In Game Advertising: Google Acquires Adscape

    March 19, 2007

Continuing it’s efforts toward exerting advertising dominance within the Web 2.0 sphere, Google has announced the acquisition of Adscape, a small San Francisco based advertising firm that specializes in developing integrated in-game advertising for an assortment of clients.

Rumors started swirling last month about Google’s plans to buy Adscape, but neither company had made any sort of official announcement about the deal until late last week. Although it is speculated that Google will be shelling out somewhere around $23 million to buy the advertising company, the Internet search giant states that the terms and conditions of the deal are officially closed.

Of course, video game advertising isn’t exactly a revolutionary concept. Massive Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Games (MMORPGs) such as The Matrix Online and Planetside have partnered with companies such as Massive Incorporated for some time now in order to develop targeted yet non-intrusive in-game ads.

While Adscape isn’t on Massive’s level yet, Google hopes that its prior successes in the advertising field will fuel growth within the gaming sector.

There’s no denying the fact that the 18-24 demographic is highly sought after for marketing purposes. As more adults within this age bracket continue to spend less time watching television and more time in multiplayer first person shooter deathmatches, finding relevant ways to advertise products and services becomes increasingly challenging.

Google is hopeful, if not vague however, about its ability to reach the modern gamer:

We don’t release specific projections but we think there is great value in video game advertising. As more and more people spend time playing video games, we think we can create opportunities for advertisers to reach their target audiences while maintaining a high quality, engaging user experience. That said, we will test ways of successfully implementing this form of advertising and Adscape’s technology will be instrumental in those tests.

It will be interesting to see how Google gets its game on in trying to market to gamers, a group that historically can be pretty unforgiving of anything felt to be intrusive or counterintuitive to an immersive game experience.