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More In-Game Advertising on the Way 50

jizziknight writes "Wired has an article up detailing the many types of in-game advertisements and product placements on the way to future games. Advertisers and developers might actually be starting to think it through, rather than just slapping the company's name on everything. Adidas Basketball will be sponsoring some unlockable 'features' in Electronic Arts' NBA Live 07 on the Xbox 360 and the PS3 that showcase its new 'It Takes 5IVE' slogan. The features include 5 players with special uniforms and an exclusive arena. In Fight Night Round 3, Burger King is sponsoring an unlockable boxer as well as an avatar of The King that joins your entourage when you win a Burger King-sponsored event. There are also a few details about an ad-supported MMOG by Acclaim, in which sponsors offer to buy items for you when you go shopping in the game. Another interesting tid-bit from the article: A comScore survey showed that 'Thirty-seven percent of heavy gamers (those who play games at least 16 hours a week) agreed that featuring actual products or companies in games make the games feel more realistic. About one-third (27 percent) of medium gamers (those who played less than 11 hours per week) agreed that in-game ads can add to a game's realism.' Of course, we've all seen instances where ads make the game less realistic."
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More In-Game Advertising on the Way

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  • The new TV? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by commisaro ( 1007549 ) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @04:33PM (#16327315) Homepage
    Does this mean that games are going to become free, paid for by advertising? I doubt it. Where is all the extra revenue generated from advertisements going, because it sure isn't going towards lowering game prices, from what I've seen.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by kfg ( 145172 ) *
      Where is all the extra revenue generated from advertisements going. . .


      Now all you have to do is figure out how to sell advertising on underpants.

      Oh, wait. . .

      • by tepples ( 727027 )
        Now all you have to do is figure out how to sell advertising on underpants.

        Grand Theft Auto: Hot Coffee, a PC game from Rockstar, sold only through Rockstar's online store.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Necroman ( 61604 )
      The cost to produce a Video Game has become extremely high. With the increased cost of production and a semi stagnant price in video games, companies are looking for a way to get some extra money out of the deal.

      Publishers will make a lot of money on the big title games (Grand Theft Auto and the lot), but will have to take a gamble with other titles by investing a lot of money they are not garneted to make back. So when they do make a lot of money on one title, some of those profits will go to help fundin
    • Where is all the extra revenue generated from advertisements going

      It's going straight to the Ferrari dealership down the street from the developer's office...
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by krgallagher ( 743575 )
      "Does this mean that games are going to become free, paid for by advertising?"

      This has always been one of my prefered gaming models. If the MMORPG's worked my way, that potion of strength would be a Starbucks Latte.

      • by KDR_11k ( 778916 )
        Yes but with a Starbucks Latte you'd have people asking if that's supposed to strengthen or kill them.
      • by Aladrin ( 926209 )
        You know, I actually don't find that offensive. A bit tacky, but not offensive.

        I hear a lot of hate from gamers that think advertising is evil no matter how it's done. But I just don't see it that way. When done properly, as the examples in the summary, it doesn't detract from the experience.

        Burger King has been doing the unlockable thing for quite some time. I believe there's been 2 or 3 race games that they had an unlockable vehicle already. Having 'The King' be in your entourage is hilarious to me.
        • Burger King has been doing the unlockable thing for quite some time. I believe there's been 2 or 3 race games that they had an unlockable vehicle already. Having 'The King' be in your entourage is hilarious to me. I might even work towards that, if I were inclined to play sports games at all.

          I wouldn't mind having a BK King bot in UT 2007 so I could blast his friggin' ass off the planet.
  • by cowscows ( 103644 ) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @04:37PM (#16327379) Journal
    As long as it's worked into the game reasonably well, and not an interruption to the game, it doesn't bother me much. Like most things, it can be done badly, in which case it will certainly be annoying. But if it revolves around product placement and brand awareness, rather than direct "Buy me now for only $14.99 at Walmart!" it shouldn't be bad. More clever things like BK having the king escort you to the ring in FightNight are actually pretty cool, and would make me laugh.

    I don't have any problem with ads in game on principle. If it keeps the prices of games from going up as quickly as they would otherwise, then so much the better.
    • Agreed. If I'm playing NHL Hockey and see some ads along the rink's wall then I don't care if it's a make-believe Cola company ad or a Pepsi ad. Likewise, if I'm street-racing in another game and see a well-placed billboard or a painted building wall, then I don't care. Just keep it low-key or interesting.
    • by mythosaz ( 572040 ) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @05:03PM (#16327841)
      While I hate to "me too" on a topic list this, the parent is correct. In game ads, where appropriate, add to the realism. NASCAR games *need* ads on the cars and along the racetracks. Fight Night might have gone over the top with the Burger King ads, but the rest of the in-game "advertising" was spot on -- and, yes, Beating el Ray to get The King as your trainer/promoter was, at least in my opinion, cool/funny/neat. Fights have sponsors. Real sponsors add a sense of immersion in the game.

