Brands and marketers are finally starting to realize the power of in-game advertising. As the size of the gaming community grows, brands have the potential to directly reach players through their chosen entertainment environment. In line with this brand interest, in-game advertising companies have multiplied. Today’s in-game advertising firms create programmatic in-game ads and immersive experiences that sometimes enhance players’ in-game experiences.

Despite this growth, the gaming industry is filled with widespread misconceptions about the relationship between players and brands. As we enter 2022, stakeholders in the in-game advertising industry aim to raise awareness about the reach and effectiveness of their services and help non-endemic brands further integrate themselves into the gaming arena. According to Technavio’s report on the In-Game Advertising Market by Platform and Geography, the in-game advertising market is expected to grow by approximately $11 billion over the next three years. This is the story of how the modern in-game advertising industry has shaped and how some industry observers predict its future development.

In-game advertising has been around almost as long as the gaming industry itself. Original in-game ads were directly coded into games and often resulted from developers or their hired representatives influencing skeptical brands to place their products in the game.

As we enter 2022, in-game advertising is a rapidly evolving sector; according to the Admix report, 81% of media buyers plan to increase in-game spending in the next 12 months. But it hasn’t always been this way. Between the industry’s early days and the modern renaissance, many companies tried to make in-game advertising a sustainable business and achieved varying levels of success and technological innovation.

When technology began to capture players’ opportunities for consumption, in-game advertising companies returned by adapting newer and broader advertising technology applications, such as programmatic advertising, to function in the gaming world. “Programmatic advertising really was born in 2010. It reached mobile in 2014-2015. And before that, you didn’t have the ability to scale campaigns because you had to go directly to the publisher, and it was almost a direct relationship. There was no way to create a scalable ad delivery, there was no real-time open bidding, and everything was different. Five years ago, this technology was already there, but it wasn’t a priority among advertisers. Fortnite and Roblox, considered niche at the time, weren’t as big as they are now.

The growth of in-game advertising has led to the influx of non-endemic brands that previously held a wide space. As players become accustomed to owning entirely virtual objects, in-game advertising is no longer just a tool for encouraging players to buy physical products. These days, virtual commerce is a self-developing industry that increases the consumption of fully digital items with in-game ads, such as virtual clothes sold at DRESSX.

In the race to build a metaverse metadata repository, leaders are emerging from the gaming space, and in-game ads are no exception. Most of today’s in-game advertising companies aim to become metaverse advertising companies of tomorrow. Petruzzelli: The reality is that the nature of what we do actively involves us in this ecosystem from day one. The way players interact, the way appearances are altered, and the way players engage with the game environment, that’s the metadata repository. I believe that in-game advertising is fundamentally connected.


*Quoted from DigitalExchange