Load up and move out...but don't forget your Pepsi (TM), and grab some Pizza Hut (TM) pizza on the way out the door. Product placement and in-game advertising have been some pretty hotly discussed topics as of late, and this newest bit of news will only increase the buzz. It appears that Google has bought Adscape Media
, an in-game advert firm.
The company was purportedly sold for a none-too-small $23 million. Though that may be a drop in the bucket for Google's billions in yearly revenue, it is still no miniscule chunk of change. Google is not a company to do things only half way, and it is known for being very wise with its spending. Therefore, a move like this really shows how much of a real target we gamers are becoming.
It will be interesting to see what is the first thing to come out of this acquisition, and whether or not Google will choose to be careful about which adverts it allows. Gamers are worried that in-game advertising could break up a richly detailed environment by placing ads that don't fit the theme of a game. Until Google makes a statement about how it will proceed, that worry may not be just rampant paranoia - AdSense has been known to post some pretty inappropriate things before.
Details of the deal surfaced late last week as rumour, and so far Google seems intent on keeping it filed in that category. The company has declined to comment on what it calls "market rumours and speculation," which is usually a fancy way of saying "yes, but we're not going to tell you that you're right."
We'll be keeping an eye on this one, particularly on how the company intends to proceed. Until then, have you got a thought on the acquisition? Tell us about it in our forums