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back to article Gamers love in-game ads, ad industry-sponsored survey reveals

Sony has only just given the green light on advertisements in videogames, but a study’s already found that the vast majority of gamers really don’t mind being barraged by sales slogans during gameplay. Over 80 per cent of gamers feel videogames are still just as enjoyable with ads as without, according to a study conducted on …

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Um, excuse me but...

How the heck can you have in-game adverts for anything but modern-day games?

Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.....with Nike billboards in the towns and Adidas-branded saddles on the horses, anyone?

Lair....featuring dragon-riders in YSL armour and Castles with Laura Ashley decor?

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Sort of makes sense - in some games

If you think about it, past the knee-jerk reaction stage, it sort of makes sense that in games with contemporary settings it's more immersive if the advertising billboards and posters/slogans/whatever feature familiar products and brands. It builds reality into the virtual reality of the game. I can see how this would heighten the enjoyment of the game for many, if not most, players. Burnout Paradise for example uses real commercial properties for in game advertising, and it really helps the reality of Paradise City in the game.

Sure you won't want to see Coke adds in a fantasy or science fiction setting, nor would you want to see brands or products appearing inappropriately in historical settings. But there's clearly a place for this as it becomes part of the 'set dressing' of the game.

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Sounds about right

If im wandering around Liberty City and theres an advert on a poster for [INSERT_PRODUCT_HERE] as is advertised in my real life city, then it can only add to the realism of the game (and the advertisers exposure!), I'd also think it would add to the life of the game, as some content could be dynamic.

The problem comes if TV type adverts begin to appear every 15 mins interupting the game play.

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Dan
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B**locks we do.

And by we I mean the 3 work mates I've asked.

It’s one thing to see Nike or Budweiser logos on Billboards during a racing or football game. They can even make it seem more authentic. It’s another thing entirely to include blatant product placement and adverts on something you have already spent £40+ on.

Maybe they could release two versions. A cheaper ad-supported one and a full price one.

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LIES LIES DAMN LIES...

i used to play a cool game called battlefield 2142... set in... 2142..

that was until intel decided to place adverts in EA's game...

so, you guessed it, running around in a post futuristic apolcalyptic setting... and seeing adverts for intel core duo?!?!?!

wtf!

1) i have paid for a game.... why the hell can they then force adverts onto me!

2) 'enjoyed the same or more' wtf? i seriously cannot imagine ANY gamers saying.. 'its more fun with adverts'

now, if they talk about the fake adverts in games like GTA then thats fine - its not real and they are funny... 'crusty brown's ring donuts' etc are class :)

for me, this is a really simple get out clause.. buy a game, if its shite take it back. then moan that i dont PAY to see ads.

now, if games were delivered free with adverts (like ITV and US TV) thats not so bad. but to charge people to see ads (buy game and console) is just wrong!

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Bleh

I have a fundamental problem with ads in games.

Unlike television channels like ITV, Channel 4, etc that are subsidised by ad revenue - games are paid for by the consumer. If I pay for something I don't then expect to be bombarded by adverts, especially when the sole purpose of these adverts are to make the publisher *even more money*.

The only exception I make to this are ads that are situated in game locations where it would break continuity for them to be deliberately excluded. For example, a city scene with billboards is perfectly acceptable and immersive. That said I'd rather these ads were static.

Now if the games were free and financed by the ads they showed, that's a different thing entirely.....

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...What?

And they did this survey where?

Yes yes ..there's nothing more enjoyable than spending 400 dollars for the device to deliver advertisments, then 60 dollars per advertisment. This is the most preposterous load of garbage Sony's tried to sell since Betamax.

If these pigopolists want to put advertisments in games, make the stinking games cheaper.

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Happy

Yeah, right

Further study could involve a selection of game players having mic. monitoring software installed so the advertisers could study the players responses to having these adverts injected during game play.

Responses such as 'Wow, I keep meaning to buy one of those' and 'Oh, that's interesting, I wonder what it is?' are qualitatively different and would merit further study to further improve ad targeting effectiveness.

Maybe the most interesting response could be posted on a bulletin board, I know I'd like to listen to them.

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Anonymous Coward

videogame ads

Video game ads are fine and dandy as long as it's in theme with the games as they can enrich the environment and make it more "realistic" of course much like with TV, Radio and Websites they can ruin the experiance too.

