Print 9 comment(s) - last by Trisped.. on Mar 19 at 7:58 PM

Google confirms intention to display ads in games

Google ads may start to appear in the latest video games now that it has acquired video game advertising firm Adscape. Google announced on Friday that it will expand its advertising programs to the video game market.

"As more and more people spend time playing video games, we think we can create opportunities for advertisers to reach their target audiences while maintaining a high quality, engaging user experience," Google said in a statement.

Many gamers are appalled that advertisements are now a common appearance in video games. In some cases, there are so many ads that many feel game developers and publishers focus more time and money on closing advertisement deals than working on making a quality game.

No financial details were given about the Adscape acquisition, but sources close to Google indicated that the deal was around $23 million. DailyTech previously reported that Google would possibly enter video game advertising in January, but the deal was sealed this Friday. Earlier last year, Microsoft acquired Massive Inc., another major video game advertisement company for a reported $200 million.

Google had no qualms about placing its lucrative ad spots inside video games. "We think this rich environment is a perfect medium to deliver relevant, targeted advertising that ultimately benefits the user, the video game publisher and the advertiser," said Google.

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We can hope?
By xsilver on 3/19/2007 5:53:07 AM , Rating: 2
Hopefully google will do this more tastefully than EA has.

and hopefully publishers will try and reduce the price of games that have in game advertising -- lol - no chance really.

Ads within menus or loading screens I think are ok but a giant pepsi ad or something as a giant billboard within a game is just sick.

RE: We can hope?
By oTAL on 3/19/2007 7:28:42 AM , Rating: 3
Actually, giant billboards and Pepsi cans can be immersive when they mirror reality. That should be the line for ads and product placement... one could place ads when that would add to a game instead of subtracting... I can still remember old games where they had fake ads to add realism like old soccer and formula 1 racing games. If those hundreds of hours were spent looking at real brands... that's got to increase brand power while actually increasing game immersion....
But the minute I see a Coke ad on a medieval set, that's when I'll strike that companies games from my list for a long time.

RE: We can hope?
By Samus on 3/19/2007 10:40:01 AM , Rating: 3
I don't care about IGA. It's been around for years since Duke Nukem had Pepsi cans.

I agree it makes it feel a little more realistic to have real world elements in the game. And if it helps game developers make more money, that'll hopefully equate to better games and lower prices.

RE: We can hope?
By Hakuryu on 3/19/2007 2:16:48 PM , Rating: 2
Games like Baseball that you would expect to see real world ads littering the stadiums are fine, but many first person shooters are putting ads in like BF2142. I didn't buy BF2142 and 80% of my decision was because of ads. Fighting in the middle east, I don't really expect to see Engish ads for things bought in the US.

I'm currently beta testing a new shooter set in the future, and sure enough... a bunch of billboards all over with no textures ready for adverts. I'm seriously worried about seeing 2007 ad's in a game supposedly set quite a bit in the future.

RE: We can hope?
By Trisped on 3/19/2007 7:58:16 PM , Rating: 2
Considering the type of web ads that were common before Google started selling there own, I think gamers will be in good hands.

While many games it just fits, like sport and racing games where the fields and tracks are already plastered over with ads for everything you can think of, some games are going to be a problem. Can you imagine playing WOW and having billboards or soda cans? That would really break immersion.

Then there is paying twice for something. If they are going to make a game and put ads in it, then they shouldn’t charge you for it. After all, the more valuable the game is, the more time you will spend in it, and the more money they will make.

Those are my three thoughts on the matter.

Sorry but they lost a customer
By Jackyl on 3/19/2007 9:27:29 AM , Rating: 1
Sorry but I'm very against any sort of in-game advertisements for any game. If I pay $50 for a game, I should not see ads. I'm a big PC gamer and when I sit down to "relax" and load up my favorite game, the last thing I want to see is ads. Even the billboard ads that may fit in the game. I don't want to see any brand names from real-life intruding into the game world. Fictional names and brands are much more better suited for games.

I will not buy nor download any game that has any sort of ads. I don't even care if it's a big game that I've waited years for. Example: If Half-Life 3 or Doom 4 will have ads, I won't buy it.

By End Of Times on 3/19/2007 12:37:23 PM , Rating: 2
I sympathise with you, it’s a worrying trend, while it can be positive if used tastefully in some games to make them more real life like, the tendency (where money is involved) might be to create more scenes in games to put advertisements in to the detriment of gaming in general.

It's all about taste
By oTAL on 3/19/2007 7:43:31 AM , Rating: 2
When one puts ads out of place, then it harms the game... wen one creates fun ways to increase brand power, then I can see it work.
One example, instead of looking for stupid canisters or newspapers in GTA and the likes, why not looking for branded cans and New York Times news papers?
Really... it's all about taste. As for Google, it will be REALLY hard to develop context sensing technologies within games, especially taking into account that a miss (misplaced ad) will take value from a product that someone bought and payed for. It would be unacceptable to find an ad for FIFA 2007 in a WWII shooter...

By CryptoQuick on 3/19/2007 7:11:33 PM , Rating: 2
The popularity of the commercial PC game is, in my opinion, going to dwindle in light of the following factors:
* Copy protection schemes and advertisements affecting gamers
* Rampant piracy affecting the industry
* Opensource games are becoming an increasingly viable alternative.
Although not entirely up to the standards of modern commercial games, they're rapidly catching up. The OGRE engine is looking excellent, and they'll only get better, what with their second Google Summer of Code acceptance.

Besides, making games is much, much more entertaining than playing them, in my opinion. I work with the openFrag project (one of my goals is to integrate procedural techniques into the engine), and I have to say, it's quite the learning experience. One of the guys here learned C++ in eight months and is now a damn good developer.

"I f***ing cannot play Halo 2 multiplayer. I cannot do it." -- Bungie Technical Lead Chris Butcher
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