Microsoft Casual Games today announced a new plan to split revenue from in-game advertising on its Web-based games with developers. Simply referred to as Ad-Share Program, the initiative allows developers to reap up to 20 percent of the money brought in from advertising in games hosted on MSN Games.
Ads can be shown within the game, placed around the game window during gameplay, or simply slapped onto loading screens. Microsoft Casual Games has estimated that the developers of the top five games in the program will share more than $250,000 each year.
There are two levels of participation in the program. Level I grants developers a 10 percent take of the revenue, and Microsoft Casual Games says it requires "little to no change" in the development and submission process for a game to qualify. However, to take advantage of the 20 percent revenue sharing for Level II titles, developers must have their games rated, address certain localization issues, and create a "deluxe" experience that lasts at least 10 hours.
Microsoft Casual Games has said the program is designed to foster innovative content and more immersive game experiences, while advertisers get more immersive ad vehicles that attract users for longer periods of time. Developers interested in the program can contact Microsoft at MCG@microsoft.com for more details.