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Electronic Arts wants more adverts in games

by on13 May 2024

Probably time to go back playing battleship

Having not learnt anything about how media streaming companies have destroyed their business model with advertising, Electronic Arts is mulling over putting adverts inside its games.

Apparently it is not enough that you pay $70 for a AAA game,  EA CEO Andrew Wilson thinks it is a wizard wheeze to ruin the game with adverts to make a buck on the side.

In the Q&A part of EA’s latest earnings call, Eric Sheridan from Goldman Sachs asked Wilson about dynamic ad insertion in traditional AAA games.

Wilson said: "…Advertising has an opportunity to be a meaningful growth driver for us." He then continued, "…we have teams internally in the company right now looking at how we do thoughtful implementations inside our game experiences."

Ads popping up in games is just the way things are going. The gaming world's advertising is supposed to be worth $583 billion by 2030. Some gamers reckon it's a right pain, but others don't mind as long as the ads aren't too in-your-face, messing with the game or nagging you to buy stuff.

Now, EA's had a bit of a nightmare with this in the past. Back in 2020, they chucked in these massive ads for 'The Boys' telly show right in the middle of UFC 4. Gamers were not having it – totally killed the vibe, it did. But fair play to EA, they pulled the ads quick smart and showed they're up for learning from their cock-ups to make ads in games better for everyone.

This whole ad malarkey in games isn't new, though. Goes way back to 'Adventureland' in '78, which had a little plug for its sequel, 'Pirate Adventure'.

When the gaming market got big in the '90s and noughties, loads of companies wanted a slice. You had games like 'Zool' and 'Push-Over' with big brand sponsors like Chupa Chups and Quavers. And some, like 'Pepsi Man', were pretty much just a giant ad.

EA's 'Need for Speed: Underground 2' in 2004 was bang on with ads on billboards everywhere, featuring real shops and eateries. Some say it was all for realism.

In 2006, GameSpot let slip that EA was going full throttle with dynamic ads in their games. 'Need for Speed Carbon' and 'Battlefield 2142' were among the first to give it a whirl. And in 2008, 'Burnout Paradise' even had political ads for Barack Obama's presidential campaign.


Last modified on 13 May 2024
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