Sony, Double Fusion Ink In-Game Ad Deal

Sony’s PlayStation 3 gaming consoles will soon begin featuring their first dynamically served video ads courtesy of in-game ad firm Double Fusion.

The San Francisco, Calif.-based Fusion has signed its first deal with Sony to serve video ads within the game WipEout. That futuristic racing title is a downloadable game offered via PlayStation Network, Sony’s fast growing digital platform—a subscription-based product through which PlayStation owners can connect with other gamers across the globe, surf the Web and play games. The ads in WipEout will be delivered during various intermittent moments within the game, such as when new levels are loading.

Double Fusion has for several years sold and delivered dynamic in-game ads—i.e ads which are served into games played via an Internet connection as they are being played. Initially, the company specialized in PC-based and casual Web games but has recently branched out into platforms such as the iPhone.

But the console market—dominated by the PlayStation, Microsoft’s Xbox and Nintendo’s Wii, remains perhaps the fledgling industry’s most attractive option for advertisers, particularly as more and more users look to connect these devices to the Web. Microsoft’s Massive Inc. has the Xbox console virtually locked up, while Nintendo has thus far avoided advertising on the Wii—making the PlayStation 3 a key frontier for Double Fusion and others to pursue.

Thus, adding video ads—in this case HD video ads—to its portfolio, even for a single game, could provide Double Fusion with a competitive boost. “Double Fusion is responding to advertiser demand and offering an engaging ad format while pushing in-game ad innovation to a new level,” said CEO Jonathan Epstein. “The title is one of the most popular and visually stunning available on the PlayStation Network and a perfect vehicle to connect advertisers to a captivated audience. It comes as no surprise that advertisers have already signed up for WipEout HD even before the launch of the new video ad units in the game.”