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Valve, IGA Resolve Controversy Over  Counter-Strike  In-Game Ads

Valve, IGA Resolve Controversy Over Counter-Strike In-Game Ads

February 16, 2006 | By Simon Carless

February 16, 2006 | By Simon Carless
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More: Console/PC

Half-Life and Counter-Strike developer Valve and in-game ad firm IGA Worldwide have jointly announced a settlement of the behind-the-scenes legal issues that recently arose following the recent announcement of the IGA-powered Engage In-Game Advertising service.

The service launched last month by highlighting a campaign for fast food restaurant Subway, powered by the IGA Partners radial network, and accomplished by modding Valve's popular Counter-Strike for PC to include billboard ads by using third-party maps and servers. However, this was apparently done without Valve's permission, and when the media contacted the Half-Life 2 creator for comments, it appears that legal issues were brought up.

The joint statement explains "an amicable resolution of differences regarding in-game advertising in Counter-Strike", which "also absolves IGA's advertisers and IGA's advertising agencies from any liability", but does not specifically mention whether IGA will be permitted to run similar campaigns in the future.

Valve did, however, take note that: "Like all commercial advertisements, ads in games such as Counter-Strike require permission from the intellectual property (IP) owner", and the wording of the agreement may imply that further negotiation will need to take place before official in-game ads appear in Valve products.

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