Home Forums Soap Box In-game Advertising

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    • #6009

      An idea that may make many peoples skins crawl, in-game advertising has once again risen its ugly head this week with two different announcements. First is Valve’s announcement that they’re finally kicking off the ads in Counter-Strike 1.6. While there have been some ads on some levels for awhile now, mainly advertising Valve games, this is different. As you can see by the screenshots the ads look completely out of place and are rather obtrusive. Link here to the announcement.

      The second news piece was from our good friends at Google who, through their recent acquisition of AdScape, have patented technology to be used at (some point anyway) for in-game ads, probably in MMORPGs. The patent is disturbing in many areas mainly due to the way it goes about collecting data.

      [The Google patent] says people playing online role playing games such as Second Life and World of Warcraft would be particularly good to target, because they interact with other players and make decisions that probably reflect their behaviour in real life.[/quote:e85e116875]
      First off, thats completely ridiculous. The vast majority of people I know in real life that play those games do so in a manner that is completely different than the way they live their lives. Not to mention that article awhile back that commented on the high number of men having female characters in games.

      Anyway, another choice quote was..

      Players who spend a lot of time exploring "may be interested in vacations, so the system may show ads for vacations". And those who spend more time talking to other characters will see adverts for mobile phones.[/quote:e85e116875]
      Sorry, but haven’t they just missed the entire point of most of these online games?

      This one also bugs me as it is viral marketing at its worst…

      Not all the inferences made by monitoring user activity rely on subtle psychological clues, however. "In a car racing game, after a user crashes his Honda Civic, an announcer could be used to advertise by saying ‘if he had a Hummer, he would have gotten the better of that altercation’, etc," the patent says. And: "If the user has been playing for over two hours continuously, the system may display ads for Pizza Hut, Coke, coffee."[/quote:e85e116875]

      In terms of in-game advertising as a whole though, the idea intrigues me. While playing the likes of Need For Speed and such, whizzing by huge Burger King or McDonalds signs doesn’t bother me in the slightest, in fact most of the time it adds to the immersion fact of the game as you feel more like your in a real city. On the other hand the idea of getting a pop up for Pizza Hut or seeing a in-game billboard for Dr. Pepper while working my way through a fantasy MMORPG doesn’t’ appeal to me in the slightest.

      So opinions on the whole thing? Is in-game advertising the outright devil or if controlled do you think it can even add to some games?

    • #36891
      Aphra K

      it is only a matter of time before we get increased levels of game advertising but players will have to kick up a fuss or companies will use them in inappropriate ways..they fit in racing games as they are almost part of the realism, in fantasy role playing games they had better come up with some better patented technology to advertise contemporary products.

      like the quotes you picked up gizmo..! sounds like they were written by an advertising rather than a games person


    • #36895

      [her face appears picture-in-picture]: Pepsi?
      Troy: Partial credit!

    • #36896

      some games are really bad for this , see Judge Dredd and and red bull missions , plus alot of those old nes game where just big bloody ads , if you check out angry nintendo nerds mckids review lol.

      but i think to be fair it is a good way for a developer to get back some money, but not to over do it , i mean judge dredd is based in the future so
      billboards and ad in the game whould have been cool ( like all the adverts in the movie bladerunner) , the game actually had hole missions about the drink , cause in the future it is a banned drink ……i mean come on !! take about over doing it .

    • #36897

      I can see that going towards custom skins that change every few minutes like adverts alongside a football pitch and stuff. *shudder*

      I assume there will be a certain limit to it to ensure that the games actually get played.

      Also, as an avid CCS source fan…….I REALLY don’t want this. de_dust2 with a billboard showing ads for "shrek the third" or whatever the next marketing strategy that will be thrust upon on us is not what that game needs. Could the companies not sponsor a level maybe? or just have it in the currently barren loading screens?

      also, is it definitely going to be source as well? Those shots are 1.6. God i hope not

    • #36906

      In game advertising, has been on the virge of taking over the universe for the past 4 or 5 years. I honestly cannot see it exploding in any sort of obtrusive manner.

      Its sort of common sence that theres a point where advertising gets too obtrusive, and has negative effects. Even horrible add placement in movies is exclusive to Blockbuster moneygoblers like i-Robot, which people dont expect more of.

      I think the closest we have come to really horrible placement was Sam Fisher having an Airwave before he chopper-hopped at the start of Pandora Tomorrow, but considering the backlash that had on a pretty Solid IP, i can see others taking note.

      Considering how immersion is such an important part od MMORPG’s this is the 1 area i honestly dont see it thriving (well maybe in a current era MMO, where it makes sence).

      But an arcade-like shooter like CS has a much beter chance of pulling it off. If this does go ahead, i would be very surprised if it didnt put people off playing. It would ruin the experience for me.

      I think all we need is 1 geniune badly deployed ingame advertising venture, and the whole idea of it will topple like a house of cards. If CS has to take the bullet on this one, so be it.

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