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The conference circuit is rife with people preaching about disruption and missed opportunities. Did you hear how Apple redefined the music industry? How about how Uber rearranged the business of personal transportation? I bet you have.

Well, what about that time when the marketing world sat on the sidelines and missed the video game revolution?

Yes, that happened, even though we don’t like to talk about it. As early 8-bit console gaming grew into a $140 billion global juggernaut that captured millions of eyeballs for billions of hours, we never quite figured out the role of advertising within a gaming environment. Aside from a few cool award-winning integrations (e.g., Verizon’s Minecraft phone) and a niche market for in-game programmatic logo placements (think, billboards in car racing games), the gaming landscape is littered with dead pixels from ham-fisted, force-fit attempts at in-game branding that annoyed gamers and disappointed advertisers.

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