In-Game Ad Networks: Help Me Help You Cut Through the Hype

Seems lately Massive adds new games to its ad network at the rate of about one a week. Its latest deal is for ad representation in console title Major League Baseball 2K6 from 2K Sports, a publishing label of Take-Two Interactive. It’s an interesting announcement partly because it coincides with baseball’s opening week and partly because the company has been trying to get a foothold in the console market.

But I’m having trouble getting some basic questions answered. What’s the addressable audience for this game? How much of Massive’s network is in console vs. PC games? Seemingly ordinary questions, but neither Take-Two nor Massive would address them. Why so secretive?

I don’t mean to single out Massive. Two other in-game ad firms were recently implicated in a weird scheme to circumvent the publisher of the game Counterstrike and sell ads directly through the company’s outsourced network of servers. Word was the advertisers didn’t know this, and weren’t happy to discover it.

We need more transparency from these companies. I’ll be at the Advertising in Games Forum in New York next week. Feel free to reach out to me if you’ll be there and want to compare notes on the ins and outs of the networks/in-game ad representation firms.

Related reading