Microsoft To Buy In To In-Game Advertising

from the solitaire-never-needed-this dept

The market for advertising inside video games has attracted a lot of interest over the past several months, and it looks like it's about to see the type of development that gets labeled "validation of the space", as Microsoft is apparently buying Massive, which runs an in-game ad network. The WSJ says that Microsoft not only wants to use advertising to offer game publishers an additional revenue stream for Xbox Live, but also seems to say it's interested because in-game advertising is one area where Google hasn't yet made a move. It's unclear, though, just how much in-game ads will help Microsoft strike back against the big G, given the size of the market, which is limited by a number of disparate factors, like publishers creating available ad space in their games, or even creating games that are appropriate for ads. The real challenge, though, will be finding a balance on how much advertising, and what kinds, users will accept. It's hard to imagine they'll take much if there's no benefit -- like free online play, or additional game materials -- offered in return.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    MissingFrame, Apr 26th, 2006 @ 12:23pm

    Cable TV

    Like cable TV is free because it has ads, right?

     

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  2.  
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    Ben, Apr 26th, 2006 @ 12:47pm

    Re: Cable TV

    Cable TV is different. its a basic monopoly, where as microsoft is the only online gaming network, especialy with Sony's PS3 and Nintendo's Revolution coming out after the success of Xbox Live, giving them quite the model to base there new online services. I'd hope that they'd make some strides to help offset the ads with customer appeasments... like additonal features to online games.

     

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  3.  
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    tora1188, Apr 26th, 2006 @ 12:52pm

    HAVOK

    I read somewhere that gamed based on the HAVOK gaiming engine, Like AutoAssault, already have the capabilities to add ingame advertising that rotates periodically. These are shown by objects placed in the game.

    i.e. Billboards on highways, Special Edition items with a company logo emblazoned on them, etc.

    As an avid AutoAssault player, i have yet to see this appear inside the game, but if PlayNC utilizes it and drops the monthly fee accordingly, i think i can live with a "CARFAX.COM .50 caliber chain gun" or a "Yahoo! Road warrior" Chassis.....

     

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  4.  
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    mat, Apr 26th, 2006 @ 1:00pm

    no

    there goin start putting ads within the games i play? not fair thats why i play so many games i get agravated at all the avertisements i have to sit throught watching tv. and knowing microsoft there going to do like they alwasy do. Lets put it on the market now and figure out how its going to work later. Like M.E. edition ha! begist wast of money, time , and pixels EVER!

     

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  5.  
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    mat, Apr 26th, 2006 @ 1:00pm

    no

    there goin start putting ads within the games i play? not fair thats why i play so many games i get agravated at all the avertisements i have to sit throught watching tv. and knowing microsoft there going to do like they alwasy do. Lets put it on the market now and figure out how its going to work later. Like M.E. edition ha! begist wast of money, time , and pixels EVER!

     

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  6.  
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    ti2d, Apr 26th, 2006 @ 1:07pm

    duh

    Maybe google hasn't bought in-game advertising, because they aren't idiots and care more about the user's then their cash flow.

     

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  7.  
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    Zeb, Apr 26th, 2006 @ 1:10pm

    Icky

    Point #1: Just like Adblock for Mozilla Firefox, I'm sure that there will be a way around this, too.

    If I can get a game for free at the expense of seeing a Pepsi logo on a billboard in-game, I have no beef with it. Advertising Maxxi pads on a tree in Elder Scrolls doesn't fit, but if the ads are handled well, there should be no problem. Maybe it will give companies a reason to get rid of all the DRM floating around. If the profits from a game come from the advertising in it, (in theory) there would be no reason for the distributors to not want it in the hands of as many gamers as possible. Make it free and that adds up to alot of hands.

     

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  8.  
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    m0rd3r, Apr 26th, 2006 @ 1:23pm

    Stay out of my videogames asshats!

    I'm sick of companies and their advertising. "Look! Another place to stick our shitty advertisements! We need to jump on this "oppertunity" right away!"

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Bum, Apr 26th, 2006 @ 1:28pm

    Sponsored Players

    With the advent of televised viewing of online multiplayer tournements, it will not take long for the best players to get sponsorships too. Not unlike the stupid poker players you see on espn2 at 3 in the morning.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 26th, 2006 @ 1:41pm

    Re: Sponsored Players

    If I'm not mistaken there are already a few professional gamers that do have sponsors. As long as the ad fits I have no problem.

