NeoEdge Networks

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NeoEdge Networks
Type Private
Industry In-game advertising/Digital distribution
Founded 2002
Headquarters Mountain View, California
Key people Dan Servos, CEO
Todd Kenck, CFO
Andrew Radin, CTO
Nolan Bushnell, Chairman of the Board
Steven Woods, Co-founder, Member of the Board
Michael Babiak, Co-founder, Sr. VP Advertising
Products Video commercials in casual games

NeoEdge Networks was a Silicon Valley based technology and in-game advertising company that enabled casual game publishers and developers to deliver television-like commercials within their products - frequently in the context of free-to-consumer casual game play. NeoEdge powered advertising for a variety of game publishers including Yahoo.[1][2] NeoEdge provided both peer-to-peer game distribution (to reduce costs of distributing games) and in-game advertising (to help increase consumer game play and monetization). It was renamed Blue Noodle in early 2011 and shut down later that year.[3]

Introduction[edit]

NeoEdge provided advertising inside online casual games.[4] The online video advertising platform provides advertisers a medium that reaches a key demographic (adults over 18 years of age) with television-like commercials in an engaged environment that casual gamers have accepted in exchange for free game play.[5]

History[edit]

NeoEdge was originally founded in 2002 by Steven Woods, Jeromy Carriere, Kelly Slough, Dave Simons, and Michael Babiak, former Netscape and America Online employees, under the name "Kinitos". While at Quack.com the founders created the first consumer-based Voice Portal, acquired by America Online in 2000.[6] In 2007, Atari co-founder Nolan Bushnell joined the NeoEdge board as Chairman.[7][8]

Under the Kinitos brand, the company was a Microsoft partner in their Smart Client efforts. Smart Clients were a Microsoft initiative to help companies deliver Web 2.0 Internet services. These services were intended to help companies deliver consumer services that transcended traditional browsers - helping to provide downloadable application-style capabilities to consumer and enterprise companies without the past problems associated with installed applications.[9] Downloadable games with embedded web services are one class of such solutions, the MostFun.com Game Player, owned by NeoEdge, is one example of such an application - others include all manner of browser extensions and plugins, or downloadable web services applications like instant messaging, Google Earth, Bittorrent, iTunes, and many others.

In 2005, Kinitos reorganized to support game developers and distributors to deliver ad-enabled game play to consumers as an alternative to traditional "try and buy" models.[10] NeoEdge became a leader in changing the current business model of the casual game industry. According to the Casual Game Association, 200 Million people worldwide play casual games every month.[11] The industry struggled as a “hits” based business with a “Try and Buy” business model made long-term revenue generation difficult.

In 2010, the company was merged with Offspring Games and started a game studio in San Francisco, California. Titles released include Prize-O-Rama and Happy Thoughts. The game studio was unable to produce a profitable title and the company fell on hard financial times during the Great Recession. Its lender MMV Financial shut down their offices by July 2011.[12] By August the company failed to pay their employees.[3][13]

Products and services[edit]

NeoEdge offered advertising-enabled games, detailed back-end metrics, the ability to ad-enable games under license, advertising sales, and games in the 700+ NeoEdge game catalog.

NeoARM

NeoEdge provided game publishers with integration of video advertising into their games, both in an online and downloadable environment.

NeoAds

NeoAds provided digital rights management in an effort to reassure publishers. At the same time, it deals in advertising rights management, creating advertising inventory, and distributing revenue to partners based on clicks and impressions via ads embedded in a game’s pre-roll and interstitial.

NeoConversation

NeoEdge used casual game play to interact with consumers about a range of topics from advertising messages, ad creative, brand uplift, brand awareness studies and current event opinions.

NeoMom

In December 2008, NeoEdge announced NeoMom, a research tool designed to continuously measure the preferences of women between 25 and 54 years of age. NeoMom leverages the relationship between NeoEdge and its casual gaming community to develop an ongoing database of consumer habits and purchase decision making. Players will be surveyed with quick polls and “poll of the week” type of questions, which can appear in any slot during the game experience (pre-, mid-, and post-roll) depending on the type of question and currently running video ads. NeoEdge has announced to share its data with current and potential new advertisers to help make better informed decisions and to optimize their online campaigns.[14][15][16]

Funding[edit]

NeoEdge was funded by Toronto-based Jefferson Partners[1] and Boston-based VIMAC Ventures LLC[2].

Awards[edit]

The two most significant awards were awarded in 2009. In January, NeoEdge was selected to the 2009 OnMedia 100 List. NeoEdge also co-won the category of "Digital Publishers". The OnMedia 100 Award is given based on factors such as growth and market opportunities, innovation potential, and customer satisfaction. It is generally given to privately owned emerging technology companies. Winners were selected based on nominations by journalists and industry insiders as well as investors and bankers.[17]

In May 2009, NeoEdge was selected as a winner of the Red Herring 100 North America Award. Awards are given out based on companies' potential for dramatic growth and all aspects of business, such as quality of management, business model, financial performance, technology innovation, global strategy execution, and ecosystem integration. Over 1,000 private companies were nominated for the award. 200 finalists underwent rigorous evaluation by Red Herring's editorial staff.[18]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Yahoo unveils ad-supported downloadable games". CNN Money. 10 July 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-10. [dead link]
  2. ^ "Interview: Bushnell's NeoEdge Becomes Big Player with Yahoo! Games". GameDaily. 10 July 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-10. 
  3. ^ a b Dan Primack (August 17, 2011). "Investor immorality: The strange case of Blue Noodle". Fortune. Retrieved June 11, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Casual Games Get a Serious Business Model: NeoEdge Launches First Open Advertising Network for a Huge, Untapped Market". MarketWire. 20 November 2007. Retrieved 2008-11-15. 
  5. ^ "Video Ads Suck in Casual Gamers". RedHerring. 25 September 2006. Retrieved 2008-10-30. 
  6. ^ "AOL Acquires Voice Portal Quack.com". Computerworld. 2 September 2000. Retrieved 2008-11-16. 
  7. ^ "Nolan Bushnell Joins NeoEdge Board Of Directors". Gamasutra. 21 May 2007. Retrieved 2008-09-22. 
  8. ^ "Atari co-founder Nolan Bushnell pushing ads in casual games". CNET. 21 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-28. 
  9. ^ "Microsoft Offers Sneak Peek to Developers". DevX. 10 March 2004. Retrieved 2008-09-26. 
  10. ^ "Casual Biz Models No. 4 – Try Before You Buy". Casual Gaming Biz. 22 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-05. 
  11. ^ "Casual Games Market Report 2007". Casual Gaming Biz. November 2007. Retrieved 2008-11-15. 
  12. ^ Dan Primack (July 18, 201). "Exclusive: MMV Financial in trouble". Fortune. Retrieved June 11, 2013.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  13. ^ "Vanedge investment in Toronto's Blue Noodle getting the wrong type of press". Retrieved June 11, 2013. 
  14. ^ "NeoEdge Launches NeoMOM Continuous Research -- Enhanced Demographic Assessment Solution for Online Advertising". Yahoo Finance. 22 December 2008. Retrieved 2009-01-21. [dead link]
  15. ^ "NeoEdge Takes On comScore". MediaPost. 22 December 2008. Retrieved 2009-01-21. 
  16. ^ "NeoEdge Networks launches NeoMOM to measure product tastes". VentureBeat. 22 December 2008. Retrieved 2009-01-21. 
  17. ^ "The OnMedia 100 Winners". AlwaysOn. January 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-19. [dead link]
  18. ^ "2009 Red Herring 100 Winners Announced". Red Herring. May 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-19. [dead link]

External links[edit]