WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF
There is no escaping advertising even in the Metaverse where debates about regulations and privacy will likely take years to begin …
As everyone, from Meta and Microsoft to Walmart, Sony, and beyond, eyes up the metaverse as the next big trillion dollar market opportunity and starts laying stake to it by developing new cryptocurrencies, NFT marketplaces, and virtual worlds, another company is teaming up to sell everyone ads after Anzu announced it’s teaming up with Roblox creators to develop in-game advertising on the Roblox gaming platform.
Anzu said that its dynamic in-game ad solution is now available to creators of games and other experiences on the Roblox platform. With this solution, Anzu hopes to open significant new revenue streams for Roblox creators, who often get billions of plays for their games in the Roblox world, which draws more than 43 million daily active players who come to the platform’s immersive user-generated 3D worlds.
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Roblox takes about half the revenue for the player spending for games on the platform, so it’s good for developers to drum up other ways of generating revenue. This also enables global brands to reach Roblox’s lucrative audience.
Jamie Gutfreund, ex-global chief marketing officer at kids consumer entertainment products company MGA Entertainment, said in a statement, “Roblox has the potential to become one of gaming’s most valuable and engaging environments for brands. Managing safety and privacy for kids will be critical to long-term success, but for marketers, learning how to deliver entertaining experiences in the Metaverse will become a fundamental strategy to earn relationships with fans worldwide.”
Anzu’s gaming customers include Ubisoft, Microsoft Xbox, Next Wave Multimedia, and Amanotes, the No. 1 mobile apps publisher in Southeast Asia. Anzu now allows Roblox creators to integrate its blended ads that become part of the gameplay into their titles and leverage them to monetize and enhance engagement rates while preserving the gameplay experience.
Itamar Benedy, CEO of Anzu, said in a statement, “Today marks an important milestone on our road to building a cross-platform advertising solution that reaches players no matter where they are or what they are playing on. We are thrilled by the interest and uptake we’ve already seen from both Roblox’s creators and some of the world’s leading brands and agencies which are extremely excited to be part of Roblox’s vision of becoming a true metaverse, representing the future of how people learn, play, work, consume entertainment, try on and shop fashion, and interact with brands.”
This includes dynamic banner ads on lots of different virtual objects, including the side of buildings and virtual roadside billboards. Its SDK technology also delivers high-quality direct traffic with complete control over ad placements.
This advanced technology, coupled with Anzu’s relationships with leading brands including PepsiCo, Samsung, and Vodafone and backed up by the world’s largest advertising agency WPP, has already led them to sign partnerships with many popular Roblox creators, bringing in-game advertising to games including, Work at a Pizza Place, Speed Run 4, Wacky Wizards, and Fashion Famous. Over the coming months, Anzu plans to bring its technology to 40 more experiences.
Michael Sligh, the creator of Work at a Pizza Place, said in a statement, “We look forward to seeing real-world brand ads appear within our games as players will be able to experience them just like they do in the real world, adding a sense of realism to our gameplay. They will also provide us with an additional revenue stream without taking anything away from how players experience games, allowing us to spend more time improving them and building out new ones that the Roblox community can fall in love with.”
Admix, which competes with Anzu in the game ad space, said its own survey confirmed that game ads are on the rise. The survey found 81% of media buyers plan to either maintain or increase in-game advertising spend over the next 12 months, with 93% intending to run some form of in-game advertising by 2025.
Key drivers include the rapidly developing infrastructure behind in-game advertising, with increases in the availability of programmatic options, third-party verification for in-game advertising performance, and an increase in the availability of in-game inventory.
However, a fifth of media buyers cited a lack of understanding as the biggest reason for not investing in in-game advertising, with 31% considering it a grey area. About 60% of respondents felt consoles offered more premium video game inventory than mobile. However, a third identified casual mobile games as being premium — narrowly higher than any other in-game environment.