Google turns to in-game ads with new AdSense tech

No matter where you go on the Web, you’re likely to run into Google AdSense ads every few pages. Now, VentureBeat reports that Google intends to extend its advertising empire to cover video games. “Sources close to the matter” claim Google has been testing AdSense for Games technology for several months—and the search giant “could launch the technology fairly quickly, if it so chooses.” Google could target not just PC games, but also console and cell phone titles.

In a demo of AdSense for Games, VentureBeat says Google showed a character introducing a brief video ad with a lead-in like, “And now, a word from our sponsor.” This particular approach departs from that of other in-game ad firms (such as Microsoft’s Massive), which tend to stick to believable ads on in-game billboards and the like. Of course, Google could conceivably do something similar in addition to more intrusive video ads, but VentureBeat doesn’t mention that possibility.

As an interesting side note, the site says advertisers are pushing to increase their presence in video games because “it’s one of the only ways to reach young male gamers who have stopped watching TV.” Research firm Yankee Group estimates that the in-game ad business will grow to almost a billion dollars by 2011.

Comments closed
    • stoydgen
    • 13 years ago

    One place where I think in game advertising might work is in racing games. Perhaps in the F1 game, have the actual sponsors of the events for that season in the appropriate locations or something. That’s not a bad idea. Mind you in a shooter i can just imagine:

    Person who got owned: “Damn where were u hiding”
    Person with Red outfit: “Coke Sign ;)”

    • vshade
    • 13 years ago

    I think a properly done product placement would even add more immersion to the game, I think that advertisements in loading screens is a little bad, but I hope that in game advertisement don’t go farther than this. If they use this kind of thing to sell games at lower prices or even make more free games, I think it would be a good thing.

    • Krogoth
    • 13 years ago

    In-Game Ads = epic stupidity.

    I can understand them being used by *privately-owned* and official servers to help pay-off hosting expenditures.

    Otherwise, they do not belong in interactive content.

    I think ads in general are just eye-sores and have very little effect on me. The marketing bastards are just throwing away tons of $$$$$ and BS their superiors that their jobs are so darn important.

    • Bill Clo
    • 13 years ago

    This reminds me of the OLD days when cable TV had NO ADS. You were paying for the privledge of not seeing ads. Nowadays, cable has at least as many ads as regular TV, and frankly the quality of the programming is just as poor. Other than having access to a very few channels that we watch (and which seem to be even more ad-infested than network tv), bah.

    I calculated that about 17 minutes of each broadcast hour is ads. I simply mute the TV, and read a book for the few minutes. Or talk to my spouse, or load stripper clips, or actually pay attention to my child. 🙂

    I don’t need to be brainwashed into buying the latest products, and I don’t want to be a typical “consumer ” droid, thanks.

    As for games, I play them to escape from reality, and seeing ads is not a part of it. Now if they sold 2 versions of the game – full price but no ads, and one say $5 cheaper but with ads you had to watch, I could accept the choice. But paying full price and being forced to watch ads, forget about it.

    • MixedPower
    • 13 years ago

    I wouldn’t mind if ad support lowered the price of the game significantly and/or made it free, but so far I haven’t seen any drop in price at all due to in-game ads (with exception of a small handful of ten year old games with highly intrusive ads going for free that you could practically buy for free anyways at a B&M store).

    • Forge
    • 13 years ago

    Ah yes, because nothing helps immersion like seeing a billboard for KFC at the battle of Thermopylae.

      • eitje
      • 13 years ago

      Tonight, we dine at KFC!

        • BenBasson
        • 13 years ago

        I guess why not if you’re already going to die.

    • l33t-g4m3r
    • 13 years ago

    There needs to be a program that blocks the ad servers, so you won’t have to see ads while playing a game.

    • DrDillyBar
    • 13 years ago

    So many people stop watching TV because it’s ~25% advertising. ya… I’ll be googling a way to block whatever URL is pumping that garbage my way. At the Router level if possible.

    • evermore
    • 13 years ago

    “One billion dollars! What’s that? Yes, I know it smells funny. Everything I pull out of my ass does.”

    • BoBzeBuilder
    • 13 years ago

    As long as they bloody lower the price tag a bit. $59.99 is ridiculous.

      • no51
      • 13 years ago

      I take it you’re a console gamer, as I’ve never seen a PC game for more than $49.99.

    • StashTheVampede
    • 13 years ago

    Why are so many people complaining about ads, in game? TV and radio are FULL of ads. Ads came into the existence once a medium was popular enough to get an audience.

    Owners of the medium have the right to place ads into their medium. You, as a consumer of this medium, have the right NOT to use the medium: turn it off, stop playing, stop buying etc. No one is forcing you to play these games, so stop your whining.

    I’ll also have to say: *some* ads make sense for games. Think of it this way: you’re playing CoDX and it’s in some city in the USA. Virtually every city has billboards with advertisements, correct? Why wouldn’t this game also have a live advertisement?

    Having some random texture, on some random wall, in some random city with an ad for a razor blade makes NO sense. Advertising is only good when it’s used in the correct context of the medium.

      • indeego
      • 13 years ago

      I refuse to pay for a service that puts an ad in my face. I fully believe in the adbuster philosophy that advertising is an invasion of my mind, and advertising certainly doesn’t belong there.

      When I PAY for a game, I pay for a game, not an ad.

