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 …
Ads - The ever present menace
Lets, face it we are going to get them no matter what we say because these companies are in it for the money. The top management don't really care about the games unless they are avid gamers. (since most are 50+ then they won't be)
I like accuracy in my sports sims so knowing there's a Ford advert at a certain place on a certain track or the rolling ads next to a football pitch doesn't really bother me but the example of BF 21whatever does. If it had said just Intel then thats fine but advertising the latest processor is just stupid, ADVERTISNG NEEDS TO FIT THE GAME STORYLINE. If I played a game set in 1921 I wouldn't expect to see an advert for Nintendo.
Bill, 'cos it was probably his idea.
Taking applications for firing squads now
The revolution can't come soon enough.
First in game advert i saw
Battlefield 2142 had an advert on the billboard in the war torn future (Bearing in mind the game is fighting for resources in a world that has the new ice age, so no farm land, little resources)
...and in the middle of this was an advert for Lloyds TSB, saying get prepared for life with a student account. (I even sent the El Reg a screen shot as it looked that odd)
It ruined the whole effect, as I was in a level based in the middle east for a start fighting in a war torn future where banks and financial districts had collapsed and britain was a no go area under the ice. not enough food supplies and not enough land to actually farm, but here was an untouched billboard selling me a student bank account.
Another advert was for dual core chips from IBM, again 200 years in the future who will be using Dual cores or care.
If it was GTA and in vegas fair enough. But not in the future and not for pointless things.
Problem is they just want to make more money and some none game playing moron in charge thinks that it is the way forward.
Study of gamers my arse. They probably said, here is a chance to win a PS3, answer these questions, if you tick all of column A as wll we give you $100.
Is it naive to think they would do it in a nice way ...
Initially, reading through the comments I felt people were maybe overreacting.
I was thinking, surely they're just talking about introducing a mechanism where a game such as Burnout Paradise, which has billboards and branded vehicles, can sort of justify including them and could perhaps update these on the fly with different sponsors over the lifetime of the game.
Then someone mentioned EA's love of sports franchises and what they did with Battlefield 2142. Then someone else mentioned bandwidth and download caps.
So, I could tolerate it if its discreet, fitting product placement similar to the movies. It would be nice to think it might result in reduced game prices or allowed the game studios to have a cash cushion to subsidise a few more experimental games, rather than relying purely on tried and tested formula.
For games such as the above mentioned Burnout I wouldn't mind too much if they were encouraged to patch and expand the game for free, and include changes to the sponsors in those updates. I used to be a big UT2k4 player and liked the fact that Epic continued to patch the game and add FREE (admittedly community based) map packs at regular intervals.
However, I can see that for certain companies, it would either be to increase the bonuses taken at board/shareholder level, or to finance the takeover of more individual games with the intent of turning them into yet another franchise.
Plus, given that since Virgin have taken over my decent broadband provider and started turning my nice fast unlimited cable connection into a capped and throttled one for the same money, similar to all the other providers, I really don't like the idea of adding the dynamic downloading of nice big advertising textures, to the stream of data that I download while playing - especially when I'm supposedly playing single player, therefore technically off-line.
You could also argue that racing games such as Gran Turismo and Need For Speed are nothing more than big car advertisements, so one might hope the license agreements with car manufacturers for those games are used to subsidise the game development, rather than provide a purely additional revenue stream to the car companies. Sadly I don't think it's the former.
Does this mean there'll be a subtle natural selection towards games set in a modern-day environment where contemporary ads are appropriate? Can we expect to say goodbye to sf, fantasy or historical genre games in favour of gritty urban dramas?
Adverts break the suspension of disbelief. It's not like media companies have a great track-record of being subtle about product placement as it is. Unsubtle product-placement always ruins a movie.
They're about to push a lot of people away...
The marketing companies weren't going to let any other results come out except those that said that us gamers want to see their adverts.
Frankly, there are 3 things that bother me:
1. Why the HELL should I pay someone for a product so they can advertise to me? I've already seen games like City of Heroes admit they're putting adverts into their game AND if you turn off the adverts you won't be entitled to player-generated content....DESPITE PAYING A MONTHLY FEE!
2. Adverts are insidious. Don't be fooled. Marketers known that an individual advert doesn't do all that much to a viewer. However, the repetition of the advert over and over DOES penetrate your subconscious. Games may even become a less-regulated arena than places like television where advert numbers and the use of flash-frames are limited, or altogether banned.
3. Bandwidth and service interruption - am I going to have to have adverts streamed to me whilst trying to play against other people in games that involve fast reaction times...just to suddenly have a lag-pause every time I sweep past a billboard?
Sony are obviously gearing up for HOME. Previously it may have been illegal for sponsors or branded themes in a PS3 environment. But This opens up all sorts of opportunities. Cinemas, The latest SONY branded LCDs at your apartment, arcades with playable demos etc etc. Perhaps this was required to clear up any legal aspects of what HOME will include. ?
Just a thought.
Personally I think games are buggy and slow enough at loading etc without adding unnecessary on-line code to stream ads. Its stupid.
@Liam - Apologies! I misinterpreted what you said (red mist from the first one about it). That said though, you seem agree with what I said about real ads being completely wrong for GTA. Since then, 2 others have posted saying ads would be fine in GTA though, possibly through ignorance of the games nature.
You are really close mate...how about this scenario?
(1) you want full commercials before, during, and after the game?
(2) you want ad placement during the game?
(3) you want (1) and (2) ?
(4) you want (3) and a hot poker?
(5) you want tasering and (4) ?
(untitled) (take that, title-requiring-comment-system!)
I can see ads in GTA. I can see ads in racing games. I can see ads in a game that takes place 200 years in the future, as long as those ads look like they're 200 years old.
Here's an idea, how about putting the ads on... loading screens! I doubt that things like "This multiplayer server has been brought to you by... Intel. The power to do more! Enjoy!" would bother people that much as long as they're completely unobtrusive to gameplay.
The thing that pissed me off was when I played Crackdown last year in single player and saw advertisements for freaking Dodge SUVs. I don't think it'd irritate me quite so much if they were futuristic looking SUVs but they weren't. Or if the police SUV were Dodge branded, that'd be fine too (in fact, I'd probably drive around saying "I'M THE JUGGERNAUT").
Paris, for thinking for a moment that SUVs have a future.
Because we all believe what the marketing companies tell us...
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