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The former European VP of IGA Worldwide says that no one has done more to raise the profile of the gaming industry than in-game advertisers.

Ed Bartlett, a former executive for one of the top in-game advertisers, says that one of his biggest frustrations is that many in the gaming industry continue to ignore that contribution that advertisers have made to making videogames more mainstream.

The reasoning behind Bartlett’s claim is fairly simple. As part of the strategy for selling advertising space in games, Bartlett, and others like him, educated the press about gaming, and encouraged them to write positively about it, thus increasing its visibility both to consumers and to potential advertisers. He said that the efforts of in-game advertising agencies had resulted in broader and more even-handed coverage of the gaming industry as a whole, and thanks to the work of the three biggest in-game advertisers – Double Fusion, Massive Inc., and IGA – the perception that gamers were “12 year-old boys in their bedrooms,” had been changed in an incredibly short amount of time.

Bartlett’s claims are likely to cause a bit of a stir; he himself acknowledges that they’re controversial. While I’m not entirely sure he deserves as much credit as he seems to be giving himself, it’s unfair to suggest that he and his industry didn’t contribute to making gaming more mainstream. Of course, the PlayStation advertising of the mid-to-late 90s and the Wii advertising of recent years helped a great deal too, as did high-profile characters like Lara Croft, who was being talked about in Time Magazine and Newsweek years before IGA Worldwide was founded.

Source: Games Industry

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