It seems like when it’s Google, they can find a marketing edge anywhere. Google is all set to take it’s advertisements for website service a step further and actually have “AdSense for Games”. Those annoying ads that fill up a website, well now will appear in your favorite games too. I doubt if major development houses or AAA games will have them, but you can pretty much expect every small indie flash games and casual games to carry some sort of Google ads very soon. Currently Google is targeting web based games, but soon plans to move to console and PC games as well. Go figure! Apparently it will work similar to the current system where developers can basically put AdSense into theirs game and advertisers can then use Google’s system to have advertisements in the game while playing it.
Advertisement in games in not new, but the entry of heavy weights like Google and Microsoft is significant. I remember Coke tried something like this once, but without too much success. However players like Microsoft and Google have the technology engines to do it right. So advertisement in games could be here to stay. If it does become a success then we could well see most game publishers get bit by the money bug sooner rather than later. It would mean a whole new method of generating cash inflow for developers and publishers alike, and that means ads in games could well be the norm of the future.
Games are essentially a interactive entertainment medium so you could see yourself interacting with the ad too. Nothing is preventing developers and designers to have innovative ways to get the player’s attention just so that they can earn an extra buck. Does this mean, our experience with games will soon be marred by ads? Well frankly I don’t know. As a player I wouldn’t want to have nagging ads in an otherwise intense gameplay. But as a developer or a publisher, I could earn an extra buck every time a player interacts with an ad. It’s essentially who wins in the end. I hope sanity prevails.
Hmm… so the next time I am fragging Stroggs on Stroggos I guess I shouldn’t be surprised to see a hoarding inside the game saying, “Matrimony Online! Come Find Your Life Partner!” or “Get your degree online! No need to study, just play games!”. Or ..ooh, we could we have a Commercial-Break in a middle of a game, “HappyDent White Chewing-gum. Keeps your teeth shining white so you can see Alien HellSpawn in the Dark!”. Nice, can’t wait to see that day!