In-Game Ad Market Booming

from the centipede-never-had-this dept

The market for ads embedded in video games is booming, setting the stage for a spat over whether they're intrusive, or a "creative element". A previous study -- albeit one sponsored by a game publisher -- found that in addition to in-game ads being highly persuasive, players say they make games more real. The BusinessWeek article raises a few examples: the first is a new Sims game where users run restaurants and other businesses, but EA eschewed using any real brands or products. The second mentions how an ad agency put some ads for Subway on some servers' versions of the online game Counter-Strike -- without the permission of the game's publisher. In the first instance, in-game ads and product placement could make it more realistic, even more interesting to some players, while the second seems like an odd intrusion into an online world. The key is context: in the context of the Sims game, product placement's appropriate; in Counter-Strike, the Subway ads stick out like a sore thumb. Sure, they'll get noticed, but their blatant appearance can cause a backlash that creates the exactly opposite reaction than advertisers want.

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Jan 2006 @ 9:48am

    No Subject Given

    I have no problem with ads in games like CS. With CS, you don't need to play on the servers that have the ads if you don't want to. CS is all about having fun with your friends and playing in good levels. if the levels are good, and the ads don't mess up the game play, then why not. if I don't like it I will go somewhere else, but if the game play is good enough I'll stay. The burden of convincing me to play on the ad based server is still up to the server owner.
    Putting ads in a subscription based game, is not OK. If you are going to make me play the game only on your server, and also charge me to play it, then I don't think I should have to put up with ads. Too bad that most game makers won't see it that way.
    Putting in ads that they make you watch at load time, or between levels is just annoying. people won't want to buy or play your game if you do that.

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