Google has confirmed it bought in-game advertising company AdScape Media, for an undisclosed sum. I’ve been talking about advertising and looking for opportunities in software piracy, and perhaps these opportunities might suit well for in-game advertising. Google is moving into in-game advertising, and it might be a sign about how the future might look like: more and more companies might be interested about product placement and ads in games. Even though this is a small deal – firecegamebiz.com reported analysts saying $20-30M deal – I still think it means something. I’m sure we will see more companies moving in the in-game ad business. Washington Post mentioned that Microsoft made a $200M in-game ad deal last year.
Some people criticize that in-game ads will make games less immersive. While I agree to some extent (like seeing Nike shoes being advertised in Edoiki is not something I imagine happening) I believe there are room for in-game ads. Sports games for example. I think it would be much more immersive to see players using real energy drinks and see real energy drink logos in the play field, rather than using fake logos and fake names. It is – in my opinion – almost the same as seeing Wayne Gretzky rather than Grayne Wetcky playing in the field. In some games these ads might fit very well – if done properly.