In-Game Ad Spending To Hit $1 Billion By 2014

In-Game Ad Spending To Hit $1 Billion By 2014

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Media analyst firm Screen Digest estimates that in-game advertisement spending will reach a combined $1bn within five years.

Phew, that's a lot of in-game billboards. It doesn't seem like it's been all that long since we first heard rumors about advertisements for real-life products being displayed in a virtual space. Since then, ad gurus have struggled to catch up after the dawning realization that the crucial 18-to-25 year-old male demographic has ditched TV for a more interactive form of entertainment.

Where they go, the ad money follows. And quite a bit of ad money has followed them to videogames. In-game advertisements proudly hawk a variety of different products: Some advertise other games by the same studio, some advertise wholly unrelated products, and, well, some advertise President Barack Obama.

Despite "short-term softness" in the advertising industry this year thanks to the global economic downturn, analysts at Screen Digest predict that in-game ads are here to stay, and will only become more and more commonplace - especially as the economy picks back up again. Within five years, say the analysts, ad agencies will be spending a total $1 billion on all in-game advertising, seeing it as a way to tout their products to those who are becoming "increasingly hard to reach via other media." That's ad-speak for "we wish you would go back to watching TV again, guys," by the way.

You know, as long as they do it tastefully - and without breaking immersion - I'm fine with it. Real ads lining the stadium walls in a FIFA title, or billboards along the road in the next Need For Speed? That's totally fine, and even helps to further the sense of immersion. Having the androgynous lead character of a standard Square JRPG chug down a brisk can of Coca-Cola before whipping out his Cutco(R) brand sword? Slightly less fine.

Of course, it's a moot point. We'll all be dead by the end of 2012 anyway.

(Brand Republic, via Joystiq)

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Is there really anyone these days who gives a shit about In-Game Advertising? It's absolutely absurd when a game like Bionic Commando does it.

You know, I still have yet to play a game with this in it.

I really don't see why companies waste good money on ads. My generation, and the generations following, are increasingly less prone to ever purchasing what's seen in ads. In fact, ads such as these are more likely to make us boycott a product because they piss us off, than to actually purchase anything.

Indigo_Dingo:
You know, I still have yet to play a game with this in it.

Yeah I've never seen any either. But I don't play that many cross-platform games or any MMOs, which is where I'm guessing they'll be.

I wonder if they'll start having more unique in game adverts. At the moment it's just billboards within the game but how about NPCs that try to sell you stuff or "This headshot was brought to you by..."

I almost sold Cutco knives. Except they do it in a dodgy fashion where they try to make you sell to your family. These are 2000$ knife sets, I hate them >.<

Khell_Sennet:
I really don't see why companies waste good money on ads. My generation, and the generations following, are increasingly less prone to ever purchasing what's seen in ads. In fact, ads such as these are more likely to make us boycott a product because they piss us off, than to actually purchase anything.

You'd be surprised, actually. Even getting a brand name into peoples' heads does wonders. You're less immune to advertising than you think you are.

Well, so long as there isn't a Coke vending machine in Bioshock 2 or something ridiculous like that, I'm okay with it.

Besides, more money in the industry means that developers can afford to be brave with gaming concepts. It could turn out that we see a lot more original gaming concepts if we allow big companies to sponsor them.

CantFaketheFunk:

Khell_Sennet:
I really don't see why companies waste good money on ads. My generation, and the generations following, are increasingly less prone to ever purchasing what's seen in ads. In fact, ads such as these are more likely to make us boycott a product because they piss us off, than to actually purchase anything.

You'd be surprised, actually. Even getting a brand name into peoples' heads does wonders. You're less immune to advertising than you think you are.

Hehehehe, heard that before and it wasn't any more true then than it is now, at least not for me personally. In fact, I challenge anyone to prove me wrong.

Also (totally off-topic), CantFake... What is your avatar of? It's been bugging me for a while, can't tell if it is supposed to be a robot, or an insect, or a robot insect?

CantFaketheFunk:
You're less immune to advertising than you think you are.

This is very true. I wonder how many people, when faced with a choice of Coke, Pepsi or supermarket brand cola at the same price, would opt for the supermarket brand. I'd estimate less than 0.1%, the majority of whom would be old people who hadn't seen any ads.

Advertising is the reason why branded products taste "better" than unbranded ones.

harhol:

CantFaketheFunk:
You're less immune to advertising than you think you are.

This is very true. I wonder how many people, when faced with a choice of Coke, Pepsi or supermarket brand cola at the same price, would opt for the supermarket brand. I'd estimate less than 0.1%, the majority of whom would be old people who hadn't seen any ads.

