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Advertising In Video Games



Gamers are torn when it comes to the use of advertising in video games.  Some feel it adds a needed dose of reality to the gaming world.  I'm one of these people - but, as mentioned above, advertising has to match the tone of the in-game world.  Seeing a McDonald's ad with undead critters crawling around it makes the experience just a tad more real.

I'd be craving a Big Mac at the end of the world.I'd be craving a Big Mac at the end of the world.


Others feel that in-game advertising will destroy the video game industry.  While this sounds extreme, it has merit.  These gamers are afraid of being inundated with advertisements inside their favorite gaming worlds.  Think about it: how many billboards do you see in Grand Theft Auto?

At least you smell nice as you bash the driver's face in and steal his truck.At least you smell nice as you bash the driver's face in and steal his truck.


This parody shows what could very well happen:

Will this be the result?  Some analysts think not.  While an increase in in-game advertising is inevitable, it is questionable as to how prolonged the revenue will be.  This reasoning stems from the study of existing ad-based revenue sites that started strong, then petered out over time.

While I can't quite see the similarity in web-site advertising and in-game advertising (aside from the almost subliminal nature - you see the ads, but primarily register them in your subconscious), I suppose that the ad-based revenue sites are about all that researchers have to go by for data.

And I don't mind ads for real products visually represented in my gaming world if they are properly inserted.  And as long as my dwarf fighter can't dine at Pizza Hut while wearing Levi's jeans, smoking a Marlboro, and having a Coke and a smile.

SOURCES: Wikipedia, Gamer Limit, Tech Crunch, Crunch Gear, CNET

 

John Barker
Clever Ads, Promotions and Marketing
InventorSpot.com