Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Casual Games Get Ad-Driven Widget For All

The thumbnail on the left depicts a service that, if it fully
delivers as promised, has a decent chance to transform the web as
profoundly as AdSense. Launching today, it’s the NeoEdge Game Channel,
an ad-driven game widget from NeoEdge, the Mountain View startup we wrote about last November.
Its Game Channel is a kind of videogame jukebox offering a selection of
titles from several genres; when you click to play, NeoEdge’s
advertising feed kicks in as the game loads.

Here’s the thing that excites me most: Pretty much any web
owner (including bloggers) can install this plug-and-play widget on
their site, and share advertising revenue with NeoEdge. (Hence the
comparison to AdSense, only fun and interactive.) The social network
PerfSpot is using the Channel, so you can go here to get a sense of what it’s like.

For site owners, NeoEdge Marketing VP Ty Levine told me, “This is a
way of keeping people on your site.” It also gives them a new revenue
stream; a site with 200,000 unique users, Levine estimated, could earn
$1,000 to 5,000 a month, depending on the owner’s sponsorship deal and
revenue share. With some 400 titles in the NeoEdge library, the channel
can be customized with selections that fit a site’s demographics and

As with AdSense, the Game Channel widget gives site owners far and
wide an incentive to install it — and gives casual-game developers
reason to keep creating content for it. Whether NeoEdge can capture and
hold this market depends on its ability to deliver a diverse and
compelling library of games — and to stay ahead of its competitors.
With so many players rushing into the ad-driven casual game space, I
wouldn’t be surprised to see similar services, purporting to offer
better titles and/or revenue shares, launched by NeoEdge’s rivals. Let
the casual game wars begin!

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