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October 24, 2021
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Press Releases Expands Programmatic In-Game Advertising Offerings on Xbox
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[This unedited press release is made available courtesy of Gamasutra and its partnership with notable game PR-related resource Games Press.]

In-game advertising platform today announced their participation in the Xbox Tools and Middleware Program, enabling licensed game developers and publishers to benefit from Anzu’s blended in-game advertising to enhance advertising in their Xbox games.


Anzu, an innovative advertising platform, uses programmatic technology to bring real-world ads to video gaming and esports by seamlessly integrating immersive ads directly into the gameplay. The company brings in-game ads to the esports tournaments, leagues and streaming world, furthering the growth of esports with their advanced advertising offerings. Anzu also brought to the market the first-ever ad verification solution in in-game advertising launched with Cheq, to promote security and trust for advertising in-game and to ensure marketers pay only for viewable ads.


With Anzu’s inclusion in the Xbox Tools and Middleware Program, Xbox developers will be able to boost their games, potentially making them even more realistic and open new revenue streams. As a licensed Xbox middleware provider, Anzu will be able to provide services to the broad community of Xbox developers and help them monetize their audiences in a new way while keeping the UX at the front. Some Xbox game developers are already using Anzu’s services to explore monetization potential of their games.


Advertising in video games and esports is growing in popularity as more brands tune in to reap the benefits of the vast potential of reaching previously unexplored audiences in games. Industry research pegs the total revenue generated by global games to be at $152 billion in 2019, with console gaming expected to be the fastest-growing segment. Many big consumer brands have forayed recently into video gaming and are spending at scale in this segment to reach new audiences. This has given game developers a chance to open their games to a new channel of monetization on top of their existing revenue streams.


For developers, a main challenge to fully adopt in-game advertising until now has been the lack of native solutions and scalability to bring in-game ads to console gaming, primarily because of hard-coded ad technology that made it difficult and time-consuming for developers to integrate ads in game content. Using Anzu’s technology, Xbox game developers will for the first time be able to create immersive experiences for their gamers programmatically and monetize them in a non-disruptive manner, getting full control over content, ad formats, and analytics. Xbox game developers will also be able to utilize Anzu’s advanced tech enabling to update ads dynamically and create personalized content, maximizing game revenues. The lightweight SDK allows for fast integration with a drag-and-drop feature, while the SaaS solution enables developers to launch cross-promo campaigns and set up direct deals with their internal advertisers.


“More and more brands want to have a premium spot in popular console games and esports tournaments, and game studios are also realizing the benefits of native in-game ads for their games. They now have an opportunity to open an additional monetization channel with our offerings that are conscious of how and where the ads are placed within their game setting. We are glad that we will be able to bring in-game advertising to a premium platform like Xbox. Anzu is already working closely with Xbox to bring value to the community of developers, and we are happy to open new gates to further strengthen our partnership with them across all screens, including esports,” said Itamar Benedy, CEO and Co-Founder of Anzu.


With the backup of the biggest advertising agency in the world, WPP, which invested in Anzu’s recent funding round of $6.5 million, Xbox game developers will be able to realize the full potential of monetizing their games and have a unique opportunity to connect with the biggest brand advertisers.