Video games feature ads for Obama

Too busy playing video games to watch presidential ads on television? Barack Obama has found you, too, by becoming the first presidential candidate to buy ad space inside a game.

Nine video games from Electronic Arts Inc., ranging from the extremely popular "Madden 09" football game to the street racing "Burnout: Paradise," feature in-game ads from the Obama campaign. The adsâ€"they appear on billboards and other signageâ€"remind players that early voting has begun and plug a campaign Web site.

The idea of embedding advertising temporarily inside a video game is relatively new, having only begun about 18 months ago, and Obama is the first presidential candidate to buy space, company officials said.

The Democrat's ads are aimed at gamers who like sports, including NASCAR, NBA, NHL and skateboarding, meaning EA Sports' motto, "It's in the game," now applies to presidential politics as well.

EA spokeswoman Holly Rockwood would not say how much the ads cost, but she said they are running on the Xbox Live versions of the game through Nov. 3. They began earlier this month.

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24 Comments

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Gabe3 said,
screw obama and screw ea.

I blame EA for having the ads in the first place, but I can't blame Obama for utilizing them. He's trying to get a certain demographic to vote. Yes, he wants them to vote for him, but that's politics: What did you expect him to want you to do, buy tangerines?

Look, you don't want to see ads in Video games? Then don't buy games that serve you ads. OR, just to make it really simple for you, don't buy any games from EA.
Problem solved.

Who cares, I never notice advertisements in games unless they are thrust upon me while playing (i.e. Fight Night R3), if they are in the background I don't even care. EA will do anything for extra revenue, that's what companies do and since you're playing their games you have to deal with it. Although I really hope that there won't be so many ads that it will clog the gaming experience up.

What about overseas. I'm in Australia and don't care about other country politics. Seems like every game released is based in the US. When are we going to have games that have a setting that is not in the US?

Be happy that there's a politician who recognises gamers are people too.

Probably not the best games to advertise in, but still.

Next up: In game taxes. ...but only 5% of the players will be taxed. ...those that have logged over 250 hours. The other players will receive free MS points (how many points has not been divulged). However, you’ll need to use these free points to purchase mandatory “XboxLive Insurance” that will be used to regenerate your avatar in the event of death or serious injury in-game. Failure to purchase this insurance will result in a fine (also not yet divulged). ;-)

I don't. But some of you guys are pretty defensive about something you probably won't even notice. Especially in a fast paced game like Burnout Paradise. Wtf is going to notice a "real" billboard ad when they're flying by it at 150mph? I'd rather see ads for real stuff than some made up stuff shoved in there by the developers. You guys also fail to realize another thing. Maybe instead of having ads to lower the overall cost of the game, maybe, just "maybe" they ads will help keep the prices "where they are" instead of going up.

Ad revenue for the developer will give them more money to produce better quality games, and it may help keep the retail prices where they're at now instead of going up to $69.99 for the regular version when the Xbox 3 (please stop calling it Xbox 720, as it does not exist) and PS4 come out.

I personally do not think that this is preventing a price increase. They already get a lot of revenue from the purchase of a game and they will increase the price if they want. People will still pay. Ads in games are nothing but pure profit. If anything, selling ads should make the initial price go down.

On topic, political ads have no place in games. We already have an ignorant enough electorate. I can easily see someone voting for Obama because it was in Madden. Also, knowing that EA can manipulate the ads makes me wonder what else they can manipulate.

Should have just had neutral ads encouraging the youngsters to turn off their computers for a moment and make use of the little power they have by voting in November.

Pay $50 for a game and have to put up with ads, no thanks!

Besides what happens when you play the game long after the election?
I think EA was stupid to do this.

xpablo said,
Pay $50 for a game and have to put up with ads, no thanks!

Think of us in Europe next time you say something like that. We pay twice as much as you do for one game, and we have to put up with the ads as well.

The ads are internet based. Therefore they can be changed at will, so after the election, they will go back to normal ads probably.

near subliminal messaging is one way to get the younger gen to vote...

I have to give it to Obama. I highly doubt McCain could've been so crafty.

question for the 4 posts , If it was Mccain would you agree ? ( and no I'm not Democrat neither from the US )

Whats the problem with an ad ( I believe we can change and Obama photo on it ) ? , the games already have ads for a long time and its nothing new

Akaruz said,
question for the 4 posts , If it was Mccain would you agree ? ( and no I'm not Democrat neither from the US )

Whats the problem with an ad ( I believe we can change and Obama photo on it ) ? , the games already have ads for a long time and its nothing new

Not sure where you get off to asking that as the previous posters haven't given any indication of who they're for. Either way, it doesn't matter which politician.

Secondly, it's a problem when children are exposed to this kind of nonsense. While we should have more children educated on our how our government works, as well as promote voting and such, promoting ads of who to vote for is wrong. It is as wrong as having teachers in school pushing their own beliefs onto your children. This is very different from product ads.

And, as KavazovAngel said, no surprise from EA.