World Cricket Championship Inks Exclusive Deal With Israel-Based in-Game Ad Solution Provider Anzu to Bring New-Age Blended Ad Technology

Nazara’s subsidiary, Next Wave Multimedia Pvt Ltd., exclusively partners with Israel-based Anzu with the aim to bring advancement in blended in-game advertising for the second edition of their award-winning World Cricket Championship (WCC) franchise. The game will look to leverage Anzu’s blended in-game ad technology, bringing more opportunities for brands and advertisers in the Indian ecosystem.

While most games are appropriate for advertising, sports-themed ones such as WCC 2 provide an ideal environment for in-game ads, which are seamlessly blended into the gaming environment. Looking to capitalize on the gaming boom, Next Wave Multimedia tapped Anzu as its advertising platform of choice because the company provides game studios with a monetization method that instead of disrupting the playing experience, enhances the stadium ambiance, further replicating a live real-world match. The blended advertising format that this collaboration brings will help advertisers reach their audiences in a seamless manner, without disrupting user experience, while integrating a brand’s message in the game’s environment.

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In addition to providing native ad placements with blended in-game banner ads across the game on Android and iOS devices, Anzu will provide WCC2 with ad viewability, brand lift measurement, audience verification, data enrichment, and fraud detection in partnership with industry leaders such as Moat, Comscore, Kantar, and Nielsen.

On the exclusive partnership, Next Wave Multimedia co-founder and CEO P.R. Rajendran says, “We are glad to be able to bring more value to brands. We believe this collaboration will help us serve users and advertisers better by taking gaming and digital advertising a notch higher for enhanced experience.”

Anzu’s CEO and co-founder, Itamar Benedy, remarked, “Every region is seeing a growth in gaming, and advertisers realize that in-game ads can help them connect with a once-elusive audience. We are thrilled to partner with such a well-established studio and help them achieve their goals while opening up the in-game advertising market for advertisers across India.”

The APAC region has always had a record number of players, with the current estimate at 1.5 billion. Now that Anzu has inked a deal with AdColony’s APAC division, advertisers across the region will have even more access to gamers. Amit Rathi, AdColony’s Country Manager for India, noted, “Gaming has transformed from an underground pastime to mainstream entertainment, and it is rivaling the reach of social media. Advertisers need to take note of this and treat gaming as an equal if not a more effective channel for communicating with consumers. Placing in-game ads in games like WCC 2 will allow advertisers to reach their desired audiences.”

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Overall, WCC apps have garnered more than 140 million installs across devices. Earlier in 2020, WCC MAUs and Daily Active Users (“DAU”) hit a peak of 15 million and 3.5 million respectively (Nextwave Multimedia), gaining from the lockdown-induced surge in mobile gaming. WCC2 alone counts more than 50 million downloads on Google Play Store. The user engagement for the WCC games has increased considerably, evidenced by the fact that the average daily user engagement time for WCC2 was 45 minutes but this has increased to 55 minutes for the WCC3 title.

To help align in-game advertising with other media channels, Anzu has formed several strategic partnerships, including one with WPP, the world’s largest marketing services organization, to introduce in-game advertising standards. Through its affiliations with leading AdTech vendors, Anzu supplies in-depth measurements for campaign effectiveness and ad verification. It is these types of technologies that give big-name advertisers such as Vodafone, Samsung, and 7-Eleven the confidence they need to shift more of their budgets to in-game ads and game developers including Ubisoft, Toplitz Productions, and APB Reloaded the security to integrate ads into their games. To secure its top global position, Anzu recently raised $9 million from prominent investors including WPP, Sony Innovation Fund, BITKRAFT Ventures, and HBSE Ventures, among others.

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