2 Cos. Make Play For Mini-Games

Production company @radical.media last week teamed with game designer American McGee—known for turning lapsed-copyright properties such as Alice in Wonderland into digital hits—to create “mini-games” that advertisers can use as marketing tools.

The initiative is the latest in a slew of new-media opportunities that companies are turning to as branded entertainment becomes ever-more prominent. Part of the appeal, said Frank Scherma, president of @radical.media in Santa Monica, Calif., lies in low-cost per-person media, game-platform proliferation and the chance for consumers to see messages for hours.

Such mini-games, said Scherma, offer lower development costs than traditional games. He said they also allow advertisers to create new characters or to use existing ones in games that can, for example, lead winning players to a code for a coupon or a Web-site download. “We’re creating a new genre—another way to reach consumers based on our understanding of the brand,” said Scherma.

Anthony Jacobson, CEO of Los Angeles-based The Mauretania Import Export Co. (where McGee is chief creative officer), said game assets can also be leveraged for commercials. “For the same price of a typical television commercial, we can create a game and give advertisers a beautifully rendered animated commercial on top of it,” he said. Mini-games can also be used to test-market longer-playing versions for the game market.

Terms of @radical.media’s partnership were undisclosed.