Paul Hyman wrote an interesting article for The Hollywood Reporter about advergames. The focus of the article was about Burger King’s latest advergaming hit in which they released a handful of full-blown Xbox & Xbox 360 games and sold them in their restaurants bundled with their meals. While I was traveling in Budapest, Paul was able to reach me and we talked about the recent success of BK’s platinum selling games (sold over 3MM+ units).
Towards the end of the article, I appear and give a few quotes. I believe my strongest quote is:
“One in a million advergames gets the kind of publicity that the Burger King games got,” he explains. “I liken the BK games to indie movies. How many of them are ever seen outside artsy theaters? The Burger King games became the ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding’ of the advergame world.”
I really like the analogy to My Big Fat Greek Wedding as it’s important. For every couple of dozen advergames released, you have a successful one that actually gets played more than just once. Advergames are really dependent on their distribution and how the brand promotes them. Many brands create a game and just stick it on their website. That’s not enough for 99.99% of the brands out there. You need to promote and advertise them. Why make the game if you’re not going to get word out?
That’s why I love in-game advertising. While in-game advertising is not advergaming, there are less factors to worry about. The games that we are dealing with are larger titles (Battlefield 2142, CounterStrike, Test Drive Unlimited, Dance, Jam, Bots!!, etc) that already have distribution and an audience. Why worry about creating that?
I wrote about this quite a bit in a previous post. Check it out here.