Valve, creators of Half-Life and owners of the Steam distribution network, has said that the addition of in-game advertisements to its Counter-Strike game could help fund new game mods.The studio's marketing boss Doug Lombardi has discussed the addition of in-game ads to CS with CS-Nation, defending what was seen as a controversial move by the core Counter-Strike audience; Valve announced with IGA earlier this year that they would bring advertisements to its game, which started life itself as a Half-Life mod.
"Advertising is a new and evolving part of the entire gaming industry," said Lombardi. "We’ve watched for the past few years as some of the biggest players in the software industry (Google, etc.,) have bootstrapped their efforts with advertising-supported business models on the Web. We felt that now is the right time to try advertising in one of our games."
On the subject of using the revenues to trickle down to the active mod audience, he added: "For a long time we’ve looked for new ways to let mod authors make money. Funding a game development project is currently a chicken and egg problem — you can’t get funding without having already built a great product, and you can’t build something great without money in the bank. If this experiment with advertising in CS 1.6 is successful, it may turn out that we’re able to help the next round of successful mods get off the ground because of ad revenue."