    The next round of MLB games have real billboards with current products (wont that be funny to look at in 10 years). Fine

    The main character of an rpg that has a Pepsi logo on the back of his jacket. No

     

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  11.  
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    Joe, Apr 26th, 2006 @ 1:51pm

    This is nothing new

    Anyone ever played Planetside? It already has Massive's ad billboards ingame, as well as another game (SWAT 3 I want to say, not sure). Sure enough, 4 lines in the hosts file takes care of the problem.

     

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  12.  
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    AnarChos, Apr 26th, 2006 @ 2:06pm

    Ads in games

    Great! So every time a map loads while I'm playing HALO2 i'll be subjected to ads??
    Next it'll be Steam and global ads while waiting to connect during CS:Source or DoD:Source. I'll take a Vonage sponsored Sniper Rifle and add my iPOD sponsored body armor as well... =P

    While I'm waiting can I order Domino's pizza and a 6-pack of b33rs??

    Ripley's said it best... "What will they think of next?"

     

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  13.  
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    bogamol, Apr 26th, 2006 @ 2:24pm

    I don't know that I'd have a huge problem with ads in game if they don't really affect gameplay. I think it could be used artistically to amp up the realism. I'd rather be killing monsters in a hallway of some modern building and walk by a Coke machine than some unnamed fake pop company. I would have a problem if I had to watch adverts before I played the game or if the cutscenes were ads rather than plot developing devices.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 26th, 2006 @ 2:52pm

    Re:

    yeah, but most games it wont fit. like said before, i dont want to see an ad for gucci in elderscrolls or an ad for trojan in WoW (like the ppl who play it would ever need that ad) they need to be placed well and in the right context. certain games could never have ads while others would be fine.

     

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  15.  
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    Denfro Magic, Apr 26th, 2006 @ 3:00pm

    Ads

    Ads that disrupt game play... no thanks, however - I wouldn't care too much if a Carl's Jr. ad was used instead of a loading screen... mmm that might be a very lucrative advertising spot for fast food restaurants. Imagine loading a game and being forced to watch a big juicy 6 dollar burger... or a supreme pizza??? It would tingle my taste buds thats for sure, may even pause to run out and get something. But then we'll have obese gamers... oh well, you cant win when you're up against million dollar enterprises.

     

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  16.  
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    Annoyed, Apr 26th, 2006 @ 3:32pm

    know what you're talking about

    You know, the majority of you who are "dissing" on Microsoft's want to place advertisements inside of games need to learn how to spell.
    Number one, all companies need to advertise. Whether it is by word of mouth, or by cleverly integrating a marketing scheme into a movie, television or video game. You are all acting as if ads being on your video game will ruin your life. It will most likely not even affect you. While driving down the street during "Project Gotham" you'll see billboards that advertise things, Coca-Cola banners in drag racing tracks.
    I highly doubt there will be commercials, just the normal hidden and integrated ads that catch our attention long enough. So chill out

     

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  17.  
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    phybyr0ptyk, Apr 26th, 2006 @ 3:48pm

    BULLSHIT

    hmmmmm...just a thought, in game advertising will first lead to higher game prices, and also isnt microsoft supposed to be against adware? ohh wait if the addware is incorporated into their software then it isnt really adware is it? well personally i play games to get away from the assualt of advertisements on tv and now im going to have to see it in video games as well? advertisements and addware suck and thats all this is , is legalized distrubition of adware. fuxxin microsoft always about the almighty dollar, maybe next microsoft can figure out how to get the gasoline prices down or not.

     

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  18.  
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    ti2d, Apr 26th, 2006 @ 4:03pm

    Re: know what you're talking about

    Does microsoft really need to advertise..? Who doesn't know what microsoft, is? I'm not thinking they're just planning on putting up billboards, but more like making loading screens with products all over it, and maybe in between levels or something to accually take up game time.

