Outgoing IGA Worldwide president, Ed Bartlett, has said that in-game advertising played a major part in removing the stereotypical perception of gamers. Speaking to Gamesindustry.biz, he revealed his frustration with the fact that the sector didn't get more credit for the shift.
"Aside from the tens of millions of dollars of new revenue it's brought into the industry," he said. "I think that collectively the in-game advertising companies have done a huge amount, possibly more than anyone else in fact, to challenge media misconceptions about gamers and the games industry.
"That assertion might cause a few raised eyebrows, but the fact is that the success of the entire in-game advertising industry hinged upon convincing the world's leading consumer brands that the gaming demographic was no longer made up of 12 year-old boys in their bedrooms. Probably my biggest single frustration is how few industry people even know or recognise that."
But Bartlett was positive when it came to the future of the sector, especially in light of the move from fire-and-forget retail towards service provision.
"The industry is much more stable now," he said. "There is a standardised common currency for advertisers and agencies, a good understanding from developers and publishers on what is required regarding inventory generation in their games, and the market continues to make headlines and break records which gives brands confidence that they are involved with something which has longevity and reflects positively on their products."
Bartlett previously worked as UK studio The Bitmap Brothers' business development director and hinted that having left IGA Worldwide, he would like to return to game development.
"I can't say too much except that I plan to get back closer to my roots in development again," he said. "It's been incredibly inspiring working with so many of the leading developers and publishers, however it's hard sometimes not to get frustrated with the missed opportunities. I also still really miss the buzz of putting out a new game."