      Nobody wants to kick in a door in a FPS and find a flashing "$10 off your first $50 in electronics at Buy.com" ad plastered on the wall, but since I drink branded soda, I don't have a problem with kicking in the door and finding my target sipping an ice cold Coca Cola. I'm more bothered by the knock-offs seen in movies/games without sponsored products. They're even MORE distracting.

      Art echos life. Life had ads.
  • by SomeoneGotMyNick ( 200685 ) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @04:42PM (#16327445) Journal
    That damn Tapper [wikipedia.org] game advertising Budweiser (and Mountain Dew in a "think of the children" variant)
  • How do you think will they put ads in THAT and make it feel more realistic??
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by kfg ( 145172 ) *
      How do you think will they put ads in THAT and make it feel more realistic??

      You got a problem with serving wenches named Taco Belle?

      • I think it's more the "This +5 sword of malicious wounding proudly brought to you by Ginsu. It slices, it dices, it even juliennes! But wait, purchase in the next 15 minutes and we will throw in not one, not two, but six steak knives of +3 grievous bodily harm, absolutely free! And all this can be yours for the low low price of 29 95!" part that he's worried about...
        • by kfg ( 145172 ) *
          Hey! That's some kick ass shit. Where do I get it? Does a +5 turnip twaddler come with it?

    • "Four out of Five Greenskins Agree! Diet Coke really does taste Better than Diet Pepsi!"

      "Ask your local Apothecary about the new Diet Dr. Pepper restorative potion. Restores more mana with less wait time!"

      "This year, vote for change. This year, vote for Edward Johnson (AKA: Endwyl the Just)"

      See? It's not that hard!

    • Is it vorpale?

      Every once in a while doesn't it suggest some food? Snicker Snack!

      for what it's worth, it hurt to type this

  • Screw in-game ads (Score:2, Insightful)

    by RichPowers ( 998637 )
    I refuse to buy a game that has in-game ads AND retails for $50. If you're going to ruin the creative integrity of the game, at least make it cheaper for me to purchase. Until some of the ad revenue gets passed down to consumers in the form of cheaper retail prices, I can't get behind this scheme. For every one game that does in-game ads right, there will be 50 that blatantly sell out and ruin the gaming experience...
  • My $0.02 (Score:2, Insightful)

    by robyannetta ( 820243 ) *
    If I can play the game for free, then I would expect to see ingame advertising.

    If I have to pay $50 for the game and $14.95 a month for online gameplay, I better NOT see any online ads.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Cahrin ( 1002520 )
      MMO's have a huge opportunity here, as they could probably get away with selling you the game at $50 and then giving you the option of paying a monthy fee or playing the game with a ton of ads in it. It'll be interesting, though, to see how they try to seamlessly integrate ads for Nike into a game like WoW.
    • by kfg ( 145172 ) *
      That's exactly why I first started paying for TV reception.

  • 37% is closer to one-third (33.3%) than 27% is. In fact, 27% is closer to one-fourth than it is to one-third. Trying to skew the perception of the numbers?
    • Aye, you're right. And I thought the same thing as I was quoting that bit of TFA. I'm glad someone else noticed.
  • Every month (or less) another company puts out one of these hilarious *studies* that tells us that "actually, gamers really love advertising in games, they think its cool". Its always nothing more than manipulative bullshit to pimp the stock price of the game-ads companies, and sucker more publishers into stuffing their games full of burger king billboards.

    Gamers might think that these are simple deals when you get some money towards dev costs in exchange for the odd billboard. this is NOT the case. I've wo
  • Dynamic in-game advertising for competitive multi-player games is a must imo. Especially for regional tournaments in smaller countries (such as mine, NZ) who often already struggle to provide decent incentive (prize money..) for gamers to take leave from work and spend money on travel etc.
      • by aeth0r ( 1004923 )
        Yea I read his comment already but I consider his points more relevant to the single player/casual gamer market then competitive games/gamer market. Simply because the requirements for competitive games is to maintain balanced gameplay and preferably excellent gameplay mechanics.. So advertising 9ideally) would not be allowed to affect these elemnts adversly. You know, in order to offer a "competitive" playing field ;)

        I think the distinction of both markets is important because from a casual gamers persp
  • 'Thirty-seven percent of heavy gamers ... agreed that featuring actual products or companies in games make the games feel more realistic. About one-third (27 percent) of medium gamers ... agreed that in-game ads can add to a game's realism.' Of course, we've all seen instances where ads make the game less realistic."

