In-game advertising in PC-based games is expected to more than quadruple in the next three years, according to a new survey.
In the U.S., the tactic is projected to increase from $80 million in 2005 to more than $400 million in 2009, per a recent survey conducted by research firm Parks Associates. With a growing number of males 18-34 migrating from television to video games, marketers are searching for alternative ways to reach that target audience.
Males gamers are more open to in-game advertising. Some 29% of males 18-34 said they don’t mind seeing ads in games as long as it enhances game play, compared to 19% of females gamers 35-54, the survey said. Yet more gamers (38% of males 18-34 and 35% of females 35-54) said they are willing to “put up with” ads in a video game if there is a chance to win prizes.
When it comes to in-game advertising preferences, nearly half of men (49%) said they prefer product placement to pre-game ads (22%) and in-game bulletin boards (18%). Some 42% of female respondents 35-54 said they prefer pre-game ads compared to 36% who prefer product placement and 13% who favor between-level ad placement, the survey.
“In-game advertising, currently in its infancy, is poised to grow,” Yuanzhe Cai, director of Parks Associates’ broadband and gaming division, said in a statement. “Gamers are now an important form of family entertainment. Advertisers will soon realize they can reach the whole family using this medium.”
For some gamers, in-game advertising comes for a price. Gamers surveyed said they expected a discount on titles in exchange for viewing ads, the survey found. Respondents said video game discounts should range from 31% for gamers ages 13-17 and 58% for women 55 and older.
Parks Associates surveyed more than 2,000 Internet gamers who have Internet access and play games at least one hour per month on a console, portable console or PC.