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Serious Games: Branding Instead Of Playing

Extending The Time A Consumer Is Willing To Spend With A Brand

Muskedunder Interactive is a Swedish Flash game studio. Their development is focused on browser games with no need for download or installation.

The company works in two business areas within the browser games niche: developing advergames and casual games for brand owners, and capitalizing on internally owned intellectual properties through game portals and strategic partnerships.

Muskedunder Interactive has worked with some of the world’s largest brands and for some of the finest advertisement agencies.

Advergame clients include brands such as McDonald’s, Pepsi and Paramount Home Entertainment. Muskedunder Interactive has successfully delivered high profile applications for some of the worlds leading agencies such as Daddy, Great Works, GolinHarris and Goodby, Silverstein & Partners.

Last November, Muskedunder Interactive launched
Pepsi Music Challenge, a groundbreaking 3D game, instantly playable in any browser with Flash installed.

A PV3D version of Guitar Hero or Rock Band.
Muskedunder Interactive, a Flash game studio in Sweden, is behind this very fun, very well done game for TriggerMomentum and Pepsi Sweden.
Excellent work featuring animated 3D characters to select difficulty level .
Press the F G H J keys in rythm with music. Enjoy!

With no installation of plugins, the game is directly available on 97.7% of computers on the mature market.

The need for plugins to play rich 3D browser games is a thing of the past. For Muskedunder Interactive it's always about lowering the entry barrier for the users. As soon as the site has loaded, you are ready to play, says Johan Peitz, CTO of the company.

The game is an engaging musical experience and features three difficulty levels, with different genres and artists who perform as you play.

The company is proud to pioneer the 3D Flash games niche. The technical innovation achieved pushes its development into a new and exciting area, says Magnus Alm, CEO of Muskedunder Interactive.

The Flash Game Industry

Last year, Gamasutra posted a great opinion article today from Magnus Alm of Swedish developer Muskedunder Interactive entitled
Why The Game Biz Should Turn To Flash.

Here are the excerpts:

Should more game developers be looking closely at Flash games as a source of income and potential influence? Swedish game development CEO Magnus Alm thinks so, and explains why all developers should be looking to web-browser games.

"Do you run an indie game development company looking to make good business by doing projects in manageable sizes? Or are you perhaps working with a strong, rooted studio looking to find new business areas? I just might have a suggestion for you.

In contradiction to what many developers seem to believe, there is a huge growth in the Flash game industry these days. Mainly because of these reasons:

• Advertisement agencies realizing the need for skilled game design competence
• A growing online and casual games market
• Flash games now are being ported to other platforms

Extending The Time A Consumer Is Willing To Spend With A Brand

The typical advertising budget for a medium sized company can be larger than the budget for a next-gen game production. As the games industry keeps gaining focus from the public and other business areas, advertising agencies are not late to follow the trend.

Advertising agencies are going to continue to pitch campaigns based around games even more often than before. It’s all about prolonging the time a consumer is willing to spend with a brand. Playing a game is fun; you can do it for hours on straight. Put a recognizable logo anywhere in the game and you’re branding instead of playing.

Boundaries between gaming and advertisement are getting blurred. Spending on in-game advertising will pass $2 billion in 2012, up from $370 million in 2006, according to Parks Associates' "Electronic Gaming in the Digital Home: Game Advertising" report. Games are becoming stable platforms for marketers.

Advergames Portfolio

Muskedunder Interactive has been working with campaigns such as Fight for the Flavor, an online fighting game for Doritos. A FWA-awarded multiplayer fighting game, played online in real-time. Two months after the release over 60 000 registered fighters had played over 300 000 games, to determine the winner of the two new flavors.

They also completed a game for Paramount Home Entertainment, Prepare For Indy and the experience was quite similar. Paramount wanted to promote the release of a new set of Indiana Jones DVD’s. What better way to do it than with three epic games based on the movies? Users competed for prizes and fame.

Advertising agencies love to work with game companies. They’ll ask for your creativity and crazy ideas. They’ll most of the time give you complete control of the design process, within the limitations set by the client of course.

Finding Business Models

Any company interested in these opportunities needs to find business models which suit their specific needs. Since the projects are often fairly small and the technology is inexpensive, there is a low risk. On the other hand, one needs to gather many clients and be sure to find partners interested in repeat business, to get the economy thriving.

Using generic code and optimizing it for many projects, reskinning advergames and rebranding them for different regions are some easy ways to lower the risk even more.

Buzz phenomena such as user generated content and Web 2.0 work perfectly together with Flash games. If you are looking to fund your company with venture capital, those might be two good angles to push.

On the upside, you’ll have short projects; good pay per hour; inexpensive licenses; designer creativity encouraged and appreciated. You will often have total control of the design process. On the downside it can be an insecure business model. You will need to find and work with a larger number of clients.

But if developing games in Flash ever seemed interesting to you, now is the time to get on the train. We are making good business right now, and getting good competition means that we will keep on raising the bar together. It will only make this business bigger, stronger, better, and reach even more new consumers beyond the hard core audience."