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BizReport : Advertising archives : November 14, 2007

Google nears launch of in-game ad beta test

With more people playing games than watching television, Google’s AdSense for Games’ boss believes there is an untapped audience out there who would gobble up ad-supported games.

by Helen Leggatt

Bernie Stolar, Google’s head of AdSense for Games, believes that 80 percent of video-games will have incorporated an element of advertising by 2010 and, by that time, in-game advertising will be a billion dollar industry.

"If you look at research, there are more people playing games than watching television. So what does that tell you? That tells you there's a whole different audience," said Stolar. "The demographics have changed. So the rules have changed."

Stolar is also aware of the balancing act needed with in-game advertising and is conscious that over-the-top ad content would annoy consumers, causing a backlash.

A beta test featuring 15-second video ads will launch later this month in a select few of casual games publisher Bunchball Games' titles. By December, it is thought that Google will release an ad-supported version of the veteran, cult video-game Psychonauts.

Google is said to be in talks with just about every major games publisher.

Tags: AdSense for Games, Google, in-game advertising

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