     

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  19.  
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    Anti-mac, Apr 26th, 2006 @ 4:10pm

    Re: Re: know what you're talking about

    Yes Microsoft does need to advertise becuase new products come out. Advertising doesnt advertise the company itadvertises the product. GDI all these mac *******

     

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  20.  
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    DittoBox, Apr 26th, 2006 @ 4:31pm

    Re: HAVOK

    HAVOK is not a "gaiming engine". Heck, it's not even a game engine! All Havok is is a physics engine that's light and fast enough to cram into a game engine.

    Commericalism and advertising has crept into nearly ever facet of the modern world, it doesn't need to end up inside games as well.

    I'll gladly pay extra to download my favorite TV shows without commercials. (barring the use of DRM of course)

     

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  21.  
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    Tom, Apr 26th, 2006 @ 4:36pm

    No f-ing way

    I don't know. As soon as I start seeing adds in my games. I will play different games. I'm happy with the Playstation and am glad Bill does not control the company that makes my consle or games. Sorry X-box fans, your luck just ran out.

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Paul, Apr 26th, 2006 @ 4:42pm

    Havok is a physics plug in for gaming engines, not a game engine itself

     

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  23.  
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    Louis, Apr 27th, 2006 @ 6:43am

    Product placement and Billboard advertisements are pretty common in games these days. NFS Most Wanted being one of the most obvious examples.

     

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  24.  
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    A Network Admin, Apr 27th, 2006 @ 7:21am

    I love this site

    I didn't even read all the posts, i can see it all now. While you wait for you game to load you get advertisements, or have to watch commercials. I was pissed enough when i had to start watching freaking commercials at the theater before a movie (i get there 10 minutes late on purpose now just so i miss them). Then i quit listening to standard radio all together because its 5 minutes of music 20 minutes of BS talk and ads. So i got sattelite radio problem solved. I broke down and got cable just so visitors to my house have something to watch although i only watch the stations without commercials most of the time. And i have no problem with in game advertisements as long as its something along the lines of your looknig through your sniper scope and pan across a viagra billboard then see your target hiding behind it. Sure thats fine who cares. But if i get subjected to commercials and the like while waiting, guess what. Game pirating and cracking will be at an all time high because you know those people wont stand for more advertisements and then let the ad removal wars begin! Next we will haev a the foundation of a new company. Game Creators Association of America (GCAA) to try to fuck us over by making us pay to play (stupid concept, buy the game then have to pay just to play the fuckin thing) then pay to play then be forced to watch advertisements.

    Society is falling.

     

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  25.  
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    A Network Admin, Apr 27th, 2006 @ 7:31am

    Spelling

    And for you jakc tards who thikn everynoe shoudl wacth theyre speiling, seruiosly its a fraeknig mesasge bored. U Kno wht they ment. Geeze I tel ewe. Some1 alwys wining bout sumtin & puting others doughn. Knot every1 has a PHD in keyboreding. Tri 2 concentrate awn the topic knot the spellnig.

    lmao that was fun

    Hoked awn fonics werked four me

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    Pedren, Apr 27th, 2006 @ 8:31am

    Re: Spelling

    Just when I thought society had sunk to a new low...

    P.S. Big deal they're just commericials.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 27th, 2006 @ 9:45am

    Zeb has it right

    I think you guys missed something Zeb mentioned way back in post #7. It'll never happen, but think about network TV. They get their revenue from ads. The more popular a show is, the more they can charge for advertisement during that segment.

    It will be in the best interest of software companies to get games out to as many players as they can AND they'll have incentive to make better games so that they can get more $$$ for the ads in them. If they charge per running copy of a game for ads, they'll make more money if they hand out the games for free. I'm willing to put up with a coke machine in a hallway if I get a shiny, new FPS for free. Besides, there will be some way to block the ads before long, no doubt about that.

     

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  28.  
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    Tora1188, Apr 27th, 2006 @ 10:46am

    Re: Ads

    Now that makes sense! If im i the middle of a 36 hour gaming session and a pizza hut ad shows up during the loading screen, my hand just mmight actually slide over to the phone. That kind of advertising makes sense.

    Plus it just might reduce the number of dead korean internet cafe gamers....

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 27th, 2006 @ 12:06pm

    Re: Zeb has it right

    It'll never happen. We'll still pay $50 bucks for a new game, then have to put up with ads to boot. The software companies know that we'll still buy them, ads or no.

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2009 @ 6:40pm

    Re: I love this site

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 1st, 2009 @ 7:24am

    Re: I love this site

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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