Gamevil-Coke Deal A Sign Of Things To Come?

Seoul- and Los Angeles-based publisher Gamevil announced yesterday it has signed an in-game advertising deal with Coca-Cola for its upcoming Baseball Stars 2009 mobile game. It’s not the first move for Gamevil, which signed a similar deal in Korea to promote its games on coke bottles.

‘The relationship with Coca-Cola has been phenomenal,” said Gamevil Senior Manager for New Business and Alliances Young Soo Choi in a release. “We are extremely pleased with the strategic relationship in Korea so far, and wanted to further expand it worldwide.

“The in-game advertisement on Baseball Superstars 2009 is just a small beginning of the collaboration between the two parties.’

From an industry standpoint, the interesting part will be to see if other major publishers will follow suit. Many titles are relatively insulated from the commercialism that has permeated the console market, outside the obviously branded titles such as Vans Sk8: Pool Service or the copious movie tie-ins. To see Coca-Cola, the world’s largest beverage company, jumping on board, certainly shows that they recognize the growth potential of the mobile gaming market.

The revenue generated through in-game advertising was publicized last week in a report through from AdWhirl, who says it serves about 250 million impressions a month through their affiliated apps. According to their report, their affiliated free apps in the Top 100 generate between $400 and $5,000 daily in ad revenue — iFart Alert! earns $2,000 a day.

Games overwhelmingly dominate the paid section of the App Store, as we saw with Apple’s 1-billion download extravaganza. With the update system, cycling in different ads could introduce a more diverse income model for developers, much like what we already see with the XBox 360.

It’s certainly worth our attention to see what major publishers do to expand their revenue opportunities, as well as gamers’ reactions. Ads for Red Bull in Gamevil’s upcoming Zenonia? Might not be a bad idea considering all the hype out there!