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News Drama Platform New platform launches to bring TV ads to console games

IbizaPocholo

NeoGAFs Kent Brockman
Dec 1, 2014
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ibiza

After months of testing, marketers are finally going to be able to start running video ads within console and PC games.

Why it matters: In-game advertising, a linchpin of mobile gaming, could be very lucrative for console and PC developers. But studios have been hesitant to adopt them, fearing that a clunky ad experience would mess with user engagement.

Driving the news: A first-of-its-kind in-game advertising platform called playerWON launches this week, allowing big-name marketers that are used to running splashy TV ads the ability to target younger demographics with similar types of spots that will run in video games.

  • The platform, which is owned and operated by Simulmedia, a TV ad tech company, will let users determine whether they want to watch a 15 or 30-second video ad in exchange for being able to unlock exclusive gaming perks.
  • Simulmedia has struck deals with some of the world's biggest gaming studios, including Electronic Arts (EA) and Tencent's Hi-Rez Studios, its EVP, Gaming and OTT Dave Madden told Axios.
How it works: Simulmedia, which has been testing console gaming ads for over a year, collects and vets ad spots from big brands that would typically run on TV.

  • Using Simulmedia's technology, developers can code those ads into their games. They then can decide which rewards to provide to gamers in exchange for them to agree to watch an ad.
  • Through its ad server, Simulmedia is able to see whether an ad is completed. It then sends a notification that you can release rewards to the player. Rewards can vary from in-game currency to skins (costumes) for gaming avatars.
  • In its research, Simulmedia has found that players are willing to watch up to 10 ads per day in order to unlock free perks. The company is able to calculate how much video inventory it needs to provide gaming companies by multiplying a games daily active user (DAU) count by 10.
Be smart: "The acceleration of Free-to-play (F2P) games across Console and PC, like Fortnite, Apex Legends, Call of Duty Warzone and Roblox, means that audiences and play time have seen explosive growth, yet the vast majority of players, over 90%, never spend money F2P games," Madden said.

The big picture: Marketers need a way to reach younger gaming audiences ages 18-34 that are mostly cord-cutters. In-game ads are cheaper and more efficient than brand integrations, which is what advertisers have working with to-date.

  • Because that audience is so highly sought-after, streamers are able to charge a premium for digital TV ads that target younger consumers. In-game ads, which are controlled by the gamer, are much cheaper, per Madden.
  • Data from one of Simulmedia's pilot campaigns with Smite, a F2P multiplayer battle arena game from Tencent's Hi-Rez Studios, shows that players were much more likely (22%) to play a game and spend money within the game (11%), if they watched in-game ads that gave them access to more gaming perks.
By the numbers: A 2020 analysis from Morgan Stanley finds that that reward-based console advertising could reach $2 billion even if only 45% of gamers opt-in

  • Ads that run twice per hour would have an average cost per thousand (CPM) of roughly $20 — which is dramatically cheaper than what most marketers would pay for to run ads on TV or even via some streaming services.
What's next: Madden said the goal is to contiune building out a network of advertisers and games that they can connect through its platform, growing the nascent in-console ad market.

  • It plans to launch in-game ads in roughly a dozen more games by the year's end.
Spongebob Squarepants Popcorn GIF
 
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PerfectDark

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Nov 12, 2018
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EA is a garbage company. They put out the most spam/junk of any devs. They ruined Football and Star Wars. I refuse to watch any ads period. My time is too valuable to waste it on idiots spamming me.

If I can avoid/skip ads I will change a channel or do anything possible to avoid them.

They are not even ads. Lets be real. Its spam.
 
Oct 16, 2017
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From the very beginning of gaming, the idea of adverts had always been there.

What stops it so far, is that most of the time the companies are too busy imagining all the money they would earn, that they forget to make a game anyone would actually want to play. So you get a bunch of ads attached to a shity game.

