Microsoft to Share Game Ad Revenue

Casual game developers will soon be able to share in some of the revenue from MSN Games thanks to a new system developed by Microsoft. The new option is available immediately, and could mean as much as $250,000 in shared revenue for the five most popular titles.

Two levels of participation would be provided. The first level would require little or no change in the development process and would share ten percent of generated ad revenues. The second option would share 20 percent, but would require the developer to add more functionality to their games.

Examples of this added functionality would be localization, Entertainment Software Rating Board ratings, and the creation of a "deluxe" game experience that offers players at least 10 hours of engaging free Web-based gameplay.

Microsoft says this would enhance the overall experience for users, as it gives developers an added incentive to produce more in-depth and engaging games. In turn, this would generate more revenue for both Microsoft and the developer.

"By sharing in-game advertising revenue, we're allowing a more diversified business model that gives our partners more resources to create new, innovative titles for the 13 million people we see every month on MSN Games," Microsoft Casual Games studio manager Chris Early said.

Interested developers should contact their Microsoft distributor to participate in the program. Independent developers can contact Microsoft at MCG@microsoft.com for more details.

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