CEO Says In-game Advertising Is For Your Own Good

Video Game Law Blog

October 19, 2006

AAfter recent brouhaha (brouhaHA?) surrounding an ominous privacy disclaimer contained in EA's shooter game Battlefield 2142, the CEO of advertising giant IGA Worldwide has said that any incursions into gamer privacy to create targeted in-game advertising is for the good of gamers everywhere. 

IGA CEO Justin Townsend was interviewed by Gamespot on the controversial disclaimer in the game that warns players who do not want their IP addresses or "other advertising data" to be collected not to install the game on computers with internet access, or even play them at all.  Townsend made it clear that it is publishers, in this case, EA, who create the disclaimers in the first place, and that the information collected is never user-specific.  And as for collecting IP addresses, that information is never retained.  It's only to make sure that the right advertising goes to the right people, in the right language. 

Townsend also sang the praises of in-game advertising as a means of keeping the retail costs of games and consoles down for gamers

"The point I'm trying to make really is that what these gamers all want every year is lots and lots of brilliant gaming titles coming out. They want high quality and great game design. Now, a triple-A title for a previous-generation platform could cost up to $10 million to produce, and it would retail for between $50 or $60.

With the next-generation platforms–the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360–those development costs for triple-A games are going to go up threefold, potentially up to $30 million in development costs per game. And what I don't see happening is a threefold increase in retail prices to accommodate that. That would not be fair; that would not be realistic. If gamers are to expect a constant flow of high-quality, next-generation games to the marketplace, they have to understand that publishers need to find and develop new revenue streams. In-game advertising is one of those new revenue streams, therefore it's only good for the industry on the whole."

Read the whole interview at Gamespot