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Stop

Bill Hicks may he rest in peace

If you work in advertising kill yourself, no really kill yourself there is no punchline, just kill yourself.

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Stop

Yet again ...

... I've not been asked to participate in a survey.

Then again I don't work for IGA Worldwide or know someone thereof.

If you're listening Sony, it's a big no from him and a big no from me.

Headshot to those 1300 'gamers'! Remember this, you'll stand out like a sore-finger camping next to a large, neon billboard!

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Paris Hilton

But will the sponsers pay me?

On-line racing games, with my car decked out with addys like NASCAR? Or maybe just a little 'swoosh' on my WOW outfit?

Paris, 'cause it's all about marketing...

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That smell

It must be a survey from a marketing company.

I WAS a diehard Battlefield fan. Bought every version and expansion pack the day they were released. Except 2142. With paying for a game and then being subjected to advertising, EA lost me forever as a customer.

I stopped buying DVD's and started downloading them. Not because I'm cheap but because I won't stand for being subjected to a mandatory preview of upcoming releases.

With Sony's history of dictatorship, adding rootkits and now in-game advertising, they are another company whose products I can do without. It's a shame that Blu-Ray won. Sony doesn't deserve to be the god of HD.

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Paris Hilton

Soldiers actually like...

...getting shot while wearing FakeCorp's new range of bodyarmour, according to a FakeCorpMarketting survey.

Yeah. The only time ads are any use in a game is when they're contextual - eg, a football game with the appropriate banners, or a game in a city (eg, GTA) with billboards. Real products can certainly add to the realism then... but it's all about context, innit?

Paris, because this is my first time...

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The only way i would tolerate

The only way i would tolerate in-game advertising is if it was *really* good MMO, that was free to play. For example, if Eve wanted to drop or reducethe monthly sub and sell the advertising space on Billboards near Jumpgates (and they could add them outside stations) to real world companies, I wouldn't have a problem with this.

However, if they charge me for the game and/or a monthly fee,I do NOT want to be bombarded with adverts. I would never pay for a game where I was constantly bombarded with adds. CoD 4 is a great game, but I wouldn't play if it was "ad" supported.

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Flame

What the f***?

I don't know which group of "gamers" these clowns interviewed but 90% of the people that play MMOs have to put up with an unrelenting barrage of ad-spam from gold selling and power-levelling companies as it is.

All I can say is thank Christ I don't play the Sony owned FFXI, which I guarantee will be turned into an adfest as soon as this gets the green light due to it's large player base.

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Dead Vulture

In game advertising

I don't mind in game advertising as long as it fits in with the rest of the game. So make the adverts look like they could be part of the in game world rather than just dumped in some external source. So in racing games have adverts for cars, oil companies etc not for the latest gangsta rap tune. So clearly you can't drop modern ads in to games set historically.

With current systems it should be possible to not just have flat adverts, why not have the obligatory generic drinks cans that lie around everywhere in seemingly every game act as a "billboard", with Coca-cola et al paying to get their logo on the can? Perhaps the computer systems could be dynamically branded?

I suppose what I'm saying is you can't just dump an ad into a game and expect people to notice it. Ads need to be targeted at the game and audience, and the people providing the ads should be encouraged/forced to ensure the ads fit in.

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Go

Yes

I responded to a survey about this, don't know if it was this one or not.

Personally, as long as the ads fit with the setting of the game, then I see no problem. I'd rather not have Coke ads in Total War, or nVidia ads in a WWII shooter, but then again, having proper ads for proper products can add depth to a game like GTA or PGR. Futuristic games could have clever/funny brand awareness ads. And if it helps developers make more money to spend on developing better games, then I'm all for it.

Obviously, if a developer creates a game that stops every fifteen minutes and shows you non-interactive ads for toothpaste, nobody's going to buy that game. But that's not what's on the cards here.

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W
Joke

Any chance of...

an Adblock Plus + filterset.g + customizegoogle for PS3?

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hmmm

just fired off an email to SONY...

'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

It has recently come to my attention that Sony is to start pushing dynamic ads on the PS3.

