Konami releases patent for in-game advertising based on “viewers”

Konami is a giant Japanese entertainment conglomerate and video game company that has dipped its hands into all things profitable. From creating Pachinko machines to developing acclaimed games that changed the gaming scene, Konami has made a name for itself in the gaming industry. The company has created some highly believable titles over the past few decades.

Konami has an array of wildly popular video game franchises under its umbrella, including Metal Gear, Contra, Pro Evolution Soccer, Silent Hill, Castlevania, and Dance Dance Revolution, to name a few. The company has certainly defined and set new standards for most video game genres.

For example, KONAMI DIGITAL ENTERTAINMENT CO., LTD. recently released a patent to explore the prospects of a new AR-based headset with a highly innovative dance game. However, not all patents are good news; some might even be alarming to the gaming community.

Earlier today, we discovered a recently released patent by Konami Digital Entertainment Co., Ltd., which discusses the prospects of personalized advertising in games. The patent notes the collection of in-game viewer data to forge personalized advertisements, which has not been explored in the past.

The document cites how previously ads were implemented in games, “Ad content is controlled regardless of the presence of viewers watching the video game video.” The patent attempts to innovate in the generation of advertisements in video games. Dynamic advertisements exist in the gaming industry that change to fit player-specific content.

However, the aforementioned patent deals with the use of viewer data to provide even more personalized in-game advertisements. The patent aims to “control the content of an advertisement to be displayed in the virtual space, based on the viewer’s information.” Virtual space refers to the play area; advertisements will have a separate area where they will appear.

An example of how ads will be displayed in the allocated area.

The patent uses an example of a baseball game to work out the creative idea. The system “acquire information about the viewers of the distribution system”, which is then used to forge advertisements by calculating all necessary variables of participating viewers. Variables such as “age, sex, residential area, hobbies and interests of each of the spectators” will be processed to generate organic in-game ads.

Diagram showing an overview of information for viewers.

Advertisements will be banner ads or videos served in the assigned area. The patent cites, “Banner images are still images or videos of commodity advertisements.” Additionally, the location of the most populated group of spectators will also be tracked.

The patent states, “The location area of ​​each viewer device can be used in preference to the residential area of ​​each viewer, to predict the region or country where the largest number of viewers live.”

Spectators may be in play; however, this is not explicitly mentioned. It can track data from websites such as Twitch, where viewers can watch a game, and in-game advertisements can appear for them. Many games offer the ability to be spectators in a multiplayer title.

Flowchart showing sample procedures for the gaming device.

The merging of the different recorded viewer variables will be calculated to produce the most appropriate advertisements to attract a larger audience. This system may prove to be more reliable than the simple dynamic advertising system used by games like FIFA. However, games without a spectator function will probably not be able to integrate it.

The trend of including ads in games is growing at a rapid pace. The patent may not be great news for gamers, as it deals with the integration of in-game ads in quite an innovative way. If implemented, ads will become more fervent using viewer data instead of just focusing on players.

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