Almost a year after we first reported about Google’s desire to bring AdSense to online games and ultimately dominate the game-related advertising business, the company today announced AdSense for Games. We had thought that the advertising for games would go live in November 2007, but apparently even Google can’t move that fast. Google first started talking about AdSense for Games at industry events last summer.
Google has roped in game developers and publishers including Konami, Playfish, Zynga, Demand Media, and games network Mochi Media. They have also signed on beta advertisers such as Esurance, Sprint, and Sony Pictures. Essentially this new program would allow social games and flash-based web games to have video, text and image ads integrated into them.
AdSense for Games delivers video ads based on intended placements, as well as image or text ads based on contextual targeting with keywords and tags supplied by developers and publishers. Advertisers are charged on a cost-per-impression or cost-per-click basis, and ad revenue is split between Google and game developers or publishers.
Google, using comScore estimates, in a press release said that every week, more than 25 percent of Internet users worldwide play online games, which amounts to more than 200 million people. This number is growing at a rate of almost 17 percent each year. The casual gaming business has been on an upswing for some time now, and with AdSense for Games, you can bet many more people are going to try their hand at social and web games.