Google tests in-game advertising software

By on July 30, 2008, 8:24 PM
Not content with dominating the search advertising scene, Google is reportedly looking to expand its AdSense footprint to cover the lucrative video games business. According to sources speaking to VentureBeat, the search giant has been quietly testing an in-game advertising program that targets not just PC games, but also console and cell phone titles.

Google is supposedly pretty far along in the development of this initiative and “could launch the technology fairly quickly, if it so chooses.” VentureBeat describes a rather intrusive scheme in which a game’s character can introduce a video ad by saying something like “And now, a word from our sponsor” – which I doubt will be popular among gamers.

This departs from the more realistic approach that others have been pursuing, with ads shown around the environment yet keeping gameplay interference to a minimum. Then again, Google will most likely try other less intrusive approaches as well. Google has yet to make an official announcement regarding the software.

User Comments: 10

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thejedislayer said:
Although I respect Google, lately it just seems like more and more bad news coming from them than the good. What happened to the ol' nice Google we knew?Leave advertisements out of video games paid for by gamers. We don't buy a video game to be enticed by advertisements, we buy video games so we can play the video game itself.
gbe300 said:
I agree with the previous comment ... I will make it a point to NOT Purchase any games that use this technology despite how "great" the game maybe. I hope Game developers and publishers will figure out a better way, even if its increase game cost to ensure they do not have to resort to this technology. Advertising is already the reason I do not watch TV, I hope it does not invade my games.
kingdingdong said:
Agreed. Advertising in video games, Ill also make a point not to buy. I dont pay 60$ per game to get ripped off, and have to see advertisements. Only...and only if the games price drop tremendously would I even consider buying one with advertisements in it.
howzz1854 said:
i think the whole point of advertisement in video game is so that eventually you won't have to pay for a game anymore, it'll be paid by the advertisement companies. many european countries are already experimenting with "micro-transaction" type of video game, in which the game itself is free, but as you go or upgrade through the game, you pay for the upgrades or weapons(for FPS) by small incraments. video gaming industry is going through a big change, just like internet and wireless industry.
Julio said:
Without going to the extreme of micro-transactions (which is not necessarily bad), I believe the idea of in-game advertisement resembles that of product placement in movies and TV shows. As long as it doesn't interfere with the core gaming experience I wouldn't mind some ads that can allow for more quality freeware games, or eventual free releases (like Far Cry/McDonalds a short while ago), or just titles that are no longer $50-60 but in the $30 range, even for blockbusters.
eafshar said:
i;d only play a game with advertising if its free!
nirkon said:
I think advertising in games to lower costs (or even make it free!) is a great thing! ---->As long as it is not that intrusive,I don't care to see ads in the loading screens or in the menus,but if my character, while in the dungeon, decides to remind me to always brush my teeth with OralB,I wont be very happy, I'd send him right in with the orcs to get slaughtered.
gbe300 said:
Just to add a comment on why I am against this ... even if the game is much cheaper or free it still defeats the purpose of why I play games.I play them to escape, to relax and forget about the "real world" for a bit. This is totally broken if during a gaming session I have to see billboards or back grounds with product spots and hear about my toon saying things like drink coke etc. Also the whole loading screen with an advertisement is also nothing I would want since the mere "loading please wait" is annoying enough without having to have the game time broken up by ads. Just wanted to add that I am against this in any way or form. I do not want to read or see product spots when I am trying to avoid them on TV or in magazines. And the micro transaction games are all crap anyways :P
thejedislayer said:
It really won't matter at either rate. People will simply conform to the new ways that are happening, rather they like it or not. The only 'true' way to stop companies from being able to implement advertisements into games, is if people stop, or don't buy games that have content advertisement in them. That will, in affect, send a clear message to gaming companies that if they want their products to be popular, they've got to cut the advertisers out of the picture.
TimeParadoX said:
The only games that have correctly added advertisements and made the prices drop considerably are the products of Valve®. Their game Counter-Strike 1.6 has advertisements from Intel and other Valve games ( Team Fortress 2, Portal and Half-life episode 2 ) but the price has dropped tremendously since launch. You can all of Valve's online games like TeamFortress 2, CS:CZ, CS1.6, CSS, DOD:S and DOD for $50 and most of them have advertisements ( the ones that use the Gold engine, 1.6, DOD and CS:CZ ) and you're still saving atleast $100.
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