Terse notes I took, very quick cleanup done last night [my comments in braces]
Bernie Stolar [Yes, THAT Bernie, of Sony, Sega fame], Greg Schaffer - Team lead
Bernie comes out, talks 25 years history in the industry, blah blah.
Why is Google in game business [a question everyone came to find out]
In-game advertising. That's it.
No "G-Box", No Google Live, No Game Search, No Portal.
In-game advertising only. that's it.
Some notes on Google: 13k employees [that's it? wow]. 65% of worldwide search results. 112 languages, 157 international domains
Current work in games: Currently working with over 100 game pubs [via adsense - does that mean they know one another? Is that just "do a search on how many of our adsense partners have 'game' in their domain name"?]
Game relevant searches are popular.
How many people are Adsense partners? (1/4 of room, maybe 40 people?) - points out that Popcap raised their hands.
We currently have Adsense for search, Adsense for feeds, Adsense for audio -- now we are adding Adsense for games.
Adsense is about: Efficient workflow. Flexible buying. Robust reporting. Targeted reach. Engineered optimization.
The world (heart) games. 200M people worldwide play casual games games. [this appears to be one of two slides that were added to an otherwise template adsense pitch deck, IMHO]
As games continue to grow and cost more, ads can help. (more on budgets, growth) [Does Bernie really grok casual? Seems not. Seems to be stuck in console big budget game mindset]
Please partner with us! [Great, but he hasn't said what they are doing?]
"How will it work?"
starts with a conversation. Here's our email address.
[awkward moment where the two presenters are not sure who's queuing off of whom and when. This is a very poorly prepared pitch]
[I believe this is mostly cut and pasted slides from someone else's pitch (non-games pitch)].
"we work with advertisers to better think about users and what it means in games" [but when asked for examples, they were strugglin'. Clear that they get that games are different advertising medium, but also pretty clear it's not one they've worked in and actually spent any time selling to advertisers]
7.2B paid out to Google partners since 2003.
End and Q&A. [We're less than 30 minutes into what's supposed to be 45 minute pitch]
[WTF? What are they doing, how are they doing it? How will they tailor their experience to games, etc, etc.]
Best summarized as: WTF!?
This from the company that only hires PHD's that know kung-fu and have x-ray vision? The fact that I work for MS isn't coloring my opinion here. I think this was an embarrassment to Google. Talk around the show seems to indicate that many share my opinion. The presentation was poor, the product was undefined and seems to be non-existant. Didn't help that one of the presenters sat down through the whole thing. "I'm really excited to be here" - yeah, right. How about standing up while you say that.
The audience questions were mainly along the lines of trying to extract a little information about what exactly they might be doing. Answers were vague, and seemed to indicate that while they see an opportunity to take adsense to in-game ads, they've started to think about the sticky issues that come up when you try to do so, but haven't yet thought of answers to those questions. Oh, they did indicate web first (didn't say when), then download PC (didn't say when), then consoles (didn't say when but hinted that it's Sony that they are talking to).