The other day, I read this article about how video games are poised to become big businesses for advertisers, as more and more companies pay real money for virtual ads posted in the cyber-worlds created by gaming companies.
According to one of Yankee Group’s latest reports, it seems that advertisers are finding greater value and return on investment from in-game advertising.
The report estimated that advertisers spent approximately $56m placing ads in video games in 2005, up from $34m in 2004, and that the market shows no signs of slowing.
I’ve already seen a bunch of games that show in-game ads, and I too expect it will double and triple as advertisers try to stick their logos and offers in every available space in front of our eyes, both virtually and in reality.
I think this could make game design an even more lucrative business for companies, but they should at least be decent enough to lower the prices of the games. Shoving ads everywhere and still making us pay a high price for the games isn’t quite a good deal for us.
I also think that ads of this nature, if used, should be discreet, not splashed all over the place, and that they should certainly not affect game play or make it annoying.
For example, if in Grand Theft Auto, the character were to go into a KFC instead of a Cluckin’ Bell, or into a Gold’s Gym instead of Los Santos Gym, it wouldn’t affect the gameplay and could still be good advertising.