In 2005, US Internet gamer households received about $0.10 worth of advertisement-supported gaming content on a monthly basis, compared to $50 worth of TV content. According to Parks Associates, a leading market research firm covering the interactive entertainment industry, PC in-game advertising will increase from $80 mln in 2005 to more than $400 mln in 2009. Today, most in-game ads exist in the automotive, food and beverage, apparel and lifestyle industries – advertising aimed at the so-called core gamers, males 18-34.
Males 18-34 are more open to seeing advertising than other age groups-29% say they would not mind seeing ads in games as long as it helps enhance game play, compared to only 19% among female gamers 35-54. However, the percentage of gamers willing to put up with ads in games if there is a chance to win prizes is similar among these two groups (38% among 18-34 male and 35% among 35-54 female). Men and women also differ about what is the least intrusive approach to in-game advertising. Almost half of men 18-34 (49%) prefer product placement over pre-game ads (22%) and in-game bulletin boards (18%). Women 35-54 prefer pre-game ads (42%) by a slim margin over product placement (36%) and between-level ad placement (13%). In addition, gamers revealed through the survey that they expect a discount on game prices in exchange for seeing ads and the expected discount ranged from 31% for gamers ages 13-17 to 58% for women 55 and older.