Valve Not On Board With Counter-Strike Ads

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A few days ago, Engage Advertising sent out a press release announcing that the company had officially launched. Its first public project was working with sandwich chain Subway on a three week in-game advertising campaign in "the most popular online action game played among men 18 to 34." Most online gamers would recognize this as Counter-Strike, but there was no mention of the game or of developer Valve anywhere else in the release. However, Engage's web site does have a few images that clearly come from the game (hosted locally here). I called Engage to ask if it was in fact Counter-Strike, and received what was essentially a confirmation of the game in question. Though this was Engage's first venture, the company does have plans to expand into other spaces, including the console market.

Interestingly, Engage's VP of business development David Smith informed me that he was not permitted to say the name of the game's publisher. This struck me as a bit odd, so I contacted Valve to see what their involvement with the product was. I was met with the following response from marketing director Doug Lombardi:

At no time did Valve grant permission nor discuss these advertisements with Engage. As such, this is now a legal matter. Advertising or any other commercial use of our games requires our written permission.

In my discussions with Mr. Smith, I learned that Engage did not handle the technical aspects of the project; this is done by another firm called IGA International. IGA has apparently developed a propriety technology called Radial Network to handle this kind of advertising. It seems that the advertising might be achieved through some kind of agreement with server administrators. IGA's exact approach is unclear, because as of this writing, my calls to the company had not yet been returned. I have also contacted Engage for a followup inquiry, but have not yet received a response. Updates will be provided as new information is received.

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    January 13, 2006 2:13 PM

    http://www.engageadvertising.com/case_studies4.html

    That shit looks ugly and so out of place.

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      January 13, 2006 2:32 PM

      Quite possibly the worst thing ever.

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      January 13, 2006 2:35 PM

      Looks like a spray to me.

      Hmm, perhaps I should sell my spray for ad dollars, god knows I always instinctively spray it somewhere every round.

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        January 13, 2006 2:38 PM

        Incoming Chinese sweatshop of ad sprayers...

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          January 13, 2006 3:17 PM

          This post made me chuckle. HARD.

          Hell, let's have a REAL Subway restaurant in WoW! :)

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      January 13, 2006 2:41 PM

      yeah, at least in things like racing games and shit it makes sense to have actual ads on the billboards.

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      January 13, 2006 2:47 PM

      I really don't want ads in my games. For me the point of playing games for me is to get away for a while and ads will just ruin the immersion.