From the comments I have read you seem to think that the public will be fine about this. Let me tell you that this went down EXTREMELY badly in the PC gaming World. Many people have fled from EA games due to this ridiculous inclusion of adverts. For example playing a futuristic shooting game you suddenly see an advert for Intel Core Duo!. This totally ruins the experience!

We have already spent £40 on a game… (far more than anywhere else in the world!), you then seem to think it will be ok to force adverts upon us. This simply isnt something you should do… I havent paid £400 for an advert delivery system! I am also annoyed that valuable bandwidth will be lost due to your advertising.

I have to say that myself and many of my employees will look into getting rid of our PS3s and look into the much cheaper x-box if this does go ahead!

Adverts are used to deliver FREE content… people do NOT pay for adverts (which you seem to think will be ok!) I think you will lose the respect of MANY people by doing this. It is in effect greedy and unneeded, how would you feel if suddenly your car started displaying adverts across the dashboard? technically you shouldn’t change a device after it has been bought as you are altering its purpose.

You may also want to check your small print as these systems were sold without dynamic ads, including them now is, in effect, a change to the system that we have already paid for. This amounts to a dynamic change of contract. And I am sure you will see people dynamically demanding a refund for a £400 advert player

I will be doing my best to see this stopped and will start lobbying online gaming forums, as well as consulting someone legally about the alteration in service you propose.

'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

i also just thought about this... what about kids? do we really want our kids to be even more brainwashed from adverts? let them all be turned into braindead american kids?!?! :(

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Ash

Bullsh*t.

Anything that takes away our already crippled bandwidth is a disgrace, as far as this online gamer is concerned.

When the bandwidth is free, I MIGHT consider letting you GIVE me a game for FREE which contains advertising,

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From the IGA website FAQ

http://www.igaworldwide.com/aboutus/faqs/

IGA has taken the only stance it can, which is to state that in-game advertising is required in order to meet the production costs of game development - otherwise the gamer could quite legitimately ask what they were getting in return for having adverts foisted on them.

This is a tricky argument to make though: are Sony seriously suggesting that their game development studio will go out of business if they don't include ads? And this is quite apart from the frankly unpleasant (albeit expected) idea that a customer of Sony, having spent the best part of £350 on software and the equipment with which to use it, should then be treated as a cash-cow to be milked again and again - demonstrated by the IGA websites distasteful use of the word "exploit".

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Anonymous Coward

Ads in Games?

Is this any different from the virtual[real] shops in Second Life?

There have been product placements in film for years and no one has complained about the price at the ticket office. Soaps are also full of product placements.

From a marketing point of view it is a clever move. When adrenaline levels are up, the eyes are much better at remembering and recalling what they saw. Does this make it a form of legal subliminal advertising?

Now, I am not a gamer so I can't say how this would affect me. Perhaps the same as if a DVD started to have ads for anything other than similar films produced by the same studio - and they annoy me enough. If Nintendo started to dump ads onto the games my kids play, I would be asking for my money back.

Like earlier posters have said, if customers don't like the change, no one will buy the games.

Just like I stopped watching Formula1 when it was interrupted by adverts all the time.

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Stop

In the right place...

Sports games fair enough, they already have ads in them all over the place, from football to motor racing.

Fantasy games etc though, where it would be incongruous, obviously not. In the last Judge Dredd game, they had Red Bull boxes all over the place and it just seemed daft.

And no no no to these 2 folks, Liam and Wokstation...

Both of you are saying it would be fine in a GTA game, a mistake I've seen so many times before (by journalists especially, i'm sure there was one here). I mean, have you actually played GTA at all? If so, did you get it? Every single "advert" in the game, much like most of the game, is satirical. Do you think the makers of the game want to push real products? No, everything in the game is designed to poke fun at its real life equivalent, including all the garbage that they want you to stuff in your face/drive/watch on tv/wear. Admittedly, the one exception to this is the music, an advert in itself, for itself, although the music on offer is all far better than you'd ever find on a real radio station, with all its own adverts etc. I would firmly believe that Rockstar North would curl up and die before allowing these kinds of ads into GTA. Why would it need to? The only games that NEED this are the shit that EA churn out year after year.

I don't mean any of that as an insult and surely if you have an inkling of what I mean, you'll agree.

Advertisers don't want incongruous/anachronistic. They want it to seem normal, like at the side of a football pitch, or on the side of a car in a race, so it can be subconsciously absorbed, not consciously ignored.

