Wednesday, July 05, 2006

In-game ads get new patron, makes me go huh?

via Next Generation, this news:

"Chip maker Intel has contributed to a joint investment in in-game ad company IGA Worldwide, helping complete a series A funding round totaling $17 million."
IGA is a competitor to Massive Incorporated, Acclaim's in-game advertising partner. This bit of news is, of course, great for IGA and the in-game advertising industry in general. However, I'm completely baffled by the investment from Intel. Quoted in the same article, Intel says:
"The explosive growth of digital gaming is attracting millions of new users and is a key element of Intel's vision for the Digital Home," said Damien Callaghan, strategic investment manager with Intel Capital. "IGA's products enhance this opportunity by enabling game developers and publishers to earn additional revenue ensuring the continuation of a vibrant industry - an issue of importance to Intel and its customers."
Huh? Let me get this straight, Intel is investing in IGA because they want to invest in games for PCs. That's investing in something pretty obscure to keep their interest in the market. An equivalent would be Coke investing in an new ice making company so that people keep enjoying beverages with ice (the preferred method of drinking Coke). Seriously, if the Intel strategy is for real, they have got to be one of the most forward-looking companies out there.

Call me cynical, but I have my doubts. Unfortunately, I don't even know where to start in guessing an alternative reason. Maybe they're eventually going to make a big move into the game industry with hardware or buying up developers. But even with that, this seems like a strange choice. I give up.

Anyone else want to take a stab at it?

No comments: