WPP invests in online game publisher WildTangent
Communications Group recognizes the importance of immersive in-and-around game advertising for traditional marketing campaigns
New York and Redmond. August 15th, 2006 – WildTangent, the leading Online Game Publisher today announces a new strategic investment from WPP (NASDAQ: WPPGY) one of the world’s leading communications services groups. The investment by WPP, recognizes the development of online video games as an increasingly important communications platform for marketers, and the leading role that in-and-around video game advertising pioneer WIldTangent plays in this emerging medium.
WPP’s investment in WildTangent will enhance its global client roster’s ability to tap into the WildTangent Game Network (WGN), a video game advertising network that includes hundreds of popular online and downloadable games from WildTangent’s own studios in addition to titles from top publishers like Sony Pictures Digital, Nickelodeon, The Walt Disney Internet Group, and other leading online game developers.
In the past year, WildTangent has successfully worked with WPP agencies on gaming initiatives with key clients such as Novartis and Unilever. Going forward the two companies also plan to collaborate on market development initiatives aimed at creating research driven standards for advertising in and around games.
“Our clients are increasingly looking for ways to reach their customers online, particularly the harder to reach young adult demographic, and in-game advertising is of growing interest. WildTangent’s strong track record in game distribution and advertising makes them an attractive partner for us and for our clients.” said Mark Read, Director of Strategy and CEO of WPP.com.”
“We’ve been delivering leading edge online game campaigns for the biggest brands for several years and we’re pleased to be recognized for our leadership in this space by WPP.” said Alex St. John, CEO and Co-Founder of WildTangent. “We’ve had a great relationship with WPP and their agencies over the years and we’re very excited to establish a partnership to dramatically grow the in-game advertising business together.”
Granite Global Ventures (GGV) led the expansion round, which included existing investors Advanced Technology Ventures, Greylock, Madronna, Millenium Technology and IDG. GGV has investments in mobile game publisher Glu Mobile and XFire, an instant messenger application for gamers, recently purchased by MTV Networks, a division of Viacom (NYSE: VIA.B).
WildTangent publishes its games through a virtual console that is bundled with over 85% of all consumer PCs, or over 25 million PC’s sold annually, in North America alone.
About WildTangent, Inc.
Founded in 1998, WildTangent is the leading publisher of online and downloadable games. WildTangent is the pioneer of in-game and around-game advertising solutions. The company publishes over 250 leading 1st and 3rd party game titles through a distribution network, that includes the WildTangent games network, Wildgames.com, leading PC Manufacturers, ISPs, and portals. From family friendly games like the Polar franchise to action adventure titles such as Fate, WildTangent provides online entertainment which appeals to a broad range of consumers.
In 2005 WildTangent won major OEM distribution deals that ship The WildTangent games console directly on the desktops of leading PC manufactures, including Dell , HP and Toshiba, representing over 85% of consumer PCs in North America.