• Advertisers are eager to plant their flag inside video games as gaming takes off.
  • They want to get their message in front of gamers but are wary of annoying them.
  • Insider identified 12 top players coming up with creative, nonintrusive video game ads.

With billions of people flocking to games, advertisers spent $6 billion in 2020 in gaming environments, according to research firm Research Dive.

The possibility to reach gamers in the video games they play has ignited a flurry of dealmaking, with startups like Anzu, which places ads for large brands like Samsung and American Eagle, closing a $20 million funding round earlier this year.

Meanwhile, game developers Zynga and Activision Blizzard have invested heavily in their own advertising divisions.

But advertisers and developers are leery about advertising that interrupts and alienates gamers, so they’re experimenting with ad formats that blend into the environment.

Using public information and original reporting, Insider identified 12 companies that are taking video game advertising beyond disruptive mobile banners. They’re running ads that show up as billboards in virtual sports stadiums, creating branded experiences on gaming platforms like Roblox, and developing innovative formats that don’t intrude on the gaming experience.

This list features startups that are rapidly raising money, like Frameplay and Admix, as well as game developers like Niantic that built internal departments to develop and sell unique ad units.



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