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EA Exec On In-Game Advertising: "Maybe Those Days Are Over"

by Matthew Kato on Dec 22, 2010 at 03:49 AM

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EA's free-to-play general manager Ben Cousins says that in-game microtransactions have taken off, while the money from in-game ads hasn't. He even suggests that in-game advertising could have less of a presence in the future.

In an interview with Edge, Cousins admits, "We actually aren't getting much from ad revenue at all. The in-game advertising business hasn't grown as fast as people expected it to."

Citing the free-to-play Battlefield Heroes and its use of both microtransactions and in-game advertising, Cousins says the message was clear. "We hedged our bets. We thought we'd do in-game advertising and virtual goods sales, and one of those took off really fast and the other hasn't really taken off at all."

Finally, Cousins believes that the future of in-game advertising is in how games execute it. "We did a deal with Dr. Pepper for Battlefield Heroes where if you buy a bottle and scan in the code, you get an exclusive outfit. That kind of deep integration will work, I think. But I'm not convinced that we'll have billboards in games and things like that. Maybe those days are over."