Viacom considering in-game advertising

Rob Fahey 12:12 22/06/2004

New ways to make money from games being explored by media corporation

Media empire Viacom is investigating the possibility of making money through advertising and product placement in videogames, according to a presentation given by CFO Richard Bressler at the Global Digital Summit.

"I think the jury is in, people are spending a lot of time in interactive," Bressler told the audience at the summit. "The interesting thing for us to figure out is if there's a market for advertising in video games."

Bressler's vote of confidence for in-game advertising reflects a strong feeling within the industry that advertising and product placement could represent an important new source of revenues going forward.

Earlier this year, Activision announced that it was working with media research firm Nielsen to establish a set of standard metrics which could be used to measure the impact of advertising in interactive entertainment products.

Viacom's interest in the games industry has been the subject of much speculation in recent weeks, after company chairman Sumner Redstone took over a majority stake in publisher Midway, and said that Viacom was interested in entering the games industry - and has even considered a takeover of Electronic Arts in order to do so.

It's widely expected that the giant corporation - whose brands include Paramount, MTV and Nickolodeon - will purchase either Midway or another publisher in order to gain a foothold in the marketplace.

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