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Google: AdSense for Games


Two interesting posts regard to Google’s push into in-game advertising.  I spoke with them about VAG, and will see if it makes sense instead of doing deals with Massive, Double Fusion, or Eyeblaster. 

What Google is, and isn’t, doing in video games Todd Bishop’s Microsoft Blog Source: Todd Bishop, P-I reporter

Google’s appearance on the agenda at the Casual Connect game convention in Seattle this week no doubt made people wonder about the extent of the company’s plans in the industry. So Google’s Bernie Stolar, a video-game veteran, addressed that question at the outset of the company’s session today.

"I’m going to be very clear right now," Stolar said. "Google is involved in in-game advertising. I’m going to say it one more time, in case there’s any misconceptions here: in-game advertising. This is an area that Google believes will have tremendous growth over the next number of years. …"

"No Gbox, Bernie?" asked Google’s Greg Schaffer, playing along.

Nope, no plans for a console, Stolar said. And no "Google Live," no video-game portal, and no video-game search, he said. Later, Stolar reiterated, "We are not going to be a publisher or a developer or a portal for games, at all. That’s the jobs of everybody here. That’s why we want to partner with you."

OK, we get the message. But what Google is doing in video games is still pretty interesting. Among other things, it gives Microsoft and its team from Massive some serious company in the video-game advertising market.

Specifically, Google outlined plans for "AdSense for Games," applying concepts from its existing AdSense program to video games.

That means game publishers will be able to use the Google system to put advertising in their games, and advertisers will be able to work through the Google system to buy ad space within games. Schaffer said it will start with ads in Web-based games, with plans to move into PC and console games later on.

During the public session, the Google team didn’t show examples of what the ads will look like, telling the attendees to contact the company individually. Later, Google product marketing representative Eva Woo said the ads will be both video and text-based. Asked when the system will be rolled out, Schaffer said, "soon."

Although the Wednesday session provided new details about Google’s plans, the company’s intentions to enter the market have been apparent since its acquisition earlier this year of AdScape Media, where Schaffer was vice president of sales and Stolar was chairman.

Posted by Todd Bishop at July 18, 2007 3:14 p.m. Categories: Google, Video Games, Windows Live, MSN & Internet Services

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Google’s got game, casual game that is Written by Wagner James Au Source: http://gigaom.com/2007/07/21/googles-got-game-casual-game-that-is/ Saturday, July 21, 2007 at 5:47 PM PT

Whatever tumbles its stock is taking, one thing is clear: the search giant is dead serious about casual games. That’s the gist from their "AdSense for Games" presentation at last week’s Casual Connect conference in Seattle, and if the specifics are still sketchy, the salient point is that Google is actively optimizing AdSense to work with Web-based casual games. If they deliver the goods, this is revolutionary news for game development, and the Net in general. The AdSense for Games initiative is co-led by game industry veteran Bernie Stolar, whose experience is mainly in consoles, but the initial focus, according to a report from the presentation, is "ads in Web-based games, with plans to move into PC and console games later on." Why is this revolutionary? Well, let’s run with a specific example: when I profiled the creator of the enormously popular Desktop Tower Defense, he told me his Flash game was generating 20 million page views a month. At the time, his main revenue source was AdSense, and if it was a normal website, that would likely translate into tens of thousands in ad dollars monthly. But as it turned out, he was only making high four figures per month- great for a one-man development team, but not enough to build a larger business on. The problem was that few players clicked through his AdSense strip, because it couldn’t be ideally integrated into the game’s Flash panel. An AdSense optimized to Flash and other game-centric platforms would mean more revenue, would mean more companies jumping into this space, would mean tremendous shifts toward an audience of casual gamers which is (as the presentation noted), upwards of 200 million. The size of this audience cannot be understated: 1 in 4 of all Web users visit gaming sites, primarily to play casual titles. So a system which monetized this usage better wouldn’t just influence the game industry, but the development and direction of the Web in general.

But once again, details remain vague, with Adsense for Games’ rollout planned "soon". So whether it changes the Internet business or just enhances it remains to be seen.

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