Anzu and Saber Interactive partner to bring advertisers into the highly anticipated Dakar Desert Rally when it launches this year on PC and consoles
In-game advertising company Anzu has secured an exclusive deal with Saber Interactive, the global game publisher and developer, to offer advertisers a chance to communicate with their audiences via the highly anticipated upcoming racer Dakar Desert Rally.
The new AAA title is the official game of Dakar Rally, the largest rally race on the planet, hosted by the Amaury Sport Organisation and broadcast each year across 70 TV channels in 190 countries. 1,065 drivers and 578 vehicles took part in 2021’s race, and clips of the rally have been viewed online by over 59.8M people, with an additional 76.8M Facebook and Instagram story views.
Fans worldwide have been anticipating news of a new official Dakar rally video game title. This past December, Saber Interactive revealed that the title would launch in 2022 and feature an enhanced Dakar rally experience with over 30 stages of full rally racing, an immense open world with seasons and dynamic weather, official road books to navigate, and a garage stocked with licensed vehicles, including motorcycles, cars, trucks, quads, and SSVs.
The game’s development team is committed to creating an immersive game experience that faithfully brings the Dakar Rally to gamers. Anzu is helping the team replicate that; advertisers will be able to run their banner and video ads within Anzu’s in-game ad placements, which will take the form of 3D objects like roadside billboards and banners. They will also be able to take advantage of a variety of custom integration options, including custom vehicles which can be painted with brand colors, logos, and even have the driver wear a custom uniform. There are also options for roadside flags that can be branded with a product logo and different colors, and garage takeovers, where brands can add custom wall banners and items to decorate the building.
The non-disruptive nature and expert optimization of Anzu’s ad placements also mean brands will benefit from extremely high engagement rates without disrupting the player experience. Advertisers will also benefit from the low fraud rates associated with in-game advertising. HUMAN reports that Anzu’s IVT score for mobile is 0.16% and for PC is 0.47%. Comscore also reports a 0.39% score for video and 0.44% for display campaigns, compared to a 6% benchmark. Anzu also works with other industry leaders to measure ad viewability, fraud levels, and brand impact.
Alex Yerukhimovich, VP Games, Anzu, said: “We’ve been working closely with Saber Interactive to ensure our ad placements are perfectly positioned to enhance both the player and advertising experience. This is a great opportunity for advertisers to showcase their campaigns in a visually stunning AAA title, and for players to experience races with real ads that are relevant to the setting alongside the track. Just like they would expect to see if they were watching a real race, making the experience all the more authentic.
More and more advertisers are making in-game advertising a larger part of their digital ad strategies. As the anticipation continues to grow around this title, we’re looking forward to bringing many into the Dakar experience to reach its millions of diverse and dedicated fans who stretch across the entire globe.”
Our Saber Porto team has been passionately working on Dakar Desert Rally and is focused on making this one of the biggest and most authentic rally racing games ever,” said Todd Hollenshead, Head of Publishing at Saber Interactive. “Our goal is to bring Dakar to life in a realistic and fun way, and it’s been great to see that passion mirrored by the talented team at Anzu through their industry-leading technology and expertise. We’re working closely together to ensure these ads are implemented in a way that is immersive and serve to help faithfully recreate the real-life rally experience.”
ComeOn Group renews sponsorship deal with Sliema Aquatic Sports Club and Sliema Wanderers FC
Award winning iGaming operator ComeOn Group announced renewing their sponsor partnership with Malta based sports clubs Sliema Aquatic Sports Club (ASC) and Sliema Wanderers FC. The sponsorship is a way for the Group to continue supporting the localities close to their headquarters in Malta. ComeOn Group and the two clubs are now embarking on another year of success and exciting projects in order to further anchor the partnership for the benefit of their local community.
Last year the sponsorship was kicked off by a launch video, which was a way for ComeOn and the two clubs to show the mutual cultural fit and foster a sense of community through sports.
Daniela Vella, Chief Operating Officer at ComeOn Group, said: “Sliema is very close to us being the first location of our offices, and even though we have moved some metres up the waterfront, we have found synergies with both teams and their path to success. Both teams tie in well with our values, especially the Run Together The Group is also focused on giving back to the communities with its CSR strategy being a key, strategic pillar and sports plays a vital role in nurturing teamwork, and leadership skills.”
ComeOn Group, highly ranked by EGR Power 50, is a tier one operator on the island with their headquarters based in the modern office facilities of Spinola Park. ComeOn Group has more than 560 employees spanning over 53 nationalities globally, with Maltese being the biggest nationality represented in the headquarters. ComeOn Group has been present for over 13 years on the island, employing over 250 people with 50% of its workforce being female, further anchoring their presence and commitment to Malta.
ComeOn Group works hard to preserve their award winning culture and the company continuously develops their people strategies to retain what is most important to them: their people. An important way to do so for ComeOn is through their extensive Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that serves to offer help to employees when they are experiencing a tough time. The program is a part of ComeOn’s overarching CSR strategy where the focal point is mental health and wellbeing. Another important part of ComeOn’s EAP is the wellbeing allowance employees get each year to spend on activities aimed to boost overall physical and mental health.
For ComeOn and the two teams, sports and active lifestyle is something that goes hand in hand with boosting mental health and wellbeing, hence the importance of the continuing partnership.
Frank Testa, Club President of Sliema ASC, added: “It is with immense pleasure and gratitude that we renew our collaboration with ComeOn Group. Without the involvement of such organisations it would not be possible for clubs like ours to continue to work towards achieving our targets. As we move into a new era with our excellent prospects, we are delighted to continue the journey with ComeOn.”
