Study Shows In-Game Ads Not Effective


Bunnyfoot Quantities, a company that specializes in Behavioural Research, has found that in-game advertising in sports titles has less of an impact than desired. Using their specialized tool, the Sponsor Fixation Index (SFI), Bunnyfoot analyzed the results from 120 different game players. The players were chosen due to their gaming habits and experience. All of the players, who were at least 18 years of age, were assigned different sports games and asked to play. Afterwards, the SFI results tended to be on the lower side of the scale.

The SFI works based on what players recall and recognize during their game play sessions. This method is then used to track the effectiveness of a companies advertising campaign. NBA Live and Smackdown Vs. Raw yielded the highest results, whereas Project Gotham Racing 3 (a popular racing title for the XBox 360) received a shocking score of 0% in all scoring categories.

The whole idea behind advertising in games is for people to want to buy your product. If they don’t, then, why do it? Even though these companies are using the exact same advertising model as their real world sports counerparts, no one is paying attention. Either way, it’s back to the drawing board for in-game ads.



Like many have already pointed out, ads are everywhere already. People don’t rant about this particular blog because there are ads here. People don’t stop watching movies because there are ads and product placements there. People don’t demand having the subway ticket price discounted because there are ads in the subway station.

Too many people think of the worse case intrusive scenario for games, but it’s really silly. Game developers and advertisers know that if they make the users unhappy, they’ll stop playing, and they’ll lose their audience. Sure there are going to be examples where one game developer went too far, but others are learning. In the end, ads will make it easier for game developers to stay in business which means more for you as the gamer.

Stop thinking only about nightmare scenarios because they won’t happen exactly because they are nightmares.

Ernest Adams

Advertising corrupts. Anybody who sells advertising becomes beholden to the advertisers instead of to their customers. Newspapers, magazines, television — all put the demands of their advertisers before the needs of the consumer. In-game advertising stinks. It won’t be long before the advertisers start demanding changes to the content, just as they do to newspapers.

Why do you think so many newspapers soft-pedal the bad news about global warming, and still have huge sections devoted to buying and driving cars, including gas-guzzling sports cars and SUV’s? It’s not because the consumer really needs this information. It’s because the automobile advertisers demand that they include it.


LoL just realized every post has Permalink on it hehe. First time posting on these boards. I was agreeing with Paul.


Permalink, I agree. Adds are fine if they are in the right context. For example a Coke bilboard in project gothem racing works. That same bilboard in WoW not so good. I do however have a problem when we are not seeing the cost of adds passed on to the end user. We are the ones who have to look at them. I believe if the company is going to be putting adds in their game then we “the game buyers” should get the game at a reduced cost.


I don’t mind in-game ads, as long as they are relevant and add to the whole experience. It doesn’t surprise me that PGR3 ads didn’t score well, you’re looking at the track most of the time, not reading the friggin ads. Besides, in real life the ads on the track are for the spectators, your not trying to advertise to the drivers! And I don’t want an ad for Coke to appear on a billboard outside a city in WoW, but the same ad in HL2 is probably fine. It just depends on context.


There are advertisements in many things you pay for. The Newspaper, comic books, DVDs, and cable TV to name a few. In game ads are just going to get more and more intrusive until they finally show results.


I agree. I think the whole idea of “in-game ads” is stupid and offensive to the customers.

We don’t want to buy your stupid product. Period. Get over it, and stop trying to force us to have another need.


if i pay for a game.. why is there ads in it ? if i could only pretend to be a janitor and get inside the offices of the men/women/demon seed that determined there should be ads in a item i payed for.. if only… , well thats just a fantasy of mine.

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