      I do not watch television, and I also do something something, blah blah. Basically ads are not a part of my lifeg{<.<}g

        • Mystic-G
        • 13 years ago

        Agreed… It’s one thing to make it realistic, it’s another to blatantly advertise a product.

        I’d rather have random graffiti on the wall in the middle east than a someone spray painting a company logo.

        Also, in-case you didn’t notice… not a whole lot of FPS games take place in cities, with the exception of Rainbow Six.

        • StashTheVampede
        • 13 years ago

        “ads aren’t a part of my life?” agreed, 100% … as long you never watch tv, movies or listen to radio. that should also be extended to magazines, newspaper and … the SKY.

        ads are all over the place, period.

        if the game has ads and you agree to buy and install it, then you’re the one at fault for supporting it.

          • sigher
          • 13 years ago

          :rolleyes: seems to be the appropriate response to that.

          • tfp
          • 13 years ago

          Yeah but you don’t pay to see those add. I don’t pay for radio, broadcast TV, planes with banners, billboard, ect. So if they are going to jam adds into games I don’t see a reason to pay for those games either, they are getting their money indirectly from “me” just like the TV stations are ect.

            • StashTheVampede
            • 13 years ago

            TV and radio are free, yup! However, the costs to run those businesses isn’t $0.00, so those mediums MUST sell advertising.

            Video games are more akin to subscription TV: you are paying for premium content, with ads. That premium (to you and others) isn’t worth it if ads are included. Games are big business, they are banking on not only selling you the title at X, but that X will 100% include some form of ad revenue.

            Games aren’t getting cheaper to make, publishers will continue to find methods to squeeze more dollars out of a single unit.

            • tfp
            • 13 years ago

            I have seen “premium content” on TV and it sucks.

            • indeego
            • 13 years ago

            “Games aren’t getting cheaper to make, publishers will continue to find methods to squeeze more dollars out of a single unit.”

            Which is fine. I have no issues with the advertising industry, they want to sell to sheep, be my guest. But don’t expect me to pay for a game with ads, period. And If I find out after the fact that a game has ads in it I believe I am in the right to demand my money back, unless there is a disclaimer before purchasingg{.}g

          • lithven
          • 13 years ago

          Actually, I don’t do a lot of stuff because of advertising. Watch TV, is the big one, but I also don’t subscribe to any magazines or listen to commercial radio. (Fortunately I have 5 radio stations in my area that are non-commercial and play a minimum number of ads, less than 5 minutes / hour, so I can jump stations if they start advertising.) If I see an excessive number of advertising within other media (movies or games) I avoid watching / playing / buying it. Heck, anymore I even get extremely annoyed at the advertising I get in the mail…I wish I could “return to sender” anything addressed to “resident”.

          What’s really funny is if some advertising really annoys me I pay attention to it specifically so I know what not to buy.

          • BenBasson
          • 13 years ago

          “agreed, 100% … as long you never watch tv, movies or listen to radio. that should also be extended to magazines, newspaper and … the SKY”

          It’s fairly easy to avoid advertising or the complete use of nearly all of the things you list. TV, magazines and radio instantly go on my “do not use” list. The others still don’t have anything close to advertising as intrusive as an interruption in gameplay would be.

          • indeego
          • 13 years ago

          I don’t watch TV.
          I arrive ~6-8 minutes late to the 3-4 movies I see a year in theaters these days.
          I haven’t listened to radio other than NPR for 10+ years.
          I don’t subscribe to a single magazine.
          I haven’t looked at a newspaper in about 5 years.
          In portland Oregon there is very little billboard advertising, and there is none in Beaverton, Oregon. I ignore them regardless.

          Advertising doesn’t have to be in your lifeg{<.<}g

        • Tamale
        • 13 years ago

        but as long as the ads in the game only mimic where you’d see ads in real life, what’s the big problem?

        sure, it’d suck to see more ads than you need to when playing a game, but when you go by a pop machine in duke nukem what’s wrong with it having coke and pepsi on it??

          • indeego
          • 13 years ago

          Just as wrong as seeing it in a movie. Product placement detracts from the message of the original mediumg{<.<}g

    • tfp
    • 13 years ago

    If a game has any built in adds, they should pay me to buy and play that game.

    • Mystic-G
    • 13 years ago

    Why does Google have to be an asshat? Advertisments are flooding the internet more than usual and it’s getting extremely old.

    In-game advertisements are the crappiest thing ever. They make the developer flood the map with their logo everywhere. It’s not believable when you’re fighting in a desert with Intel Billboards everywhere!! (reference to BF2)

      • sigher
      • 13 years ago

      Actually since the americans arrived in iraq there’s a lot of billboards there I noticed, although in afghanistan it seems less so.
      But yeah, I HATE ingame ads and I don’t stand for it, and as a result I had to ditch several games, and I won’t buy games on the ‘steam’ platform because those bastards sneak in automatic updates that suddenly add in-game ads…
      so you can never be sure how long you can play the game before it’s suddenly ruined.

        • mongoosesRawesome
        • 13 years ago

        what the hell are you talking about. take your goddamn tin foil off your head and get on with life.

          • Nitrodist
          • 13 years ago

          See Counter-Strike v1.6 for details.

    • dattimr
    • 13 years ago

    Oh, nice. 😛 So, what’s the next step? Having to watch a TV-like ad between one boss and another while playing a FPS?…

    It can only get “better”. OMG, WTF?!

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