Rupert Perry, Club President of Sliema Wanderers FC said: “We are immensely grateful for the unwavering support of our valued sponsor. ComeOn’s commitment to our mission has been instrumental in our success. As we look ahead to the future, we are excited to continue this journey together, creating lasting impact and achieving new heights of excellence.”
John Wright Joins Kwalee As VP of Mobile Publishing: Trades Unity For The Billion Download Studio
Wright’s leadership will reinforce Kwalee as the publisher of choice for top mobile game developers, drawing from his legacy at Luna Labs and ironSource.
Kwalee, a UK and global mobile, PC and console games developer and publisher, is thrilled to announce the appointment of John Wright as the new VP of Mobile Publishing. John joins the Kwalee team on the 2nd of October and will revamp the studio’s strategy to sign, launch and scale the games of external studios.
A passionate gamer and 15 year mobile industry veteran, Wright’s mobile journey saw him swiftly climb the ranks at app monetisation and distribution platform ironSource, relocating from London to the HQ in Israel during a pivotal phase in his professional growth. After returning to the UK, Wright re-entered the startup ecosystem by joining mobile app marketing outfit Luna Labs as their VP of Operations. With his leadership, Luna Labs witnessed significant and rapid growth. When ironSource acquired Luna Labs, Wright came full circle back to his former company, this time as the Head of Operations for Luna. Following ironSource’s merger with Unity, Wright transitioned to become the Head of Client Success for the Luna division within the wider Unity organisation.
Kwalee’s mobile publishing team is a proven hitmaker, backed up by a large in-house studio, helping developers scale games successfully with marketing, monetisation and game design expertise. John Wright joins after Kwalee achieved the milestone of 1 billion downloads in 2023 and has won Best Publisher (TIGA and Mobile Game Awards, 2022).
His strategic priorities as he starts the new role are to deepen the support offered by the publisher to developers, improve its efficiency to best serve the global community of mobile gamemakers, as well as emphasise Kwalee as the number one choice for developers close to home in the UK.
During his tenure at ironSource, John was a director in the newly formed and industry renowned “unified team” during the advent of the Hyper Casual boom, collaborating with industry players such as Ketchapp, Rollic and Homa. He helped them achieve exponential growth as an early innovator, seeing the value in combining the strategies of monetisation, mediation and user acquisition activities. John Wright has an enviable record of launching over 100 mobile games globally and managing over $1 billion in client spend.
His vast experience includes joining early-stage startups in pivotal business roles, growing them quickly, and leading large, multi-disciplinary and remote teams. Known for his ability to inject vitality into businesses, John will use his partner-side expertise to drive growth at Kwalee as he moves developer-side.
David Darling, founder and CEO of Kwalee, remarked, “John and I have a strong relationship already, working closely together, having first met a decade ago when we launched TENS!. Seeing his trajectory and achievements since, especially with Luna Labs and ironSource, it’s clear why he’s the best fit for us. We’re eager to tap into his vast experience, enhancing our developer relationships and publishing capabilities.”
John Wright shared his enthusiasm about the new role, stating, “Having worked with Kwalee as a partner and admired their innovation over the years, I’m thrilled to move across the table. We know it’s a challenging landscape post-IDFA, so small to medium-sized studios need a heavyweight publishing ally to help them achieve the highest level of multi-million dollar success. At Kwalee, I will champion developers. Our relationship will be symbiotic, understanding their needs as partners and clients.”
Embracing the rich British mobile developer community while setting sights on global expansion, John is poised to steer Kwalee’s Mobile Publishing into its most profitable and successful era yet.
Aviator to Take Players in Portugal on the Flight of Their Lives
World’s number-one crash game certified for launch in fast-growing online casino market
Players in Portugal, get ready to strap in for the flight of your lives. Spribe, the developer behind the number-one crash game in the world, Aviator, has been cleared for take-off in accordance with the most recent Portuguese regulations.
Aviator is the original crash game and since it took to the skies in 2019 has become one of the most-played games of all time. Today, it has more than ten million monthly active players with 160,000 bets being placed every minute of the day.
Aviator uses the increasing curve format with a plane that takes off and flies into the sky. As it climbs higher, a win multiplier climbs with it. The player must decide when to cash out; go too early and the win is small but wait too long and the plane flies away with their stake and accrued winnings.
Social interaction is at the heart of the game with players able to chat throughout their session. It’s multiplayer, too, with players competing with others on the leaderboard.
Aviator delivers fast-paced action thanks to its seamless user interface that has been designed for mobile play. Engagement is taken to the next level through bonus features including free spins and rain promo where players can make it ‘rain’ free spins in the chat.
Spribe is on a mission to launch Aviator in all regulated markets and the approval in Portugal is a major step forward in this regard. BMM Test Labs carried out the certification shortly after Portugal added ‘crash games’ in the regulations earlier in the year.
Operators in Portugal can now add Aviator to their lobbies and allow them to see what all the fuss is about by playing the most popular crash game on the planet for the first time.
“We are on a mission to launch Aviator in all regulated markets across the world so being given the green light to enter Portugal is a major moment for us,” the Chief Commercial Officer for Spribe, Giorgi Tsutskiridze, said. “Aviator offers an experience like no other; it’s fun, fast-paced and highly social. This has made it a big hit with players but especially those in the lucrative but hard to engage Millennial and Generation Z demographics.
“Operators in Portugal can now provide these experiences to these players by adding Aviator to their game lobbies for the first time, allowing them to join the ten million players that go for the ride of their lives every month.”
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