Google Intros AdSense for Games

NEW YORK Google is making an aggressive play in the online gaming world, as the search giant said it would expand its AdSense product to various Web-based gaming sites and platforms.

Like Google AdSense for publishers, which allows Web sites and blogs of all sizes to add text links to ads delivered by Google to their pages on a self-serve basis, Google’s AdSense for Games has been designed to enable game publishers large and small to monetize their game by adding video, display and text ads from the company. At launch, however, Google is limiting AdSense for Games to publishers that produce games with a minimum level of usage.

Among Google’s initial partners is Mochi Media, a company that provides distribution and analytics tools for a network of small game publishers, many of whom create games that are built to travel across the Internet — anywhere from pure gaming sites to personal blogs. Google’s deal with Mochi will initially focus solely on international ad inventory.

It appears Google has decided at least for now to focus more on the low-hanging fruit in the nascent in-game ad world — casual Web-based games that easily accommodate online advertising.

In February 2007, the company acquired the startup in-game ad firm Adscape Media, which to many signaled that Google was looking to aggressively challenge firms like Microsoft’s Massive Inc., which specializes in delivering ads within PC and console games. Yet to date, Adscape has been conspicuously quiet, though there have been whispers that Google will eventually launch an ad-supported virtual world.