In March of 2007, Google quietly purchased in-game advertising firm Adscape Media. A year and a half of rumors and speculation later, Google has finally announced AdSense for Games. In Google tradition, the new in-game ad scheme is starting (relatively) small and with a "beta" suffix.
Google's Christian Oestlien has told CNet News the scheme's beta phase will involve "the placement of a variety of forms of ads in Flash-based casual games and some larger titles." Google intends to work with PlayFish, Mochi Media, Demand Media, and Konami, reportedly serving up ads in the latter's popular arcade game Dance Dance Revolution. Check out the YouTube video below to see how Google's ads might pop up in games:
On the advertisers' side of things, Google will work with the likes of eSurance, Sprint, and Sony Pictures Entertainment at first. Presumably, more advertisers and game studios will join the party as AdSense for Games grows. And grow it should. According to Jonathan Epstein, the CEO of rival in-game ad firm DoubleFusion, Google "does not enter into markets that don't have billion dollar-plus potential for them."
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