EA Says Google, Analysts Hyping In-Game Ad Revenues

Taking issue with estimates provided by Google and assorted market analysts, Electronic Arts Inc. CEO John Riccitiello said today that advertising from in-game revenue will not exceed $1 billion within the next three years.

Said Riccitiello:

You can’t be as bullish as analysts are on in-game advertising and be sane. In-game ad expectations are wildly high.

Analysts haven’t been the only allegedly insane individuals bullish about prospects for in-game advertising. Bernie Stolar, head of Google Inc.’s AdSense for Games unit, recently told trade publication GamesIndustry.biz that videogame ads will become a $1 billion industry by 2010.

Riccietiello begs to differ. He has good reason for skepticism, too. The Electronic Arts CEO says the videogame industry, including game publishers such as his company, needs to execute better in making room for and presenting advertisements within games. He says EA and others underestimated the difficulty of designing games, and the advertising space allocated inside them, for complex consoles such as Microsoft’s XBox 360 and Sony’s PlayStation3.

Another inhibitor of in-game advertising has been the lack of independent auditors that can measure and verify how many players are exposed to the pitches, though Riccietiello says industry efforts have been initiated to rectify that failing.

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