Yahoo to offer ad-supported online games

Yahoo Games announces plans to offer more than 400 ad-supported online games in conjunction with Double Fusion and NeoEdge Networks by the end of the year.

Dawn Kawamoto Former Staff writer, CNET News
Dawn Kawamoto covered enterprise security and financial news relating to technology for CNET News.
Dawn Kawamoto

Yahoo Games announced on Thursday that it will expand into ad-supported online games by the end of the year, a move not without its controversy.

Yahoo Games expects to offer more than 400 ad-supported downloadable games via assistance from casual-game advertising network and technology players Double Fusion and NeoEdge Networks.

Under the partnership, Double Fusion and NeoEdge will sell and integrate video ads before, during, and after a game, which is downloaded from Yahoo Games. NeoEdge also is providing technology that will enable Yahoo to insert ads into its game library without requiring the game source code.

Yahoo, however, still plans to retain the ability for users to continue receiving paid game downloads, sans advertising appearing on the games.

That flexibility may be key in satisfying players who may not necessary want ads tucked into a shooter game or a jam session, nor ads scrolling by before or after a game. Nonetheless, Yankee Group Research projects worldwide in-game advertising to soar to $971.3 million by 2011 from $77.7 million in 2006.

Yahoo Games plans to offer ad-supported downloadable games from such publishers as Alawar Entertainment, Big Fish Games, and Last Day of Work.