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.