SCEA gets into the in-game ad game

PlayStation maker establishes new advertising business unit to be headed by former Adscape head of publishing.

It's no secret that Sony has been looking to establish itself in the world of in-game advertising. Earlier this year, Sony Computer Entertainment America announced an alliance with Nielsen Media Research to develop in-game ad-tracking technology. While it's worked on that, Sony has also promoted PlayStation Home almost as much for what it can do for advertising partners as for what it can do for gamers.

Today Sony made its most overt move in the emerging field, announcing its new in-game advertising business unit, headed by an industry veteran. Sony's in-game ad business will be run by Darlene Kindler, the company's new director of network advertising. Kindler has previous experience with Nintendo of America, IREM, Data East, and most recently, in-game ad company and Google acquisition Adscape Media.

As part of her new role, Kindler will oversee SCEA's strategy for in-game ads on all PlayStation systems and the PlayStation Network. That includes PlayStation Home, where SCEA is planning to place ads on billboards, shopping bags, soda cans, TVs, and other places "where users would expect to see them in real life."

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Discussion

79 comments
gtafighter0
gtafighter0

So they delayed PlayStation Home to freakin Spring 2008 for this? Lame.

bernieberry
bernieberry

Hope they're nice ads and not too annoying.

M-ManLA
M-ManLA

Home is going to be nice

aidsta
aidsta

sounds good. it will give home a more realistic feel to it.

GrimBee
GrimBee

Whatever - if this makes them enough moolah to put the Ps2 functions back in the ps3 then thats great! But... Im not going to use Home anyways. Whats so "home" about having to walk around shiny floors, trailers playing in the background to Sony movies, banners for nike all over the place and 12 year old kids dancing in your face with stupid hats on. Not the kind of community where I want to play GAMES. I would rather access the content from a simple menu than have to walk to places and accessorise a home that you can only walk around in. I mean, a game specific menu. In home, you will have this clean and crisp community hall, you walk around it with your industry standard attire, hand selected by the system.. (grr!) and then once you doll yourself up with products, you walk around the place with all the other sheep. No chance to make yourself an individual at all. I doubt that anyone would streak around home (that would be funny). But the idea of a controlled world is not the place for me. I like rules and things, but the idea of home is to place ads in the way of your other content. So when you are on the way to the arcades to play people online in home, you will see trailers, ads, clothing, and get weird people up in your face probably trying to insult you as they have nothing else creative to do. Virtual worlds are supposed to be ESCAPES from real worlds, why would you want the real world inside your virtual one? MonkeysDad is right - Sony want home to be a virtual shopping mall. Litter the place with ads, alienate people, make them feel they are part of a community by spending their money and following the crowd... Personally, its not for me. I would rather just buy a game of my choice, earn points or whatever, see what I earned on a list. And if I want to chat to someone to play against, I simply go onto a room and log in, wait a minute or so and play a game. I would imagine going up to a stranger in home and say "hey, wanna play pong against me?" and all I would get is some emo saying "no way, that game is so old, leave me to my ads, cokacola and mcdonalds lunch, and let me be what sony want me to be, whilst I enjoy the rest of the content that I paid for"... I can see what Sony are trying to do - but with ads and control over alot of things, taking away certain freedoms and things. You are just going to get home - which is essentially a commercial break inbetween playing games and viewing your trophies. Just a chance for Sony to earn some bucks for advertising. My main irritation is that when I go to the cinema to watch a movie, the cinema is usually filled with useless and annoying chavs. For me to enjoy entertainment there, I have to put up with the ads, the nonsense and things from people like that. Home will just be a place for them to lurk around, like a mall, people play games and watch movies and trailers at home to AVOID such things like that. :(

MonkeysDad
MonkeysDad

So Home turns out to be a virtual mall. Hey kids, hang out with your friends and be marketed at mercilessly! Pass.

