publisher and developer Funcom and Microsoft-owned in-game advertising firm Massive Incorporated announced plans to introduce interactive advertisement technology in the futuristic PC MMO Anarchy Online. The new technology will allow players to interact with dynamic billboards in the game.
The first confirmed campaign to utilize the new technology will feature vehicle manufacturer Toyota. The new Toyota campaign will allow players to walk up to in-game billboards and interact with them to unveil more information on the new Toyota Yaris. Funcom expects this new move in interactive advertisement to pave the way for future endeavors between both the video game and advertising industries.
Advertisements are not unfamiliar to players of Anarchy Online. On March 24, 2005 the game became the first to feature dynamic advertisement billboards. Later on June 27 that year, the fourth anniversary of Anarchy Online, the game introduced live videos and sound on dynamic advertisement billboards. A new expansion pack entitled Anarchy Online -- Lost Eden will be released this fall.
Massive Incorporated's CEO Mitch Davis noted that the joint venture is "a tremendous step forward in terms of giving advertisers what they want -- the ability to target the elusive male 18-34 range and allowing them to interact with the products for a more memorable experience."
"In Funcom we are always trying to push the envelope in innovation and technology, and this recent move with Funcom, Massive and Toyota is a perfect example," said Trond Arne Aas, CEO of Funcom. "Our primary goal is always to deliver the best possible entertainment, but to offset the high development costs in today's gaming landscape we need to look at additional forms of income. What Massive is offering us is exactly that, and we are therefore very pleased to continue working with them to introduce new technologies that give us a competitive edge."