Report: Video Games' Audience Reach More Than Originally Thought

In a move that’s sure to inflate the insertion fee of in-game advertising, a new report suggests that the total reach of video games goes beyond that of retail sales numbers. Much like the pass-along factor of print magazines, the research takes into account multi-player game sessions, rentals, used game sales, and pass-around.

“Retail sales capture only a portion of the total audience playing individual game titles,” said Michael Dowling in a statement to Reuters. Therefore, game publishers should theoretically be able to raise the price of advertising.

For example, Activision’s Call of Duty 3 sold 2 million units as of last month. But the report claims the game was played by 9 million people, a 4.5 increase. Electronic Arts sold more than 6 million copies of Madden NFL 2007, but the study found that 14 million people actually played the game.

Regardless, in-game ads may prove less effective than desired as one behavioural research company found. After all, gaming is a lot more active than say, reading or watching something on TV. Who has time to stop and smell the marketing roses when they’re trying to frag a buddy?