Game ad spend heading for the $US1 billion mark

Advertisers are set to dramatically increase the amount they spend for ads embedded in computer games over the next five years, according to new eMarketer research reported by MediaWeek.

Last year advertisers around the world spent $US502 million on advertising in games for consoles, PCs and online, but eMarketer forecasts that this amount will almost double to $US1 billion by 2012.

The majority of that growth is set to come from the online gaming sector, which eMarketer believes will enjoy a 133% jump in ad spending over the next five years. According to eMarketer, online players tend to be more receptive to advertising because they see them as a trade-off for access to free web games.

Console and PC games are also going to see impressive 91% growth, but the fact that these gamers usually fork out serious cash for games – and a general cynicism among the more hardcore console gaming community – mean ads in that sector tend to be more difficult to use effectively.

In-game advertising comes in a range of forms and includes “advergames”, where a game is embedded into or built around an ad. Last year just under 60%, or $US295 million, was spent on more conventional in-game ads, while 41%, or $US201 million, was spent on advergames.


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