Saturday, December 17, 2005

Gamasutra: Industry Professionals Discuss Game Advertising

The gaming industry publication Gamasutra asked game professionals (free reg. required for access) whether they though that in-game advertising was going to be important to the video game industry and what business models and placement tactics would make the most sense.

"[...] The brands, and their marketing dollars, will become an integral part of all entertainment mediums."
- Brian Robbins, Fuel Industries

"There may be a growing space for smaller online game developers who can fund their game exclusively through online advertising, but that's a pretty small (or very largely distributed) game.
- Borut Pfeifer, Sony Online Entertainment

"Whether as a result of piracy in the retail space, low conversion rates in the try-and-buy sector, or reselling of used titles by the Wal-Marts of the world, a huge number of games are enjoyed by gamers without a dime going to the developers or publishers. In-game advertising is a fantastic way for developers to recoup some of the massive amount of resources that go into the creation of these games."
- Coray Seifert, Large Animal Games

"The real question for the future is what role Madison Avenue will play: will traditional ad agencies wake up and get up to speed on the medium before new game-specific marketing ventures such as Massive Incorporated leave them with nothing but table scraps? There's still a lot of low fruit on the game advertising tree, but I wouldn't bet on the big ad agencies noticing it until it's gone."
- Clark Stacey, Smart Bomb Interactive

"Revenue models are varied. Clearly billboard type ads are a shoe-in. But there are many paths to take as well: Professional athletes might charge a additional endorsement fee to allow their digital likeness to be used wearing the advertiser's products; a game might feature subway ads, taxi ads, posters; game studios could charge an additional fee to feature a company's product during a cutscene or FMV, especially if the cutscene uses the voice/likeness of a famous actor or athlete. What I don't want to see are in-game commercials!"
- Damon Tabb, ALFY Inc.

"I think that in-game advertising makes a lot of sense for Massively Multiplayer Online Games. Pay-to-play MMOGs could be made free-to-play, and thereby attract a larger audience, simply by providing rentable space for in-game advertising."
- Anonymous

"Basic ads such as billboards and subtle tactics, such as dialogue name-dropping will slowly make way into games in the future."
- Michael Rivers, Game Designers in Training

"Digital distribution will afford advertising corporations greater insight into buying habits for individual consumers, and will allow for the rearranging of in-game ads on the fly."
- Ben Serviss, Creo Ludus Entertainment

"With the growing popularity of online games, I'm pretty sure that viral marketing firms will start targeting them with a vengeance. For example, you could have a marketer start a guild in one game and after gathering a bunch of people that would like the game they're hired to market, tell their members they plan to rebuild on the other game."
- Christa Morse

"Say the player is pursuing the bad guy through an apartment building. Upon breaking into an elderly woman's apartment, she screams in fear, pausing her television viewing for a moment. On the television, the player can see and hear a fraction of that annoying Juicy Fruit commercial, or perhaps even an actual show, like CSI or Matlock. Why not?"
- Kim Jolicoeur

"I personally question any player who explicitly states they detest in-game advertising while simultaneously wearing branded clothing and drinking flavored sugar water beverages because Tiger Williams told him to."
- Ryan FitzGerald, Nihilonaut Productions

"For example, it wouldn't be in the interests of advertisers to place their ads in a game where the player can go on a shooting rampage in a shopping mall because that is ideologically opposed to consumerism."
- Ryan Bailey, Entelepon

"For years now, it seemed like games and books were the only media where it didn't seem like some nickel-slick marketer wasn't hiding around a corner trying to sell me this, that, or whatever."
- Eric Braxton


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