Electronic Arts, the world’s largest video game publisher, has endorsed moves to create online gaming advertising networks, signing deals with two leading agencies.

EA said it had reached agreements with Massive Incorporated’s and IGA Worldwide’s video game advertising networks “in a move that will offer to marketers on a global basis new dynamic advertising opportunities”.

Video game publishers are exploring new revenue streams to help cover soaring development costs of next-generation titles.

The new networks have appeared as the 18-34 demographic of males prized by advertisers has begun spending more time playing games and less time watching TV.

“Dynamic advertising opportunities in top EA titles . . . represent an unprecedented marketing opportunity for advertisers to target the youth demographic in the most engaging medium,” said Mitchell Davis, Massive chief executive.

Massive and IGA have been attempting to aggregate online gamers playing titles by different publishers into a network that would offer the same critical mass of consumers as radio and TV.

“At IGA, we are establishing a global advertising network with the consumer reach to rival any cable channel, yet with the proven advantage of engagement, measurability and consistently hitting the demographic sweet spot,” said Justin Townsend, IGA chief executive.

The networks were originally confined to PC gamers, but Microsoft’s development of its Xbox Live online platform for its console and its acquisition of Massive in May have opened up access to console gamers.

EA said the first title to have dynamic advertising under its Massive deal would be the Need for Speed Carbon racing game.

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