Extraordinary popular delusions and the madness of in-game ads analysts
EA chief questions sanity
Many video game industry analysts and corporate star-gazers have extravagant hopes for in-game advertising, but a peek into the horse's mouth would indicate otherwise.
According to Electronic Arts chief John Riccitiello, in-game ads currently account for less than one per cent of EA's revenue - and won't become a key source of revenue for some time.
"You can't be as bullish as analysts are on in-game advertising and be sane," Riccitello told Dow Jones Newswire. "In-game ad expectations are wildly high."
This is notable pessimism from a company with a game ad execution sharing the subtlety and tact of your average chainsaw-wielding maniac.
Analysts at Yankee Group predicted in-game ad revenue would jump to $971m in three years. Google's game unit predicted a frothingly mad $1bn in as little as two. Perhaps the lowest figure came from Parks Associates, which forecasts $400m revenues in 2009.
But even for EA, the, ah — (how to put this?) painted Jezebel of the industry, in-game ads took in about $30m for the entire year. That's out of $3.1bn in sales during 2007.
Riccitello's solution: the industry needs to make more room to place ads within games. Oh joy.
He also blames the lack of independent auditors that can monitor and verify how many players are exposed to the the punting. But fear not, Riccitello says the industry has moved to rectify this severe lack of monitoring.
Oh Lord, not even tinfoil can save us now. ®
Just like ads in DVDs... I'll take them...
... as long as they give out said games or DVDs for free.
What I will NOT do is pay for the privilege of having unwanted merchandise marketed during my "me time".
I will NOT buy DVDs or games with ads in them and will do my best to not buy products advertised in this way.
But that's just me.
Well done for ignoring advertising, yet you still buy into the biggest scam there is by paying monthly for a game you've already paid for.
Dynamic advertising in games
Nothing a properly edited hosts file or firewall can't solve. For the moment.
My problem with the whole thing is the tracking and analysis of these ads in-game that goes on. What was I looking at? For how long? How did I behave? Using up processing cycles that I'd rather go on AI calculations or whatever.
Not to mention that the shitty low-res ads that Massive or whoever try to send through jar horribly against the gloriously-rendered world that a dev team have slogged their guts out to make beautiful.
"Immersive advertising that enhances your gaming experience"? I'm not buying. It's a losing battle, but I'm bloody well going to fight it anyway.
"Will anyone even notice?"
Call me paranoid but, maybe that's their idea. You are so engrossed in the game that the ads affect you in a subliminal way i.e. processed by your subconscious with no higher brain processing.
Especially as the ads are dynamic. Static ads you will filter after the first few times you encounter them. If ads are refreshed in-game then you will notice the change.
I am pretty keen gamer. I already pay these companies for their product. I neither want them to pipe me ads nor (and I'm looking at EA here) monitor "anonymously" my web activity.
Another one who uses a list.. An advert annoys me enough? No more buying from that company. But most of what we buy these days is truly worthless crap anyway. I often regret the hours that I spent in front of a TV or games machine (or reading El Reg :) ) that could instead have been spent with a friend who is no longer around...
Sure, things can be a bit harder to find, but it does seem to improve the quality of what I end up with..
Maybe more of us should do it, become more organised, and start letting these companies know which ads piss us off the most.. Then they would stop running them.
OTOH, that would give them more of an idea of what we do like, and they might start focusing on that.... Still, would improve the TV watching experience overall I guess..