Tag Archives: FIfa 09

In-Game Advertising in Sports Video Games… Why It Works.

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This is a topic I have been meaning to write about for a while. As revenue models are changing throughout all industries, in particular, the video game industry seems to be very successful at finding new ways to generate the dough. The rise of DLC and microtransactions signals that companies are aware that no longer does the opportunity for increased revenue stop when a a product goes gold and is shipped out. Similarly, with the surge in popularity of online gaming on consoles, it has become easy for a company to release new content for purchase (and even easier for consumers to download).

While I am torn in my feelings on “DLC” and “microtransactions” (from a business perspective, it is genius.. from a consumer perspective, why should I pay for something that should have been included in the original game or released for free in a patch), one form of revenue that I am not opposed to is in-game advertising. Sure, if I am playing Fallout 3, I might not want to see a blown-up “Pepsi” machine as I am trying to take down some Super Mutants in the D.C. area. But in-game advertising is effective in other genres, and in particular, in sports video games.

Do I mind seeing a replay in Madden brought to me by “Subway $5 footlongs” (mmm. Subway…I digress). Absolutely not! If I were watching an NFL game on TV, I would be expecting to see sponsors everywhere. On billboards, on the field signage, before commercial breaks.. hell, I wouldn’t be shocked if Mr. Ocho Cinco himself chomped down on a footlong after scoring a touchdown (if he ever gets into the endzone again).. the point is advertising is everywhere in professional sports. The fact that it is now included in sports video games only makes the sports video gaming experience that much more authentic.

If I am playing Fifa, I love seeing signage along the borders of the field. Similarly, seeing “NBA – Where Amazing Happens” along the benches of players in NBA 2K9 (shout out to NBA Creative Services!) is nothing short of the experience I expect from watching the game on television or attending it live. In-game advertising just works. In addition, it is a great way for sponsors to become aligned both with sports brands and video game brands. See, everybody wins!

As much as President Obama (don’t worry, I am not going to get political.. although one of my life goals is to get into a pickup game with the Presidential baller) continually tells parents to “have children put down the video games”, even he recognized the potential in in-game advertising. If you played Burnout Paradise during Obama’s campaign, you probably sped down the highway and caught a glimpse of Barack on a billboard or two.

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So, in conclusion… keep the ads coming. They are effective in many ways. And now I am going to go grab some Subway (rough economy, $5 is a great deal).

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So Many Games, So Much Time…

On my days off from interning, I have a lot of spare time to game (We game in my office as well, so who am I kidding.) This is a good thing, because I can’t think of another time where there have many so many new releases worth playing. Usually, I buy one game, and pump 50 or so hours into it without touching anything else (Call of Duty 4 basically remained in my system without being ejected for 6 months). I’ll take the occasional break for a session of Madden or Fifa, but I like to really get into one game at a time.

Not the case recently. I guess starting in the Fall of ’08, I have found it impossible to limit my playing time to 1 game. Perhaps we are in the midst of a renaissance in gaming. Perhaps I need to get a job even faster now so I can afford all this gaming goodness. In any event, here are some games I have been playing and ones I look forward to (but my wallet doesn’t):

Currently in My Systems:

NBA 2K9 – I’ll always have a soft spot for NBA video games (I used to intern at the NBA), but being able to upload a replay of my Kobe buzzer-beater the other day as well as some intense matches in my office make this a great play right now.

Fifa 09 – Every year I am more impressed with the Fifa series. I will be playing a lot more of this now since I got my copy for 360, but more for the fact that Champions League has resumed.. Go Man U!

Call of Duty: World at War – After I held out of this title because I didn’t like the decision to move back to WWII, I’ve caved in and ordered it. There are simply too many friends on Live who are playing and enjoying it to ignore it any longer.

Street Fighter IV – I have yet to receive my copy (thanks Gamefly), but I am eagerly looking forward to taking it back to my childhood with some Ryu vs. Ken action.

What I am Anticipating:

MLB 09: The Show – Loved last year’s edition. I would buy it simply for the roster update, but the trash talk feature has me very excited for this year’s edition.

Halo Wars – Not a RTS fan, but loved the demo. Seems Like the multiplayer could be a lot of fun.

KILLZONE 2 – Oh how I have waited for you… No explanation necessary.

Honorable Mentions:
LittleBigPlanet – I come back to this title here and there just to see how the community levels have improved. Need more incentive to keep playing though.

Socom: Confrontation – Please fix this game. I love playing with my clan, but hate the lag.

Well, that’s all for now. Big thanks to the N4G Community for approving my news story about the site and driving a lot of traffic to it yesterday.

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