EA signs up for more in-game ads

Megapublisher picks Microsoft-owned Massive to sell space in Madden NFL 08, Skate, and more.


Last year, Electronic Arts split its dynamic in-game advertising needs between two competing firms. IGA Worldwide was chosen to provide ads for Battlefield 2142, while Microsoft acquisition Massive, Inc. was selected for four PC and Xbox 360 games, including Need for Speed Carbon.

Today EA announced another excursion into the world of in-game ads, and the publisher is going with Massive once again. This time, Massive will provide ads for Madden NFL 08 and Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08 on the Xbox 360 and PC, and just the Xbox 360 editions of Skate, NHL 08, and NASCAR 08. In a statement explaining the company's decision, EA senior director of in-game advertising Shelby Cox said, "Massive has proven its ability to deliver relevant ads in a seamless, nondisruptive way that enhances the realism of the game environment."

Like other firms, Massive serves ads dynamically, meaning it can regularly update advertising in games on consoles with an online connection. The company's numerous other clients include Konami, Take-Two Interactive, Atari, THQ, Eidos, Vivendi Games, Sony Online Entertainment, and Ubisoft.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Join the conversation
There are 173 comments about this story
173 Comments  RefreshSorted By 
GameSpot has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to toxic conduct in comments. Any abusive, racist, sexist, threatening, bullying, vulgar, and otherwise objectionable behavior will result in moderation and/or account termination. Please keep your discussion civil.

Avatar image for koolmatty

im not bothered about ads,i actually quite like them as if i get bored and see one i read it, as you would in real life read it see what its about, even fake ads for like GTA they are funny and add realism. and people who say ill buy it cause its cheaper ya gotta think its all about buisness if they can get a couple of grand for it and it wont ruin the game they will, if someone offered you to put a sticker on a box of your producy to sponser it and you would get 100k say i know for 1 i wouldnt turn it down.

Avatar image for packernation31

The in-game ads don't affect me, I naturally ignore them...

Avatar image for Lightz39

If it makes the games more realistic like NHL with the ads along the boards then fine....

Avatar image for Chameleon1990

i don't mind ads if they make the game cheaper. but if they're there just to give EA more money to make crappy games and then buy good developers and force them to make crap games, then ads need to die.

Avatar image for haulinsacs

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Avatar image for pencilpusher69

You guys think a game like Manhunt 2 is having problems being released NOW? Wait until corporate sponsors jump on your franchises. "What do you mean you can rip off their testicles in the game? We're sorry, but that isn't what our corporate image would like to be associated with." Think that original franchises like Okami and Killer 7 will have any chance in hell of being made, when those corporate dollars are going to go directly to Madden, GTA, Halo, and the other PROVEN franchises? Who here was down on Roger Ebert about his saying games are not art? If you do believe games are art, why the hell would you be "fine" with game contents that inevetibly WILL be controlled by the sponsors? This is practically the same reason that Marvel comics has been retelling the same stories for the last 40 years. Spiderman is guaranteed to sell advertising, and a new concept will not.

Avatar image for playa42018

Games with ads in them need to be like 10-20 bucks cheaper if we're gonna be bombarded with ads. I'd play any game that has ads if it meant paying a little less for the game.

Avatar image for Morpheus09110

If there are ads scattered through a game the game should only be $10...why am I still paying for all those ads and the game if the Corps that are putting the ads in the games are paying for the game?

Avatar image for SilentHunter7

It gets annoying after a while, but as long as it doesnt kill the immersion (like if there were Microsoft ads in Assassins Creed or similar game). And they aren't plastered over everything like wallpaper, and they don't interfere with gameplay whatsoever, then I can deal.

Avatar image for Miracle_Air

Meh, if all you people can find to complain about a game is the ads... Then you should stop playing games... I really don't care, it's not like the ads are RUINING the game... And therefore I say, BRING ON THE AGE OF IN GAME ADVERTISING! The only day I'll object to ads is when buying the product IN the ad determines the direction of my game.

Avatar image for Scarabus

..but then again. I don't play EA-developed games.

Avatar image for SamuriChamploo

The only ad I really like to see is Mountain Dew. Who's with me??