Advertising is the reason why branded products taste "better" than unbranded ones.

Actually, in some cases they really do taste better. Or I should say, the cheap brands can taste worse. Safeway's imitation Mountain Dew has this sickening after-taste and Western Family brand is over-sweetened. Typically, universal flavors like cola, lemon-lime, and/or orange soda though, no real difference. Though Costco's "Simply Soda" was unique in flavor, almost Dr.Pepper'ish. And I'd take Safeway cola over coke even when they're at the same price.

plastic_window:
Well, so long as there isn't a Coke vending machine in Bioshock 2 or something ridiculous like that, I'm okay with it.

Besides, more money in the industry means that developers can afford to be brave with gaming concepts. It could turn out that we see a lot more original gaming concepts if we allow big companies to sponsor them.

There's been more money in the industry in the last 5 years than at any other point in gaming history. What do we have to show for it? Gears-clones, Halo-clones and any number of MMOs. The industry, whatever it may say, is in a creative rut. It's not going to take more money to make original games, it's going to take developers with artistic vision. And anyone who pimps out their game to Mountain Dew and Lynx certainly doesn't have that.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:

There's been more money in the industry in the last 5 years than at any other point in gaming history. What do we have to show for it? Gears-clones, Halo-clones and any number of MMOs. The industry, whatever it may say, is in a creative rut. It's not going to take more money to make original games, it's going to take developers with artistic vision. And anyone who pimps out their game to Mountain Dew and Lynx certainly doesn't have that.

I know sponsorship deals make movies look chintzy, but what I'm saying is that if advertising becomes a big thing in games, it will lead to a lot more people willing to pour money into games. The big difference between games and movies is the number of people who invest in a product. Advertising could set the ball rolling for investors to look into games and spread the risk.

If they do that, there's more chance inventive and independant ideas will get picked up because if it fails, it won't hurt everyone as much as it would hurt one company.

It's a fairly optimistic approach, though. There's not a lot of chance of it really happening that quickly.

Advertising in my games? What's next, advertising in my dreams?

Cookie to whoever gets the reference.

Khell_Sennet:
I really don't see why companies waste good money on ads. My generation, and the generations following, are increasingly less prone to ever purchasing what's seen in ads. In fact, ads such as these are more likely to make us boycott a product because they piss us off, than to actually purchase anything.

Your generation and the generations following? I'm not sure what you're seeing, but I'm in high school and it seems to me that advertising is extremely effective.

Indigo_Dingo:
You know, I still have yet to play a game with this in it.

That you know of, subliminal advertising ain't to noticeable as you may have noticed.
Or not noticed, in this case
You know what? I'm not overly worried about it, they can advertise...

CantFaketheFunk:
...as long as they do it tastefully - and without breaking immersion...

...then I'm a-okay with it
Couldn't have put it better myself...

A random person:
Advertising in my games? What's next, advertising in my dreams?

Cookie to whoever gets the reference.

Futurama, no?

T'Generalissimo:

A random person:
Advertising in my games? What's next, advertising in my dreams?

Cookie to whoever gets the reference.

Futurama, no?

You gained 1 internet cookie.

A random person:

T'Generalissimo:

A random person:
Advertising in my games? What's next, advertising in my dreams?

Cookie to whoever gets the reference.

Futurama, no?

You gained 1 internet cookie.

I would prefer we just castrate anyone who doesn't get the reference.

If you have made it this far in life and not seen Futurama you are a terrible person and god hates you.

I say this because people not watching Futurama or other brilliant shows like it are why reality TV bullcrap is everywhere.

On an unrelated note to that rant and related to this thread. I quite literally will not buy anything that has annoying commercials.

I don't drink just about any brand of soda anymore, I won't eat a Burger King (Actually that also stems from 3 separate cases of food poisoning from there), I refuse to get my credit score checked at any of the 'free' options online, I won't shop at walmart (that's also a personal thing), I don't wear just about anything with gawdy commercials or perfumed stores (I'm looking at you Hollister and Abercrombie).

In fact generally if I haven't seen advertising for your product I am more likely to try it, why? Well I've found that if I'm looking for generic crap that frankly tastes or acts no better than anyone else its competing against in commercials, I'll go with advertised brands.

If I'm looking for a pleasant surprise I'll go with things I've never heard of before. Heck in cereal I'm a whore for offbrand options, you put me in an aisle with cheap poorly named cereal brands and a hand full of cash I'll leave with a cart fool of noms and an erection.

Likewise if it has EVER been advertised when I'm trying to watch zero punctuation I refuse to be involved with it. Because making me wait for my ZP laughs is fucking wrong.

 

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