Gamasutra: The Art & Business of Making Gamesspacer
View All     RSS
October 22, 2014
arrowPress Releases
October 22, 2014
PR Newswire
View All





If you enjoy reading this site, you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites:


Riccitiello:  Battlefield 3 ,  Call of Duty  To Spend Hundreds Of Millions On Ad Battle
Riccitiello: Battlefield 3, Call of Duty To Spend Hundreds Of Millions On Ad Battle
April 6, 2011 | By Kyle Orland

April 6, 2011 | By Kyle Orland
Comments
    30 comments
More: Console/PC, Social/Online, Business/Marketing



EA CEO John Riccitiello says the marketing spends for both EA's Battlefield 3 and Activision's next Call of Duty release could easily surpass $100 million each.

Speaking at an Ad Age Conference keynote presentation, Riccitiello said we can expect to see "a couple hundred million dollars [worth of] marketing against these two products," emphasizing that Battlefield 3 is "designed to take [Call of Duty] down."

The remarks were part of a wide-ranging presentation where Riccitiello talked up the game industry in general, and EA in particular, as a new up-and-coming mass audience for advertisers.

Noting that the game industry has risen to include 1.5 billion players worldwide over the past few years, Riccitiello predicted that audience could grow to encompass 3 billion players in three or four years -- eclipsing worldwide TV ownership -- thanks largely to the growing ubiquity of game-playing smartphones.

What's more, Riccitiello stressed that these game players are a more captive audience than those using other media. "People don't really do anything else when they're playing games, they're focused on it," he said. "When people watch TV or use the internet, they're usually doing something else."

EA has the ability to serve dynamic content to 233 million unique users today, Riccitiello said, up from 40 million users in 1995 who mainly received static content in the form of unconnected retail games. The company's servers run over 15 million hours of online gameplay to 5 million of those unique users every day, he said.

He noted that Barack Obama purchased display ads in many EA games to reach out to youth voters at a point in his campaign when he was in a distant second or third place. "I guess it worked," he quipped.

But getting ads to players doesn't have to mean inserting intrusive billboards or products into the game experience, Riccitiello said. He estimated that about half of online play time was spent in pre- or post-match lobbies or setup, where "today's consumer is very much expecting advertising ... we didn't have that understanding a few years ago."

He encouraged advertisers to get into the game market now, while the market is still settling, to avoid a "bidding war" that could happen over prime game-based ad space in three to five years.


Related Jobs

Avalanche Studios
Avalanche Studios — New York, New York, United States
[10.22.14]

UI Programmer
University of Texas at Dallas
University of Texas at Dallas — Richardson, Texas, United States
[10.22.14]

Assistant/Associate Prof of Game Studies
Avalanche Studios
Avalanche Studios — New York, New York, United States
[10.22.14]

UI Artist/Designer
Nuclear Division
Nuclear Division — Sherman Oaks, California, United States
[10.22.14]

Director of Product Management










Comments


Michael G
profile image
"today's consumer is very much expecting advertising"



Right, not in a good way though.

Hayden Dawson
profile image
Expecting is a far cry from wanting advertising, especially since it does not appear the customer will see any benefits from it -- in a lower pricing structure -- ads are simply another revenue stream for the publishers. All in all, a lot is being asked of the customers in this new media world, and I remain convinced significant numbers will end up elsewhere with entertainment dollars.

Daniel Martinez
profile image
We're also expecting the industry to hit the fan. Keep meeting those expectations.

Daniel Mackie
profile image
Agreed. I am 34 now and the only thing I have learned about advertising over the years is that I want it as much out of my life as possible. So no telly and add block plus for certain sites is the way I go about it.



If I want to know something I can research it via the net or forums; not have it forced down my tubes ( virtual or physical ).



I think the problem here is the younger generation have become used to a pay by sponsorship model for their media going all the way back to sponsored TV shows in America in the 40's and 50's ( and starting in the UK over the past 10 years or so ).

Sean Currie
profile image
100 million? Really? Is that necessary? Is anyone aware of any hard data that suggests spending that much money is going to lead to increased sales?



Obviously advertising is important to a certain extent, but there's got to be a point where you've reached your potential audience and any additional advertising is just noise.

Michael G
profile image
Yeah, the republican party

Blain Newport
profile image
100 million probably is necessary (or at least warranted) for what they're trying to do. Consider that Microsoft spent 500 million marketing Kinect, which I understand is selling well and even expanding the installed base of the 360. When you're talking about that kind of money, it's not about about reaching a potential audience. It's about manufacturing excitement, building the critical mass to create a phenomenon through marketing.



But you're right about the noise. If an advertiser doesn't vary their delivery and venue, modern consumers tune that stuff out quickly. But if they do a good job of mixing it up, and people are hearing all sorts of positive things about the product from all sorts of outlets, it gives them the feeling that "everyone" is excited for the product, that it's the next big thing, and that they better get in on it.

Lo Pan
profile image
This is ridiculous. So now the development is 100 million with marketing at 100 million. That means selling 4-5 million to recoup with some profit. With gamers buying less due to budget/genre saturation or buying used...good luck. So few game companies do marketing right, this is reckless gamble.

Jason Lee
profile image
Let the pissing contest begin...



Anyway to generate revenue I guess.



Advertising OUT of my video games please.



Thanks.

Luis Guimaraes
profile image
Invest those millions improving the actual games and I get both...

Cameron Ellis
profile image
Umm, I'm confused. Do those games have an *ad budget* of $100MM each, or are they hoping to *make* $100MM each in in-game advertisement? The article isn't clear enough.

Michael G
profile image
"Riccitiello: Battlefield 3, Call of Duty To Spend Hundreds Of Millions On Ad Battle"



Title spells it out pretty clearly.