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Joe
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According to...?

... a 'study' carried conducted on behalf of IGA Worldwide, Sony's dedicated in-game advertising partner [yes, part/ner].

“From the 'research' [!] it is clear that the overwhelming majority of consumers enjoyed the gaming experience just as much, if not more, with dynamic ads present," says the senior business development director of Activision, whose job it is to make the company £$MONEY£$.

Well, it doesn't really need reiterating but you pay someone [you own] to do some [ahem] research and they come back with the [convenient] results your advertising company wanted to hear. "Ooh, I just love adverts. They make me go all fuzzy inside. Give me more, I just can't get enough of them after spending £30.00 to play your game. And bring out some patches too. Oh, yes. I just love fixing buggy games." I wonder when we'll have to pay for patching up our games?

Ad-driven games free to the prospective player are already a reality. EA are to bring the Battlefield franchise up to date with a freebie entitled Battlefield Heroes, a cartoonesque homage to Valve's Team Fortress 2. The idea is if you want your soldier to look cool and stand out from the crowd with his 733t military clobber and shades, you have to pay real money for it. Corporate sponsors like Lockheed Martin and BAE are probably chomping at the bit to get some good old fashioned hardware into the series. Cluster bomb anybody?

You'll be able to shoot a sign for a Big Mac and Fries delivered straight to your door and won't even have to get up from the comfort of your favourite gaming chair. Wow, the possibilities are endless.

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The only way this would work...

...is if the ads in question was made to *go* with the theme in general.

Let's say we choose BioShock. The ads already in it--which are very specific to the Art Deco 50's/60's feel--are a prime example for any real life ads that get inserted in it. The submersion is critical to a game--I don't want to see a glaring Matrix-like ad incongruiously placed among the classic smoke/plasmids ads there. The art team should do the design & placement for the ads themselves--they know the style and how not to disrupt the play, merely allowing the player to note the ad and perhaps admire it a bit after whatever was demanding their attention.

Am I getting this through you, or do I need to place bilboards in Spore for you?

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Happy

Equate this to movie product placement...

I'd have *no* problem with adverts in videogames, as long as they were treated just like major motion picture releases. Just like most people have already stated, it would be just fine to see an advert for say Motorola in "GTA IV", but not in "BF 1942"... just like it would be fine on to see the same ad on the silver screen in say "The Happening" but not "300".

It's all dependent on context, which is the way Hollywood has been doing things for years now anyway.

That said, I will be royally pissed if I start seeing really obtrusive ads in games. I'm already fed up with being subjected to "nVidia, the way it's ment to be played", "Plays best on Alienware", "Intel this, that, and the other" etc. etc. every time I launch a modern PC game.

Let's hope the developers (not the publishers, there's no hope there) realize that there is a real possibility they will alienate their fan base if things get out of hand. However, even with forced ads in game, the amount of people pissed off enough to boycott will never reach critical mass to change anything. That's why we're forced into previews on VHS/DVD, in the theaters, etc.

Cheers!

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Pirate

Battlefield 2142 ads

Since I'm crap at hitting the opposition anyway (TeamKills almost the same as EnemyKills<blushes>), at least I could guarantee to hit all those lovely ads positioned for my comfort and convenience at strategic (in the marketing sense, not the war-fighting sense) locations in BF2142...

There's an open-source port of the old classic "Elite" (called Oolite) which someone has written an add-on (well, five bits now!) for that adds ads (is that good English?) to the navigational markers... most of them are chucklesome but some of the punnish ones are just too much.

But then I treat in-game ads pretty much as I treat the real things - something not to walk or drive into, but not worth looking at most of the time.

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UGH!

I tell you what's just as annoying. I'd read three lines of that article before that FERKING SURVEY THING flies in my face AGAIN. I've filled the fecking thing out once, you want a fecking weekly update or what?

Seriously!!!!

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Anonymous Coward

what can we expect?

Sonic the hedgehog wearign Nikes?

Solid Snake munching on a BigMac?

Lara Croft in a playboy bunny outfit....

DoA girls with Johnson's Baby Oil.....

well this advertising lark might not be _all_ bad then....

