Articles of Interest

Mostly quiet, save for bits of good news for the ads-in-games folk:

  • According to a new study, 15% to 21% of gamers are “unlikely” to play games that include ads. Since these numbers appear to include all forms of advertising (including the obvious kind), I’d imagine that the intolerance numbers for well-crafted product placements are probably much lower. After all, many players are unlikely to even perceive such placements as ads.
  • Via Ilya, news that consumer brands (and their agency reps) were prowling E3 this year in search of games that might make fertile ground for placements.

3 responses to “Articles of Interest

  1. I recall having a discussion with you about this. In fact it was something like, “Dave, I have come up with the most heinous idea ever!” My idea was to place ingame ads at all the weapon points in FPS games. My initial reaction was that the idea was so intensely evil that I would likely retire off the profits. Then I think another friend reminded me that I would be a new member of the most hated click.
    Well done product placement could possibly work (like drink a Mt Dew and regain health) but I have to admit the idea of paying for a game and finding ads in them does turn me off at a gut level.
    I think possibly from my reaction to ads at the begining of movies now. Trailers I don’t mind but the ads actually upset me to the point that I want to leave or at least boo and jeer.
    That I think would make for interesting ingame ads. Find secret mini levels to future games or even references and images that will make the gamer think about some other title.

  2. > drink a Mt Dew and regain health

    No, see, that’s a *bad* product placement. Doesn’t make sense. Now, if drinking Mt Dew were to make you stay awake (or if you were to distill the massive amounts of sugar in it for some MacGyver-esq purpose), that would be more appropriate. Or maybe not. 😉

  3. I don’t know what happened but it appears my full comment was not posted.

    So … they are indifferent.’

    Combine those two figures and you have 79 percent of the key market sector responding that adverts in games are acceptable.

    As a Producer, I advocate the use of advertsing in games but only if the placement is suitable to the game itself. Take True Crime as an example; the team modelled a square mile or more of Los Angeles, in such context it would have been acceptable for every product to be advertised accordingly.

    However, the licensing costs would have been astronomical. I propose that beyod the basic, ‘is should be suitable to the game world’ ethics, the industry needs a code of standards which they can communicate outwardly. The code could follow something like this:

    – All game advertising must be applicable to the game world and not conflict with the core game experience. Any advertsing should compliment the game experience.
    – The developer and the licensee must agree on what type of game advertisement is acceptable before commiting to inclusion via the publisher. This includes but is not exclusiv too size, location placement, type of logo/identity/message to advertise.
    – Where feasible an external product brand should be condusive to the game experience.
    – Advertising should only be considered when it is of benefit to the developer; be it cost or time.

    Everyone remembers Tomorrow Never Dies with the BMW crashing into the HERTZ window front, and who can forget Minority Report? This type of product lingering cannot be avoided in a game world because you can only limit a players perspective so much; however, a developer should never be contractually obliged to ‘linger’ on brands.

    I would also wholly expect game advertising to offset the cost of development in some way but I have yet to see this happen. It happens in all other industries especially the magazine industry and commerical television, both of which could not fund content or programming if it wasn’t for advertising.

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