HXCDEW
HXCDEW

As long as ads aren't obtrusive, and make sense in the game's setting and context, I have no problem with it. The ads in BF2142 for example, I didn't even notice them until months after playing the damn game. Home has great potential for some really creative online advertising, since it's a 3D virtual reality so you will see "banner" ads like literally. Hopefully the money they earn will be spent on constantly improving the Playstation network to get it on par with XBL.

teirdome
teirdome

Still torn. Games are my escape from reality after a long day at work (Gamespot's my escape while I'm at work...). I don't want to hear about the Coke vs. Pepsi wars in the zombified McDonalds in the next Resident Evil, that's one of the scenarios I could see if in-game adverts are allowed to run rampant.

spikeyste
spikeyste

I'm sure they would only use the advertising in an appropriate nature, they wouldn't use it in games such as Heavenly Sword where it just doesn't fit, but games like Burnout, say, screaming down the road past billboards with real products, it just adds to the realism, which is basically what next-gen is all about. As for Home, there was talk about businesses getting involved early on, so it makes sense that advertising would play it's part, but rather than plaster the virtual world with ads, I think it would be put to better use if there was some kind of shopping area, where these businesses can promote it's products, it'll be just like the internet, but more interactive.

No-Go-Zone
No-Go-Zone

Moe your bang on... spend it on what we as gamers want not what sony 'wants'

MoeSyslak
MoeSyslak

As long as the money goes towards improving the network and not for the champane and hookers at the sonys annual meeting. I'm not fussed

mikewalsh69
mikewalsh69

i dont care about the ads. the like the @ads by google@ thingy on every website. i never to click on them. as long as they aren't pop-ups it'll be alright (god i hate those fricken pop-ups)

JamesL007
JamesL007

I am ok with this, as long as the ads don't interfere with the game. As long as I don't have to sit and wait though a commerical to load or play a game I am ok with it.

ocdog45
ocdog45

in game adds are not a big deal people, nobody really pays attention to that

ihma
ihma

wouldnt ppl need to start BUYING a ps3 for this to work?

seamusb
seamusb

As long as the ads aren't too intrusive I see no problem with this.

chupamelpo
chupamelpo

well that's nice, sony is focusing on this, instead on the sorry game lineup coming for the following months

NandoSupes
NandoSupes

I don't really mind ads in Home why?, because if the service is free( so far SCEA says it is) why complain about it?. is a free service. I'm not going into Home to look at the next Sprite drink or Domino's Pizza crap,to me is all about the gaming and the games,a few ads wont kill me.

pixelsword
pixelsword

It's not what it seems. I'm not saying that I'm in the beta or not, or have sensitive info or not, but if it goes as planned, it will be... nice.

woofie13
woofie13

hmm, hopefully it doesn't get too out of hand. I hope they're nice ads and not the annoying types. I'll be fine with a little advertising to give sony some money. I mean, home and sony online are free. I'm happy.

blancobo
blancobo

this is kind of a SAD move. This was one of the few places where this kind of crap was not found, and now even the virtual space of HOME may turn into a media circus. A sad day in the history of Sony gaming...

Sigil-otaku
Sigil-otaku

I think the in game ads idea is just a bit devious and cheap, they have a store in the playstation network so whatever they're selling can be bougt there (unless it's real world stuff which should be advertised in the real world). Atleast it goes to keeping the PSN free though which is more than can be said for MS which charges anything it can.

dibbitson
dibbitson

small ads r ok but when they put ads everywhere on games it starts to get annoying. but its good they have some advertising coz then the game might be cheaper and they'll have enough money to make more

ObjectiveTruth
ObjectiveTruth

I don't mind in game advert too much as long as its in small spots. The problem is when the same adverts start showing up every 5 seconds in the game. You may think this will not happen but it will. What advert company is going to pay all that money to have something small and insignificant on one handbag or 1 billboard in a game. Its going to be everywhere.. a sad day for gaming. Anyways i'll stick to my far superior XBL to the PSN. Remember, you got what you pay for!

