EA Realising In-Game Ads Maybe Aren’t The Best Thing Ever

EA Realising In-Game Ads Maybe Aren’t The Best Thing Ever

A few years back, it seemed in-game advertising was going to ruin everything. That…hasn’t really happened, with EA saying that the business has been eclipsed by one more lucrative for publishers.

“We actually aren’t getting much from ad revenue at all”, EA’s Ben Cousins tells Edge. “The in-game advertising business hasn’t grown as fast as people expected it to.”

Using Cousin’s experience with Battlefield Heroes as an example, he says “We hedged our bets. We thought we’d do in-game advertising and virtual goods sales, and one of those took off really fast and the other hasn’t really taken off at all.”

The one that took off being virtual goods sales.

There are of course exceptions to this – advertising has always, and will always work in sports games, as we’re conditioned to seeing it via television broadcasts – but hopefully the fact it hasn’t taken off in normal games (well, most games) means publishers are spooked off the practice.

Or can at least find more tasteful ways of implementing it.

EA: In-Game Ads No Great Shakes [Edge]


  • Just like TV shows, I prefer product placement instead of ads.

    In Fallout 3/New Vegas, why not have Coca Cola instead of Nuka Cola and collect revenue from it? Makes no difference gameplay wise, isn’t intrusive, and gives the developers money.

    • I would find that extremely annoying. It’s meant to be a parody, not a copy.

      I’m okay with billboards in cities with actual ads and… that’s about it. Maybe a shot here and there with a Sony watch or phone.

    • ^ Nuka Cola is radioactive.. Coca Cola would rather you believe that Coke isn’t. Not that I’ve tested it. Anyone got a Geiger counter handy?

    • It break immersion if you see brands and icons. To make a successful game you have to go out and beyond to craft a world that draws in a viewer… But if you suddenly see that your mana potion has a pepsi logo on it… You start to fall out of the game world.

    • Dear god, hahaha, I agree with you in spirit but you picked the wrong fan-base to use as an example there. Fallout fans (at least the old ones from the strategy days) are notorious for their fury, especially things that change original parts of the game, no matter how small.

      Ask one whether a Deathclaw is furry or not, I dare you =)

    • It may not make a difference in regards to actual functionality in-game, but it does to many of the fans of previous Fallout games.

      Nuka Cola is a staple of the Fallout series, amongst many other things. Keeping close to those staples is why many old-school Fallout fans were willing to give Fallout 3 a try, despite being radically different to what they wanted as fans. If you take away those staples, most Fallout fans will just write the game off as some sort of abomination that is Fallout in name but not in nature.

      Really, this same reasoning (although less on the advertising side) is why Devil May Cry fans are up in arms about the current attempt at a reboot. There is really nothing there that makes it feel like a DMC game, despite them naming it DmC and calling the main character Dante, even though he happens to be nothing like what the fans remember him to be.

      Sure, advertising CAN have a place in certain games. Throwing current advertising into a sports title makes sense. But pushing advertising onto a series that has thrived on its ability to have pisstakes or knock-offs of actual products (but put into a future timeline) takes away a part of what makes that franchise great.

  • Obvious product placing in movies in games can do one of two things: irritate the viewer/player or make the whole thing seem a bit more real. I know when I saw The Island and saw a logo for xbox, MSN and such it kinda made sense. This wasn’t that far into the future, those companies are likely to still be around. I knew it was there for revenue, but it still made it more immersive.

  • I also don’t mind billboards in Racing Games, but I don’t want to see Stage 3 bought to you buy Mc Donalds new Ultra Burger, is it better than the other Burgers, only if you Like Games.

    • Thats kinda how Wipeout HD feels, with the ads during loading times. Sitting through the same ad for Dinner for Shcmucks between each race made me hate that movie, and I haven’t even seen it.

      If they had played the video on a billboard somewhere along the track, I would have been impressed. Just catching glimpses of the video while racing would spur interest more, and a giant video billboard would fit in well with the city-of-the-future ambience.

      The tracks are already covered in fake ads. I don’t understand why they don’t just replace them all with Wipeout-esque ads for real products.

  • I’d much prefer in game ads over virtual item sales. It’s inevitable that eventually a developer gets it wrong and makes a game that is completely crud for a person who only has the bare basics.

  • Only time I’ve enjoyed ingame adds was in the Matrix Online. It made sense for the billboards to advertise real life stuff.

    Though it did get a bit weird when they were advertising Constantine with Keanu Reeves face up there. “Isn’t that Neo? He’s alive? The machines have wiped his brain!”

    Broke the immersion just a tad.

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