I took an 8 hour flight from JFK to Zurich, Switzerland to participate in a conference at the GDI Institute on digital media and my portion: the role of video games in culture and business. While I have history in the in-game advertising industry, I didn’t focus the presentation on this. I tried to talk about the macro-trends in the video game industry, some of which I posted in early October on this blog.
I spoke solely on in-game advertising at the GDI Institute in 2005 and the crowd really got into it. Lots of great questions and insights that were shared amongst the few hundred in attendance. As I noted above, maybe 10% of the presentation this time around talked about in-game advertising but the real time was spent with trends. In-game advertising is part of a larger trend, which is finding ways to monetize games through the use of everpresent connectivity. With broadband connectivity being harnessed by consoles, a new ecosystem of monetization opens up (skill based wagering, in-game advertising, virtual goods, subscriptions, RMT, etc).
One of the othe rmain topics I spoke about was about video game culture. Look at what Guitar Hero and Rockstar are doing for fans. The Nintendo Wii as well. Toyota’s commercial utilizing World of Warcraft like content. Games are finally being socially accepted which is opening up a whole creative market.
We had a fantastic discussion about this last night (as I was trying not to fall asleep due to timezone differences) and really enjoyed meeting a lot of new people. Had lunch today with a gentleman I met last night and we discussed the presentation further.
For those of you who want to see some pictures of Zurich, I posted some in my Flickr gallery.