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Advergaming: more than a game

A few years back, I used to rent games in a little place near my house (remember when we used to go out to rent things? wow, I’m feeling old). One of my favorite games was the SNES rendition of Aladdin. It was a good platformer and a (kinda) faithful adaptation of an awesome movie. I was just a kid, so I was only enjoying a game. Little did I know, this was not only that, but a tool that was part of a much larger marketing campaign that was promoting a film, and it worked on me! I saw that movie a thousand and one times (get it?) and my interested in Aladdin piked because of that little game.

What is an advergame?

An advergame is just that, a game created with the main purpose of promoting a product, service, organization, etc. and they have been around from the very beginning of games.

Promoting movies was one of the first choices for advergaming (ET anyone?) but it took little time for other products to figure out that video games was a fantastic tool for sales. Games like 7 Up’s Spot, Hot Wheels, Barbie, etc. are a few examples.

Now, it is important to note that there is a clear difference between an advergame and product placement. When your brand is only featured in a game, that’s product placement. When that game is built around your brand, that’s an advergame.

Today, advergames are very common. You see fewer in consoles now (although they still exist) because the production costs for a console title is very high, but you can find a lot of them in the mobile markets. Advergame is a great way for a brand to establish their presence and promote their product in a non intrusive way.

  What do you think about advergames? Do you think is a good strategy? Leave your comments! 

Author: Gustavo Monforte

CTO and Co-Founder of Fat Panda Games, currently i’m a passionate level designer for the most part of the games we produce. Let’s talk #GameDev !

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