In-game advertising has been a big deal lately on both sides of the coding desks. Publishers want it included for more revenues, while gamers only will tolerate it if the ad money reduces the purchase cost of the games that feature it. Neither side is truly unreasonable in a business sense, which is why many people have been keeping an eye on which games will feature the controversial topic.
Now, you can add one of the most popular games ever to that list - Counter-Strike: Source. Valve has apparently struck a deal
with advertising firm IGA Worldwide for what is reportedly the biggest in-game ad campaign yet. Soon, you'll be able to shoot the terrorists while thinking of your shampoo at the same time. Exciting, no?
It's no wonder that CS:S would be a prime target for the ad industry. The game generates over 5 billion minutes of views for many spots on its maps - per month
. That makes billboard advertising almost pale in comparison, and even beats the monthly views of a top-ranked one hour television show in the US.
Justin Townsend, CEO of IGA Worldwide, had this to say:
"This exclusive agreement between IGA Worldwide and Valve adds significant value to our network and provides brands with a surefire way to reach millions of consumers with high impact advertising, and with highly measurable results."
Before you go getting your poison keyboard to send some hate-filled emails, though, you should at least hear some of what Valve has planned for the money. Not all
of the tremendous profits from your attention will go straight to the company's coffers. Instead, Gabe Newell and company have promised to spend at least some of that money on helping to fund new mod projects for the game.
All in all, it will be interesting to see how this will unfold in the game world. Valve has a chance to really do this right, using the bonus revenues to bring down the cost of its own games as well as fund new and innovative projects. However, it's always hard to resist the urge to stuff a few more bucks in your pockets.
Whatever the outcome, maybe we'll see some of the old dancing-over-the-corpse moves finally retired. Instead of crouching and standing, you can lather, rinse, and repeat.
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