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NO NO NO

This story sounds like pure propaganda. WARNING do not let advertisers in any way shape or from into video games. Once in, they will expand like a cancer. No No NO! Look at american television for example. Advertising is soo bad the shows are merely filler now in between the ads. Its like a video catalog of crap. Advertisers are satans spawn. Do not let them in. Back demons!

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Anonymous Coward

"Adverts are used to deliver FREE content"

Not if your name is Rupert

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Flame

..really?

Is it Really that big of a deal?So you're runnig around shooting things and you run by a sign that says "Intel" on it... Who freakin cares? You're shooting things and paying attention to the game are you not? Then why even bother whining about it.

"Oh no, They found another place to put products in front of me! hark! I must now be required to buy said product and piss more money away!" yes you paid money for the console, yes you paid money for the game. Then play the game! If things like this really bother your "gaming experience" then you should just dig a hole an bury yourself. Because whatever comes next, they'll do it then too. The only way to stop this? Stop buying anything. Ever.

Game On.

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Go

Another Important Study

Another important study has revealed that gamers also enjoy high contention ratios on their broadband connection. The researchers believe it enhances the sharing experience of modern games. Research was conducted by BullshitCorp - a subsidary of BT...

X

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Flame

Complete Hogwash

Marketing firm fakes results that make it look like people love additional marketing... Also, something in most kitchens that could kill you in mere minutes... More at 11!

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Tom
Silver badge

Do you like playing games with ads, or...

do you like playing games while being repeatedly hit on the head with a 2x4?

See everyone likes playing games with ads!

What's the point of doing a study when you have already been told what the answer is.

Just wait for the advertising department to start telling the developers to change the game. If 007 can be forced to drink beer for a few bucks what's next? Strawberry wine coolers?

The next GTA will have only Hyundai cars if Hyundai offers the most cash.

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Ben
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I can't wait........

I was just about to open the blast bay doors in "Assualt On The Control Tower" and reasonable render of Tony Blair comes jogging down the ramp , waving his arms about , eye twitching with fervent online emphasis , shouting about his new faith school project and how he wants Master Chief on board cos its just the coolest thing since the reformation . And you know what? I just looked down at the rocket launcher i was carrying and , heh , hell why not ?

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Wasn't the question

Which do you prefer:

1 - In game ads

2 - A red hot poker up the arse

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Context

30s/40s style Coca Cola posters in Bioshock would be cool, although I'm not familiar enough with the actual plot of the game to know if rapture was built to get away from that sort of consumerist tosh, but you get the idea.

I know it's been said a dozen times before, but I just got a mental image of a Big Daddy stomping past a dirty, mouldy old Coca Cola poster, and thought I'd share it, as I enjoyed it :-)

Steven R

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Bob
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Such a lie.

I once played Planetside, an online wargame set in the distant future far from Earth. It was a nice atmosphere... or it was until I charged into a base one day only to find ads for Deuce Bigalo 2: European Gigolo plastered all over the place. I wish I was lying. That was the end of my subscription.

These people are filthy, filthy liars.

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Linux

In game ads

I hope Sony looses millions over this crap. I know I won't be buying any Sony PS3 games.

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But in real life...

>If I pay for something I don't then expect to be bombarded by adverts

I take it you arent a Sky subscriber then ?

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B*ll*cks

NO - it's all very amusing at the moment because it's a novelty. When the novelty wears off what do we have? More product placement. More $$$ signs on the things we enjoy. More corporate brainwashing right in the heart of a medium that has enabled us to escape from this dispondent non-creative culture of consumerism. Ever watch 1984? Do you think Advertisers and Marketers would even hesitate at the though of broadcasting their products directly into our brains if the opportunity arose? Would we enjoy it then? Maybe at first...

"...Kill yourselves..." - Bill Hicks.

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Flame

Advertising scourge

When I started playing WoW a few months ago, one of the first things I noticed was the incessant stream of chat and whisper spam from gold-selling and powerleveling sites. It drove me nearly insane, until a fellow player pointed out a nice little add-on called SpamMeNot. That completely eliminates all the spam, even the cheat-tricks like the "wow-gold.(0m" type evasions that the spammers try on to fool anti-spam systems. It is pure gold, it shouldn't be an add-on; Blizzard should include it built-in to the game!

