7.16.2007

C'mon, Ad Guys

These days, games are EXPENSIVE to make. Lost Planet cost $20 million to make. That's roughly 33,000 iPhones, for those of you who don't believe in paper currency. So how can developers afford to keep up with the pace with which production values are increasing? I will tell you how - in-game advertising.

I know, I know. For a lot of gamers, advertising is a dirty word. Gamers don't want their pastime corrupted by corporate intervention around every turn. Think of it this way, though. Without advertising, we would have to pay for so many things we take for granted - radio, broadcast TV, Google...pretty much everything needed to survive, except food (which you can get from advertising if you play your cards right). I, on the other hand, embrace in-game ads, and have decided to take it upon myself to help developers tap the full ad potential of their games. Read on for the exploitation magic:

Top 5 Revolutionary Ad Placements
5) Own the Health Meter
This works for any game featuring combat. Why call a player's vitality their "health"? That's been done 1,000 times before. Be original AND profitable by calling it something branded:
Rob: Dude, you hit me with that grenade! I'm on your team!
Andy: Sorry! I thought you were on the other team
Rob: Man, you took my Gatorade Meter down. Now I'm only 59% quenched!

4) Villainize the Competitor
Sure, you could use product placement to get players to admire an advertiser's products, but why not make them hate competing products, while you're at it?
You equip the Adidas cap. -20 coolness points.
You drink the Mountain Dew. You die from a stomach ache.
"Quick! Use your Macbook to fight the virus!" "I can't! It keeps overheating!"

3) Maximize Product Placement
Think a brand is off-limits just because your game is set in Ancient Egypt? Think again. Sure, they probably didn't have Pepsi back then, but the player's don't know that...

2) Create New Lingo
Game set in the future = gold mine. Remember the Smurfs? They said "Smurf" about every 8 seconds. Why not make a brand the hip slang in your alternate universe?
"Oh Rolex! Did you see that??"
"What the Rolex just happened?"
"That guy just Rolexed over that building!"
"You must be Rolexing me.."

1) Sell the Whole Friggin Game!
Why waste time trying to sell off bits and pieces of your game? Just sell off the whole thing! Instead of paying to use a popular license, GET PAID to use a popular brand name with comparable results:
Lord of the Rings -> Lord of the Cartiers
Captain America -> Captain Geico
Halo 3 -> Helio 3
Killer 7 -> Killer 7-Eleven
The Fantastic Four -> The Fanta-stic Four

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