Avatar image for idontexist

In game ads are a fact and this trend will continue. But that doesn't mean that I believe the reasoning (spin) behind this move from the big publishers like EA and Microsoft. Their primary reasons are: 1. Reduce development costs 2. Lower prices for games 3. Helps push riskier titles 4. Realism Most publishers say that in game ads are an effective way to quickly earn back the high development costs that go into a game. I partially agree with that. You don't start developing a game if you plan on breaking even with advertising. And if you depend on advertising, then you shouldn't make the game. Period. And EA and MS easily break even on all their big franchise. So using ads to earn back development costs is a total crock a sh*t! IT'S ABOUT MAKING MOOOOOOORRRRRREEEEE MONEY!!!!! By placing dynamic ads in games, publishers can keep making money on new ad campaigns for as long as the game is interesting to players. Games like Fight Night and Madden etc. are all games with a high replay value. But they don't have dynamic adds, so EA only cashes in once on these ads. With dynamic ads they can sell ad space like television stations do. And EA will not pass these additional earnings on to us in the form of price drops. I mean, would you?? Would you want to part with any extra earnings if you were a shareholder of EA? EA doesn't need to drop its price. We EA junkies just keep buying their digital meth. MS says that dynamic ads can help push small riskier titles easier to bigger markets. The extra revenue can help companies, like indie developers, market their product more effectively. They also say that ad revenue could result in lower prices that can help sell more risky titles. Again, I only partially agree. No ad agency in their right frigging mind will risk putting their ads in a risky title. Again, would you? So I get the choice between advertising in Madden or unknown title X. Not a difficult decision. So these low profile titles still get shafted and don't see any ad revenue and the light of day. Be very afraid of the future. I see some posts that say, that these ads ad to the realism of games. And that they aren't bothersome. I, again, agree partially with these statements. In Fight Night and Madden it's not bad. But I'm not worried about that. I worry about other games. It will become interesting to place ads in dull game play moments, like during loading screens. Hell, some publishers will even rip out their seamless loading routines for old school waiting screens, just to sell the ads. I don't want to see an ad in a game that I paid to dollar for. Movies also cost a lot of money, but you don't see film publishers pushing dynamic ads on their DVD’s, now do you? Insert your DVD of Face Off into your X360 and you get an ad for plastic surgery in your neighborhood. No how f*cked up would that be?

Avatar image for ck02623

If they're making more money by doing this they should charge less for the game. Why the hell would I buy a big commercial at full price?

Avatar image for anders925

yeah I agree that games should be cheaper now. but at the same time if this helps save them more money that they can use to develop a better game, that works too.

Avatar image for Deadly-Legion

Well, if they plaster the whole game with ads at least I think the games should have a price tag decrease since the ads help pay off the developing and releasing fee (deficit). That's just my honest opinion.

Avatar image for a7xfan7

Look around you, advertisment is everywhere. People say they want realistic games, well there you go. I think having advertisments in videogames gives them a more realistic feel. Besides, people don't realise how much money companies get from these ads. You want better game production and quality, you accept the fact that ads earn money, in life or in a game.

Avatar image for connell66

This industry would be better off if it didn't have advertising in its games. I flat out hate in-gaming advertising, and would like to kill whoever came up with the despicable idea.

Avatar image for GspotDeluxer

ya, it is realistic, but it should not be over done.

Avatar image for steven141

Good, it makes it more realistic in some ways as long as it is not overdone

Avatar image for Mastergamist

I bring up what I did before. Would you rather have a fake company being there and thus do no good for anyone, including yourself? Or would you actually like to see a real company in the game and have it do some good for a company you all seem to enjoy so much? As if anyone ever listens to common sense. But for some strange reason I'm showing hope.

Avatar image for Zelkamir

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Avatar image for les_pinner-3

Its not long until SKATE comes out in th UK and I just cant wait til I play this awesome game. Im so excited about it, this game will also beat the Tony Hawk games (even though I like playing them). But the day when this game is out Im so getting it and proberly after two week of gameplay I'll bring out a game review. Keep on gaming!

Avatar image for Scarabus

EA cutting deals that'll make them more money? What a surprise!

Avatar image for Built

as long as dis doesnt become a habit its dont bother me too much...

Avatar image for ldavidtw2000


Avatar image for haulinsacs

Actually, I don't think there are enough ads in games. Let me explain my reasoning. We have to first accept the inevitability of in-game ads. One of the most obnoxious games in terms of ads was NFS: Underground 2. People hated being beat over the head by that game's corporate logos. But you know what? It sold a zillion copies anyway on every platform. This showed EA and others that gamers don't mind ads so much. Having accepted that in-game advertising IS going to continue, all we have left is to decide how we want it to be. Personally, when I played that game I wasn't so much put off by the "Burger King" and "Best Buy" logos as I was the lack of anything else. Why does it have to be Burger King? As I drive around in my real life, I see Taco Bell, McDonald's, etc. More ads really would have made that game more immersive and not just seem like BK-town. Don't get me wrong; I don't actually LIKE this trend. I just don't see how it can be avoided given the lack of resolve on the part of all of us. Only if we: a) Stop buying ad-heavy games even/especially if they are good, and/or b) Boycott companies like BK and Best Buy if they advertise in our games, can we really ever put a stop to this. And my point is: I just don't think it's gonna happen. :(

Avatar image for Mastergamist

They've done it in movies for quite awhile. Even in some books. I kinda wished to not see it in games, especially considering they won't give us a bonus out of it. (Things like cheaper games) But it was inevitable. it's all about money to them, they won't do a thing for us except publish or develop the game. I doubt it would be as profitable as you would think either, games still cost quite a bit to make and the profits from the advertisement will never be enough to cover the expenses. So, games will remain at the price they are and we'll have to deal with this. But I fail to see the problem, they're around us everywhere, magazines, TV, movies, some books, billboard ads, etc. It won't be much different for me, and it really shouldn't for you, but to each their own. Also, what about the fake ads? Ones from companies that don't even exist. They're in games, but why? Heck I'd rather have a REAL company over a FAKE one anyday and if they receive enough money to keep in business or recover from losses, fine by me. If there's going to be a company in the game, I'd rather have it be a real one.

