Google Putting AdSense in Your Games
It was only a matter of time, but Google is beginning beta testing for in-game advertising, or "AdSense for Games". On Google’s Inside AdSense Blog, Ryan Hayward writes:
As a beta user of AdSense for Games, you can display video ads, image ads, or text ads within your online games to earn revenue. You’ll be able to show these ads in placements you define, such as interstitial frames before a game, after a level change, or when a game is over. Members of our AdWords team will sell your in-game ad placements directly to top brand advertisers, and you’ll also see contextually targeted text and image ads based on content and demographic information. In addition, you’ll be able to control the ads you see on your pages using our filtering options.
These ads could become intrusive to users, but the key is that the game developers will control exactly where in the game the ads will appear, so there is the potential to make them less intrusive. This is definitely a factor developers will want to consider, because it won’t be hard for users to look elsewhere for their entertainment needs. The following video demonstrates a possible way for an ad to appear within a game:
Featured members of the network so far include: Konami, Mochimeida, Grab.com, Heavy Games, Demand Media, Armor Games, ArcadeTown, Zynga, Boonty, and Cafe.com. So far marketers on board are Sprint, Sony Pictures, and Esurance (as featured in the sample video). Google has opened the beta to developers that have a game with 500,000 plays, and have at least 80% of their traffic coming from the U.S. or the U.K.