Scott Jonsson
profile image
However, the title was written by gamasutra, not EA.

Kyle Orland
profile image
He was very clear in the presentation that we should expect ""a couple hundred million dollars [worth of] marketing against these two products," meaning marketing spent promoting the products.

Daniel Zeligman
profile image
MW2 cost 50 million to develop. They spent 250 million on marketing. There was a chart comparing it to avatar from what I remember. 100 million is far less :D

Charlie Cleveland
profile image
This makes no sense to me. I think that if EA wanted to "take down" CoD they'd do a lot better by spending some of that money trying something new with BF3 instead of competing in the same red ocean.

Jack Garbuz
profile image
I think he is BS'ing with the numbers he's throwing around. The game industry has 1.5 billion players? $100 million in advertising and marketing cost per game? Sounds like he's stretching the numbers a bit. However, I could be wrong. But the numbers sound exaggerated to me.

Eric McVinney
profile image
It took around $60 million for God of War 3 alone on production and marketing, so this $100m comes to no surprise for me.

Jack Garbuz
profile image
Sure, $60 million for production AND marketing seems reasonable. But I could be behind the times. Now, it appears some titles are getting revenues of a billion dollars, the same as top blockbuster movies, so I could be wrong. It's amazing how large the industry has gotten.

Kamruz Moslemi
profile image
1985: Hey, Japan, you want to give this home console thing a shot? We kind of rammed it into the ground, but this personal computer thing sure looks promising.



Japan: Sure, we got this guy with this crazy plummer concept, maybe something will come of it.



---



2005: Hey, Japan, you mind giving us back that console thing again, you sure made it look respectable in these 20 years, and we, uh, kind of rammed this PC venture into the ground, but we really think we've learned our lesson this time.



Japan: Sure thing, 7th gen development budgets are too rich for our blood so we are going portable anyway.



---



201X: Hey, Japan, how is that portable console thing working out for you buddy, game development cheap enough for you?



Japan: Overall sales are down 10 percent year over year again this time, how are things on your end captain?



201X: Oh, course charted squarely aimed at the ground.



Apple: This looks promising.

R G
profile image
Made my day ^_^

R G
profile image
So...I take it I'm not the only one to believe that are industry is going to come crashing down soon? Or experience some type of crash?

Kamruz Moslemi
profile image
Nope, I've been getting that 1980's crash vibe for a while now, only this time due to different factors. In a sense I see a perfect storm brewing:



-7th generation home console costs have been set on ludicrous speed for a while now.



-The market has become strangely polarized towards only a set type of games.



-Often the most successful games are the ones with the most amount of marketing money backing them, and marketing budgets are now more important than development budgets.



-Back on the PS2 selling 1-2 million copies of your game was grounds for a hearty pat on the back for a job well done, and the market supported so many, many, many different looking, playing and feeling games selling that many copies. Hell, you could certainly make a living selling only 100-500k units depending on the ambitions of your development budget. Today on the other hand you need to sell 2-4 million to even be considered a moderate success, and 20 million is the number to aim for, and most likely fall far short of.



-A new more expensive console cycle might be prepped to hit within a year or two, which most likely will be the straw that splits the camel in half.

R G
profile image
Well put. Took the words out of my mouth ^_^

Lo Pan
profile image
For me the problem with this 'take out our big wallets and wave them around' strategy is that failure means layoffs for the line folk at the publisher and developer. The Executives who undertook it will just shrug and retort 'we tried - it is what it is' and stay employed or get fired with a platinum parachute.

sam death
profile image
I can't believe EA are planning to spend all that money on advertising for Battlefield, just to compete against CoD? Cant the money be better spent on quality Q&A, to reduce the growing amount of obvious bugs and glitches like we have seen in recent battlefield releases.



Two entirely different games, and the fact that EA's top brass thinks it competes with CoD just shows how out of touch they are with their game...and their fans.



So not only dumbing down the game (gameplay wise), but also over-hyping it via a 100 million dollar advertising crusade... way to go John.



At this rate the Battlefield franchise will be dead in 2012... I guess we will have to wait and see, I hope I'm wrong, as I have been a Battlefield fan since '42, and dont need an ad to tell me to buy the game

Kamruz Moslemi
profile image
EA is not interested in you this time around, they are interested in those 10 million+ persons who buy Halo and COD because ubiquitous advertising convinced them that, yes, these are the greatest games ever made, hands down greatest, ever.



And they'll prolly get their attention too...

Mike Wilhelm
profile image
I dont know why DICE is trying to replace or complete with CoD, the two series have two separate communities, that really do not play the other series. BF players cant stand the full out run-n-gun of CoD, and the CoD players dont like that they cant run around the map willy-nilly without dying as soon as they get out in the open. It is two completely different game styles.



It has been driving me crazy since the first time I loaded BF:Modern Combat (PS2)and realized they were trying to build CoD linear maps for console players. Those of us who have been playing BF since '42 and still play mods of BF2 today, knew this was coming. Not only has DICE moved toward the console millions, they have sold out their flagship title to make it like something else. Bad Company 2 was met by so many screams of failure, that many of their hardcore players are not buying BF3 until it has been tested by others, and I bet it does not live up to their expectations. Not me, I play lots of half done games, it gives me knowledge of what not to do in the future.



This is what I see happening upon BF3's release day: If it does not have working VOIP, voice communications, on the PC version on day one, there will be riots in the streets after the mad hackers bring down the interwebs. :D

Achilles de Flandres
profile image
The more they try to convince me... the less I'll be convinced. There is such a thing as "trying too hard."

Anonymous Designer
profile image
Overblown figures in a simple attempt to subliminally equivocate COD with BF3. This isn't "interesting industry insight", rather just subtle marketing.


none
 
Comment: