GAME ADVERTISING has found itself in the crosshairs of a fierce new ad campaign.
In a move that would have made any traditional ad campaign look silly, the new game advertising campaign will target gamers over the age of 18, a new target that has led to criticism from industry veterans and the gaming press.
Advertisers, including Sony Computer Entertainment, EA, Electronic Arts and Ubisoft, will be able to place ads in major online video games that play back on TV screens or video platforms, such as PlayStation 4 or Xbox One, to reach those 18-24 years of age.
While the campaigns focus on the game industry, it’s not clear how it will affect the mainstream gaming community.
It could be that the focus will be on the older demographic, with a focus on older adults playing games that appeal to them and younger gamers getting caught up in the game-centric marketing.
The ads may also have a different tone, with titles like Minecraft or Pokemon GO that appeal more to a younger demographic.
This campaign is being sponsored by the GameStop Group, the largest online retailer of video games.
GameStop is also the home of the popular video game streaming service Twitch, which has been criticized by critics as not being ethical or fair.
In an email to MTV News, GameStop spokesperson Stephanie O’Connor said, “We’re excited to partner with GameStop to deliver the best possible experience to our gamers.
GameSpot, our world-class game retailer, has helped gamers discover and enjoy more than 40 million video games from all of the leading studios in the industry.”
The new ads are aimed at younger players.
The campaign will begin airing on ESPN3 on Sunday.
The ad campaign is expected to run for two weeks.
“We are excited to welcome gamers over 18 to enjoy the best of our video game offerings,” said Mike Ryan, CEO of GameStop.
“We are thrilled to partner to help these young players discover our industry’s best games and make the most of the experiences they have access to with our new GameSpot ad platform.
Gamers over 18 are a very important and loyal group of fans and we know they will enjoy the new ad platform and their favorite games.”
The ad campaign has drawn the ire of some in the gaming community, who have been critical of the ads and the fact that they are being sponsored and run by a gaming company.
“Games are supposed to be a safe place, not an unsafe place for people of color to be harassed and abused,” said Johnathan Akins, a member of the Gaming Media and Entertainment Coalition, a group of gaming industry professionals.
“Gamers are supposed for their free speech, but it’s the fact they are having to fight for it that really bothers me.”
The group has criticized ad campaigns like this one from the likes of Microsoft, Google and Twitter, and is calling on advertisers to stop.
“It is an insult to the gaming industry and to gamers, and to all of us, who care deeply about our future and the future of our children,” said Alexey Shirokov, CEO, GameSpot.
“This is a terrible and unnecessary distraction from our mission of creating the most immersive gaming experiences, including games that are the most engaging for our players.”MTV News reached out to GameStop for comment but did not receive a response by press time.
GameSpot is also a part of the gaming advertising group CAA, a trade association of major online retailers that represents companies including Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Netflix and EA.