Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Now this is interesting: Massive & WebZen hook up

via Reuters, via MarketingVox

Acclaim's advertising partner, Massive Inc. (part of Microsoft) has inked a deal to provide ads in two of WebZen's new games, Huxley and All Points Bulletin. As far as I know, this is the first major game in Korea and from a Korean publisher that will utilize a revenue-generating ad system. WebZen seems to be making a serious play into the space with the significant showing at E3 this year with Huxley. In addition, several months ago they hired Cindy Armstrong, a high level executive from SOE, makers of Everquest.

What makes this bit of news interesting is that Korean publishers have yet to embrace the ads for their games. The incredibly successful Korean model has been to provide free games and obtain revenue through the sale of game content such as items. This partnership and new strategy could significant usher WebZen (and maybe Korea?) into the tv-like model for games that Acclaim has staked a claim on.

It's an exciting time of experimentation and innovation for publishers and an even more exciting time for consumers. Personally, it's exciting for me to see some other companies moving parallel to Acclaim. Not only does it mean we're on the right track but it also adds some fun competition and ultimately, expansion of the market. Yes, this is all very interesting indeed.

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