Avatar image for Overlord_Fiend

Honestly, i dont play sports games so i dont see (and mind) them too much. If i started seeing them in non-sports games that i play, then i'd really start to get annoyed.

Avatar image for Iffy350

They can put as many ads in their games as they want as long as they make Xbox live free on a higher level than just basic Xbox live!

Avatar image for SirTruant

Will this make the games we play any cheaper, or will it go to line the pockets of EA?

Avatar image for FawknBob

In game ads are a matter of good taste and if they can make me purchase games at a cheaper price or of higher quality because of the revenue generated by these ads, I'm all for it. However this is not necessarily the case and to be honest, it's the is not ads that really constitute a problem but the the overexposure to them ("This is brought to you by Burger King "). It's after seing the same ad 20 times in 10 minutes that make ads repulsive. However if the ads were fed via an online connection, they could be updated and the new ads would prevent being bored by same ads.The content would always be fresh and up to date and the companies in charge of In-Game ads would manage in-game ads like they would manager Internet or TV publicity. Bottom line: More ad diversity, more revenue for the developpers so they can produce big budget titles. BTW: I'd love to see L.A. Weight Loss Center Ads in Wii fit. Wouldn't be lovely....

Avatar image for tig1979

While some advertisement is neccessary like NASCAR etc with the team sponsors race sponsors and the likes, the kind of advertising this article is talking about is ridiculous, i dont mind advertising if its inkeeping with the game, like Anarchy, the futuristic citys had neon billboards with movie ads in etc but it fitted in the game, if they carry on as above its going to be the game fitting around the ads! Surely we see enough of this s**t on the TV with our 6000 ads a day???

Avatar image for dodgerblue13

Advertising and sports go hand-in-hand. You look around any type of stadium, barring the collegiate level, and you'll see handfuls of advertisements. Watch arena football, not a spot on the wall is blank for the most part. That's totally fine. If the advertisements mix in with in-game presentation, such as Gatorade cooler talk, I'm fine with it. It adds realism to sports games, which, more or less, accounts for about eighty percent of my gaming time.

Avatar image for DryvBy2

@wiifan001 That's because you're a moron. Fact is: You're paying to be advertised to. Game companies make more than enough per game. @EA Screw you guys. Your games suck anyway. You're the prime example why software piracy is still growing.

Avatar image for Brainy142

we should get a little something too.... like cheaper games for this, or free microsoft points for breaking ad bilboards LOL!

Avatar image for wiifan001

I see nothing wrong with advertising personally.

Avatar image for grandiarules

i know why not put in a half time show

Avatar image for grandiarules

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Avatar image for CylonAndrew

Sweet! Now I you can all see the ridiculously annoying adds that I have created. This comment has been brought to you by Axe. Boost your ESP! (Take that Gamespot). The next Zelda game will have in-game adds. When we see link, he will be waring Nike insted of his green outfit. Also, his horse will become a BMW! LOL! NEVER IN FANTASY GAMES. ONLY IN SPORTS!

Avatar image for aja9

EA is really starting to annoy me now. Now while it makes sense to put ads in sports games, they should at least lower the damn price of em! And another thing, what the hell was wrong with them when they decided to put out ads in battlefield 2142? That game was no place for ads and they knew it. Next thing you know they'll be putting pepsi ads in team fortress 2.

Avatar image for aja9

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Avatar image for entregan

Get ready to get hit with my Sprite Mace +2!! Coming to RPG's near you...

Avatar image for willauqs

its not all EA. GS said adds would only be on xbox and PC, not PS3.

Avatar image for dalejrgamer

In-game ads: okay in sports games and sports games only. Anywhere else is considered corporate spam.

Avatar image for niptuckSean

More awesomeness coming from EA. /sarcasm

Avatar image for rave_n2

I hate ads in games, its just so stupid.

Avatar image for sandov26

i think it makes certain game way much more realistic if you add advertisment to them such as nascar or football but there should be a limit because when you overload the game with such things the player notices that the game is trying to sell you something and it because strange and borring seeing the same ads all the time

Avatar image for payback_56

I agree, if they r getting fists full of dollars from ad companies, why cant we go back to paying $50 a game instead of $60??? I think the price raise was a joke to begin with, why DVD's cost more for the 360 instead of the reg xbox? I believe they r both just DVD disc.s....yet we pay $10 more now, for the 360 games?? and get stuck staring at random ads, like in rainbow 6, they had an add for P diddy's bad boys of comedy on sale now....who cares?

Avatar image for gimmesum29

i think that the games should be cheaper now. we should boycott this if the game is not cheaper. i think has gamers we need to make a stand. these punk are going to stuff there wallet with more money and complain about how its hard to devlop a good game. please save me your crap. SOMEBODY PLEASE CREATE A WEB-SITE. SOO WE CAN TAKE THE FIGHT TO THEM.