I went to WoW because I'm absolutely fecking sick of the stupid laws, political correctness, greed and crass consumerism that have taken over this world. In Azeroth, nobody tries to ban the things I enjoy, nobody tries to control my mind (aside from certain spells in the game!), nobody is studying ways to bypass my conscious decision-making processes to make me want to buy a product, and I can live in a fantasy world free from all the bullshit that makes this planet such an unpleasant place to live.

So it is to be fervently hoped Blizzard don't repeat EA's and Sony's mistakes. The day I see a Blizzard-sanctioned advert in WoW will be the day I cancel my subscription. End of story.

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... and then

Free games with adverts, no problem.

Purchased games with adverts, no way.

Firstly, as others have stated, placing adverts in non-contemporary settings can kill the sense of immersion.

If we, the gamers, only reject the games that violate that immersion, then the publishers will respond by publishing games that are less likely to be rejected. That means more games in contemporary scenarios, and less games in the sci-fi/fantasy/just-plain-out-there arenas.

Given the relative paucity, already, of games that are not clones of Quake/C&C/EA (Sport) 200x/Last Year's Surprise Hit, this can only be a bad thing.

Therefore, I think we gamers must reject advertising in purchased games completely.

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Paris Hilton

What crap

This survey has undoubtedly been biased so far towards getting the result the marketing company that paid for it wanted it's not funny.

Having advertising forced down my throat makes me sick.

Paris because you'd be surprised at the number of things that have been down her throat.

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Alien

Open Secret Mission ..... ESPecial Operations.

"I can't wait........

"I was just about to open the blast bay doors in "Assualt On The Control Tower" and reasonable render of Tony Blair comes jogging down the ramp , waving his arms about , eye twitching with fervent online emphasis , shouting about his new faith school project and how he wants Master Chief on board cos its just the coolest thing since the reformation . And you know what? I just looked down at the rocket launcher i was carrying and , heh , hell why not ?" ... Ben • Tuesday 17th June 2008 20:09 GMT

Who Pilots Blairs Faith Foundation InterPlanetary Craft, would be AI Leading Question Pleading what is ITs Root and Route? And to whom does IT Server ?

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Alert

Time for a proper Firewall...

An AC asked about "an Adblock Plus + filterset.g + customize for PS3?"

Not for the console, no, but instead of plugging your console straight into the 'net, plug it into a spare computer set up as a Firewall.

There are tools for Windows & Linux that allow you to determine the location your system is attempting to connect with.

If you can determine the game is at "game.sony.com" but the ads are coming from "ads.adserver.scumco.com", block "ads.adserver.scumco.com".

Then you never see ads from that server again & problem solved.

----====----

Dear Console Makers & Video Game Makers for them.

If I have to spend multiple hundreds of dollars to purchase one of your consoles in order to drop another fifty or hundred to purchase the game, too, then I *Absolutely* *Do* *Not* want to see ads.

Any ads.

Ever.

You've already GOT my money, so stop wasting my time (& the internet connection I'm paying for) trying to annoy me with ads.

I will do everything in my power to stop you, and there's not a [CENSORED] thing you can do about it.

Want me to watch your ads in a specific game?

Then give me the game for free.

Want me to watch ads in ALL of your games?

Then I want the console gratis as well.

I drop $20K on a new car, I don't expect to get ads flashed across the windshield to "subsidize your manufacturing costs".

I drop $500 on a new game console, I don't expect ads there, either (for the exact same reason).

If I have to pay full price for the console/game, then I'm NOT paying to subsidize those bits.

If you want to show us ads, then you need to SIGNIFICANTLY drop the prices on the console/games to compensate us for our time, bandwidth, & annoyance.

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Coat

I can's see too much of a problem

As long as it's done in keeping with the game and I don't suddenly find an advertising banner obstructing my sights, then ok. Maybe the occasional billboard in a game. I can see it might be a problem for some games not set in modern times or sci-fi / fantasy games. I doubt the enterprise would fly around with an advert for durex stamped on it's hull!

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hmmm

@ In the right place...

wtf? i never said that GTA should have adverts. i said that the comedy ones they contain make the game more fun... hence the crusty brown comment... i know i write a lot (boredom lol) but please keep up :) the last thing that game needs is REAL ads! :(

@ Lara Croft in a playboy bunny outfit....

DoA girls with Johnson's Baby Oil.....

whats the problem with that? :)

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