the in-game advertising sector is one of the industry's recent success stories – you only have to look at how the likes of IGA, Double Fusion and Massive have grown to become such a presence in a relatively short period of time.
Research carried out by IGA suggests that – if the ads are inserted with care – they can offer publishers another vital stream of revenue without disrupting the gameplay experience. Indeed, as the stats state below, more than half the people surveyed believe that in-game ads give games a more realistic feel – after all, ads for Cola-Cola are far more authentic than for some entirely fictional brand or logo plastered all over in-game billboards or pitchside banners.
Developers have also benefitted – games like Trackmania Nations, thanks to the revenues from in-game ads, have been released free of charge online. TrackMania has since racked up a phenomenal 6.9 million downloads, giving the title greater reach and its advertisers that all-important opportunity to get their brand in front of gamers.
A recent survey undertaken by IGA Worldwide has thown up some interesting conclusions – and ones that challenge what you might already think about in-game advertising. Here's a quick rundown of the main findings:
* 58 per cent cite in-game advertising as ‘more vivid and interesting than other types of advertising'
* In-game advertising is visible and well-noticed by gamers – 72 per cent of 18 to 24 year-olds notice the ads
* 64 per cent of gamers felt having in-game ads gave the game a more realistic feel
* 58 per cent consider in-game advertising more vivid and interesting than other types of advertising they have seen
* 57 per cent feel in-game advertising is a more relevant way of advertising to gamers than other types of advertising
* 62 per cent of gamers think this type of advertising is a good idea
* 62 per cent also feel brands which advertise in this way are innovative
WHAT THE GAMERS SAY
Alongside some interesting facts and figures, IGA Worldwide took real testimonials from gamers talking about what they think of in-game advertising and how it affects their gameplay experience:
I think that in-game advertising is a good idea if it helps with the cost of the game itself, but I also think that the advertising must be selected carefully to best fit its surroundings”
I think that it is good to have ads in games, as long as they are seamlessly integrated into the gameplay and are not on a splash-screen at the start of the game”
I don't mind ads in games, as long as they are unobtrusive and fit in with the style and theme of the game. Going overboard with ads would likely put me off a game slightly, but if designed to fit the specific environment to give a realistic feel it would be fine, as long as it wasn't ‘in your face' and distracting”
As long as the adverts are unobtrusive and in keeping with the game then there is no problem”