X-RS
X-RS

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Some_One_Plays
Some_One_Plays

This will keep the noobs informed, lol (I couldn't resist).

stunt_boarder03
stunt_boarder03

Awesome idea... I don't mind having ads on Playstation Home because it will keep the project free. In addition, in-game advertising will provide a significant amount of revenue to Sony, and will help offset their losses on the PS3.

EcoJak
EcoJak

cool sounds good 2 me

Dace67
Dace67

Well I guess Sony needs to make up all the money it's been losing on the PS3 somehow...

K-E316
K-E316

I dont mind at all.

EmtvDefJam
EmtvDefJam

as long as this is a way for Sony to keep the Playstation Network and Home free of cost to its users, I'm all for it.

Serious
Serious

very smart. I for one don't mind ads in games adds a sense of realism to the game since we have ads in the real world. I bet microsoft will take this to the greed level and place commercials between video game cut scenes. lol just kidding.

rusty_ghia
rusty_ghia

Put ads into a game, and I won't buy it. Simple as that. I play for the fantasy aspect; to get away from the doldrums of everyday life. Putting advertisements into a game just ruins the experience for me.

GIJames248
GIJames248

It may be worth it if it can keep them from nickle-and-diming us like MS.

felshs
felshs

who care???really

lamprey263
lamprey263

well, I just hope Home is able to handle all the streaming on top of everything else

ChrisDESTROY
ChrisDESTROY

"Oh christ no... Over PSN sure, i could understand they want to keep online free, thats fine. But keep the ads OUT of the games! Unless they enhance realism, they do not need to be there unless they reduce the cost of the product for the consumer. As is often the case however, both the developer and the consumer get cheated by the suits behind the desks, the ads reduce the development cost of the game, allowing more room for profit selling the games at full price, a despicable tactic." but developers have to make a profit to grow therefore increased profit should lead to a growth in the gaming industry which will benefit us with a wider range of games to choose from

8bit16bitsowhat
8bit16bitsowhat

who cares, whats the big deal. its not like the ads are gonna make the gameplay any different. or do people get offended by seeing everyday products they probalbly use on a videogame. how lame

RgvXavi
RgvXavi

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

chibi-acer
chibi-acer

In games ads don't bother me. It's the fact that advertisers are willing to play tons of money for the ads that puzzles me. You can plaster Pepsi logos all over Home and it still won't make me drink Pepsi over Coke. Whatever.

CLeRKSfan4life
CLeRKSfan4life

This is crap. I don't mind the odd advert or sports games that have sponsors and stuff like in real life but I'd hate to be playing GTA and drive past a huge McDonalds sign or drink official Pepsi. It'd break the "reality" of the in game world. It was bad enough in Crazy Taxi. "Take me to KFC!" Take me to the Original Levi's store!" In game adverts should only be used in Non sports games if they are puns that play on the original Title. Much like "Getalife" in GTA IV.

Temmehkan
Temmehkan

i've got no problem with it, i just don't want get resistance! ad while playing heavenly sword, keep it with the game and there will be no problems, home will make it easier since u can really put anything there

carljohnson3456
carljohnson3456

"Aretorihc Advertising in games is one of the worst aspects of this 'new' generation. Get used to it though, it's not going to go away." Very true. The 'new' generation is a very different generation than we've ever seen before. Kinda sucks... but I'm enjoying games now more than ever so...

Aretorihc
Aretorihc

Advertising in games is one of the worst aspects of this 'new' generation. Get used to it though, it's not going to go away.

diablobasher
diablobasher

Oh christ no... Over PSN sure, i could understand they want to keep online free, thats fine. But keep the ads OUT of the games! Unless they enhance realism, they do not need to be there unless they reduce the cost of the product for the consumer. As is often the case however, both the developer and the consumer get cheated by the suits behind the desks, the ads reduce the development cost of the game, allowing more room for profit selling the games at full price, a despicable tactic.