    37 percent and 27 percent aren't high percentages. More than 60 percent of gamers don't think that real ads make a game more realistic, but the way the numbers were stated in the write-up made i
  • I'm not sure what most people think of when they consider in-game advertising, but there are already plenty of places in games where it can go and would probably only add to them. FPS games where you're wandering through a building, or outside in a city, doesn't it seem weird to not see the media blitz you're used to in the real world? I often think city scenes turn out very plain and unrealistic due to this. Often game companies make up advertisements to put in billboards or posters, etc.. this would just
  • The biggest problem I've ever had with ads in games is repetition. After seeing the same ad for the same product about 15,000,000,000 times in one level, I start to really get sick of it. But if you can get a bunch of different brands and such involved, it becomes a LOT more bearable IMO
  • Coca Cola. Welcome to the coke side of life.
    http://wow.blupp.net/item.php?id=339344 [blupp.net]
  • I know a lot of people here have argued that advertising in games makes the game feel more realistic, but even if it does, it still spoils my enjoyment of the game. I'll agree that to create a faithful depiction of "real life", the game should have advertising; after all, you can't walk 100' (30.48m for you metric folk :-) in the real world without bumping into some sort of advertising.

    But every time I see advertising in a game, it pulls me out of the experience because I know that billboard/spray-on/conven
    • I find it hilarious that you used the Indy 500 as a basis for your argument. Advertising already occurs heavily in games of that genre, like Codemasters IndyCar Series [codemasters.com]. It is apparently so seamless that someone who feels so strongly against the concept doesn't even realize it. Did you feel strangely compelled to drink a delicious Red Bull once you finished playing?
    • by grumbel ( 592662 )

      And you won't have competing products, either; if a designer puts in a Pepsi machine in the game as product placement, then you sure as heck aren't going to see a Coca Cola machine stuck right next to it.

      That is true today because games are shipped on DVD and have static content, but the next generation of consoles will all be online capable, thus things might change quite a bit. Advertising would no longer be limited to a few sponsors, but the advertising space would become something dynamic where everyb

    • by d3ac0n ( 715594 )
      "Somebody is Using My" is correct.

      There are such a small number of games where advertising could be added in in a seamless way. We have pretty much named them all here already; Sports games, and FPS games that take place in the 20th century in an urban setting. That is IT. Sci-fi games, either MMO, RPG, or FPS won't work with ads, Fantasy games same thing. Any FPS game taking place ANYWHERE other than a modern day urban setting will look odd and out of place with ads in it. To be honest, even the game
      • Advertising CAN work in a Sci-Fi setting... Some movies have shown that like Minority Report, and I-Robot... The most difficult setting I think would be fantasy, trying to work modern product ads in would just be campy and probably ruin any serious moods the game was attempting to portray.

        But I think ads COULD work beyond just 20th century scenarios, certainly products exist in nearly every form of human life and advertising has probably been around as long as products have. I agree that some games it wo
  • Does it seem strange to anyone else that Burger King, a company selling unhealthy fast-food burgers, should be sponsoring a sports game? Okay, boxing is a rather strange sport but you do need to be fit...

    Maybe mechanically recovered head-meat from steriod enhanced cows fed on bits of other cows is actually really good for you?
    • by Aladrin ( 926209 )
      Why, do you expect they wouldn't sponsor that sport in real life if it was cheap enough? Of course they would. There's simply other sponsors willing to pay more in real life.

      The target audience is what matters, not the subject matter. Do you think real boxers often stop and pick up a gamepad and play Mike Tyson's Punchout? I doubt it. Advertising boxing gear in the game doesn't make sense, because the audience isn't there. The entire audience for this game is ... gamers! Wow! And amazingly, gamers
    • LOL, burger king should sponser herself and not sport events
  • "Much more than 'free goodies,' the level of the interaction between Adidas and EA Sports has helped to create a dynamic and unique gaming experience,"

    Look, whoever buys these EA Sports games obviously are not in a very high league. They do not care about adverts. They watch TV, lots of it, with adverts in it. They wear t-shirts with advertising on it. Their shoes have company logos (more advertising!) on their side.
    To them, (freely) advertising a large sports company means that they appear sporty - w
  • what the heck does fiveive mean?

"How many teamsters does it take to screw in a light bulb?" "FIFTEEN!! YOU GOT A PROBLEM WITH THAT?"