Subtle Observations: UFC 2009 Undisputed & In-Game Advertising

March 23, 2009

If you haven’t seen any of the gameplay footage from the UFC’s upcoming video game (UFC 2009: Undisputed, May 19th), you owe yourself to check it out. Aside from the interesting fighting mechanics and somewhat realistic character models, the tremendous level of background detail is something that really caught my eye.

Did anyone else notice the Madison Square Garden advertisement on the octagon mat during one of these videos? By no means should you read anything into this aside from the obvious that the UFC hopes to be in MSG be in New York by this time next year. However, it does raise an interesting point about the value of in-game advertising.

It’s been estimated that by 2010 in-game advertising will have become a $2 billion business and given the integral role that advertising and corporate sponsorships play within mixed martial arts, it would appear as though the UFC may have stumbled upon another ancillary revenue stream.

It’s not just MSG that I’ve noticed either, all the usual suspects are present in the game thus far: Harley-Davidson, Tapout, American Fighter, mmawarehouse.com, etc.

I doubt the revenue stream is particularly large at this point (given the economy and uncertainly towards the reach of the game itself), but you can bet that if UFC 2009 is a success the door will open to future, material revenues in the form of in-game advertising for the UFC.

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