Fundamentally ads offer a worse gaming experience. So it is very difficult to make the tradeoff that makes sense, when it is hard enough to make games that actually sell well as it is.

Making a popular game is already a crapshot. And not even major game studios manage it all the time. Adding ads is just self-sabotage for short term gain.
 

peter42O

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Aug 9, 2014
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The platform, which is owned and operated by Simulmedia, a TV ad tech company, will let users determine whether they want to watch a 15 or 30-second video ad in exchange for being able to unlock exclusive gaming perks.
So basically if you don't watch the ad, you won't be able to unlock the exclusive perks? If so, that sounds optional to me which I can easily ignore since im not going to care about unlocking in game perks.
 

Darklor01

Might need to stop sniffing glue
Jan 28, 2012
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Has nothing to do with rationalizing any of it because loving/hating it isn't going to change any of it so instead of crying about it, as long as I can ignore/avoid it to where it doesn't affect the game for me, that's all I care about.
I agree that nothing I do will stop this from happening, at least it could be limited to some companies and the titles within their umbrella.

I could decide not to play the games those companies release, but, if I really want to play their game, I’d have to hope it’s purely optional, doesn’t detract from the game and perks are only for cosmetic perks.
 
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reinking

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Jun 1, 2020
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Will PC games be included and if they ever force ads will someone find a way around them? That would definitely seal the deal for me to go PC exclusive.
 

Phase

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Has nothing to do with rationalizing any of it because loving/hating it isn't going to change any of it so instead of crying about it, as long as I can ignore/avoid it to where it doesn't affect the game for me, that's all I care about.
This is how it starts. You have a choice now, but when they want more money the infrastructure will be there and all they'll have to do is flip a switch, and then it's permanent. The smart thing is to actively fight against it while they're laying the groundwork for this bullshit.
 

Trogdor1123

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Mar 2, 2012
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I agree that nothing I do will stop this from happening, at least it could be limited to some companies and the titles within their umbrella.

I could decide not to play the games those companies release, but, if I really want to play their game, I’d have to hope it’s purely optional, doesn’t detract from the game and perks are only for cosmetic perks.
You are lying to yourself if you think it will end there.
 
Oct 26, 2018
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I dont care about perks or mtx kinds of shit, so I wont use it. Last time I bought anything extra was a MW3 map pack 10 years ago.

But given how F2P games are making billions of bucks from people buying trinkets and gear, dont be surprised if tons of people actually catch on and love it.
 
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Oct 26, 2018
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"Will you take the shotgun?"

"YES."

"You need to watch the Pizza Hut Commercial before you can unlock the shotgun, or pay $4.99 at Resident Evil 9's Store Page."
LOL. That's actually a great example.

I'm sitting here thinking it'll be a passive approach like EA or Activision says here's a menu screen listing perks or character skins. Watch an ad if you want the AK-47 skin.

But your example makes more sense from a seedy money grubbing way. Walk up to a wooden chest. Open. Watch ad to collect content.
 

Shubh_C63

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Dec 6, 2016
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The platform, which is owned and operated by Simulmedia, a TV ad tech company, will let users determine whether they want to watch a 15 or 30-second video ad in exchange for being able to unlock exclusive gaming perks.
I don't even need to read the rest of it.

Just f*** you. Imagine this while playing Just Cause 4.
 

Kagey K

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Dec 18, 2013
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I won't buy a single game which has commercials in it. No matter the reviews or whatever. Just no.
There are a ton of games with ads in them already.

Granted none are as bad as pausing for commercial breaks, but they are still there.

Jet Moto with the Mountain Dew stuff or the first Fight Night with Burger King, going so far as to fight the King at one point.
 

TheGrat1

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Jun 2, 2020
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I remember there being ads during the loading screens in Wipeout HD. Did not really bother me.
 

Robb

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Feb 12, 2021
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I knew EA would be part of this before even entering the thread. I can already imagine them adding 'commercial breaks' when you enter halftime in FIFA..