AdSense for Games

AdSense for Games appears in Wordplay, a casual Web-based game by PlayFish.

Web advertising exploded when AdSense unleashed its contextual Long Tail in 2003. Five years later, the same thing could happen to game advertising, now that Google has launched AdSense for Games.

On Tuesday night, Google announced the beta launch of its new AdSense for Games program, the search giant’s first foray into the video games market, and the long-awaited answer to the question of what the company planned to do with AdScape Media, which it bought for $23 million in February 2007.

According to Christian Oestlien, the senior product manager for AdSense for Games, the program’s beta launch will focus on the placement of a variety of forms of ads in Flash-based casual games and some larger titles.

In the beginning at least, Oestlien said, Google will work with partners like PlayFish, Mochi Media, Demand Media and Konami.

The latter, Oestlien said, would use AdSense for Games to place ads in well-known titles like Frogger and Dance Dance Revolution.

And among the initial advertisers participating in the program are eSurance, Sprint, and Sony Pictures Entertainment.

AdSense powered the rise of the niche online media, allowing for the great diversity of free ad-supported sites you see today. AdSense could do the same thing for games, encouraging the development of free independent titles once deemed too risky for most game publishers.

As a gamer, I don’t mind an ad as long as it fits into the game. Through its contextual algorithms, AdSense has done a great job of fitting into Web sites. Now let’s see how well it can fit into games.

(Via Daniel Terdiman.)

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