Double Fusion, an in-game advertising company, has received an infusion of 26 million dollars from a group of venture capitalists, including Norwest Venture Partners, Time Warner, Hearst Corporation and others. This new capital will allow the company to continue its work providing advertising from within video games for such companies as THQ and Midway. Microsoft recently acquired Double Fusion’s direct competitor, Massive Incorporated, for between 200 and 400 million dollars.
One of the more sticky subjects that we’ve had to deal with lately is advertising in video games. These companies, at current, are streaming billboards and other such ad signs into the games we play. These ads are rarely disruptive, except for the Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo ad in Planetside (a game based in the distant future, presumably after everyone discovered that movie was terrible), so it’s not that big of an issue… yet.
Seen by some as a necessary evil or inevitable, it’s viewed by others as an invasion into personal space. The prevailing attitude is that of “I paid money for your game, and now I have to look at your advertising as well?” Advertising eventually infiltrates every aspect of entertainment. Broadcast television, cable television, radio, newspapers and now games. I imagine we’ll be hearing more about this in the near future.