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More Advertising in Your Next Xbox Game

samzenpus posted more than 7 years ago | from the this-level-boss-brought-to-you-by-coke dept.

XBox (Games) 278

ejwong writes "TheGameFeed is reporting on Microsoft's plans to offset Xbox360 game costs with more in game advertising under its subsidiary, Massive. In-game ads are gaining popularity and the wave isn't going to stop. Publishers see this as a huge potential for increased game revenues to help offset the rising development costs for the Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii. The question is how far will they go, and how much are gamers willing to take?." From the article: "If you plan on picking up an Xbox 360 title this month, then you're probably picking up one with Massive's in-game ads. Titles such as Crackdown, Def Jam: Icon, MLB 2K7, and Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 are all part of the Massive network showing off ads from Dell, Intel, Discovery Channel, Intel, NBC, Verizon and even the Navy among others. "

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Just like cable TV (4, Insightful)

maynard (3337) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280694)

We pay an obscene amount of money for the content, and then pay again in eyeballs for advertising. Anybody feeling screwed yet?

Re:Just like cable TV (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280720)

I'm not sure every company wants their products associated with Microsoft. I suppose you could always advertise your competitors products, though.

Re:Just like cable TV (2, Funny)

debozero (209948) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280736)

"...Anybody feeling screwed yet?"

Yes and I wish games would start supplying free dinner tickets at least this way I can get dinner before I get screwed.....

My favorite is theaters (4, Informative)

spun (1352) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280910)

I still like to see certain movies in the theaters, but in order to get a good seat, you need to get there early and submit to a constant barrage of advertising that you just paid $9+ for the privilege of watching.

Re:My favorite is theaters (2, Insightful)

maynard (3337) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281006)

I haven't gone to a movie theater since I installed an HD projector in my living room. The entertainment industry is in a death spiral of their own making.

Re:My favorite is theaters (0, Troll)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281310)

I installed an HD projector in my living room. The entertainment industry is in a death spiral of their own making.

Really? What exactly were you planning on watching on your HD projector? The test pattern? Home movies recorded on your HD DVcam?

Re:My favorite is theaters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18281384)

maybe... HBO HD? dumbass

Re:My favorite is theaters (2, Informative)

maynard (3337) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281544)

Actually, I have HBOHD and it's worth every penny, if but for Rome and Deadwood alone. The other HD pay channels aren't as good, though I got some chuckles from Weeds on SHOHD. IMO: The best stuff on Cable HD is the Discovery Channel and the National Geographic Channel - though I do tend to DVR stuff and watch it later so I can skip the ads. And, of course the projector is great for DVDs.

Re:My favorite is theaters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18281408)

Maybe hundreds of titles from Kazaa :D

Re:My favorite is theaters (1)

Dorkmaster Flek (1013045) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281292)

What about all those ads about how piracy is wrong and "you wouldn't steal a car"? I love being made to feel guilty after plunking down $10 for a movie.

Re:My favorite is theaters (3, Interesting)

MeanderingMind (884641) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281364)

That always bothered me as well. Aren't they targetting the wrong demographic? You're telling the people who have just paid $9 to see the film that they should see films in theatres. Which is... where they already are and what they're trying to do. The people who pirate the film aren't likely to be there, they saw it 3 days before it arrived in theatres.

Re:Just like cable TV (4, Insightful)

sfnate (1049552) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281438)

This is the thin wedge of advertising--let it in and it will grow to dominate the virtual landscape in the same why it dominates the real. No question. Those who argue that the market will correct any excesses are a bit naive. One of the reasons I gave up television altogether was that the advertising was completely out of control. The advertising won't stop or be curtailed by these gaming companies once they realize it's going to pump a lot of money into their coffers--they'll come to depend on the revenue stream like a crack addict and will keep expanding the ad space by degrees, slowly so you won't notice what you're losing and unconciously become accustomed to it. And just like on TV the shows are there to keep your eyeballs focused until the next ad appears, games will become yet another way to keep you sitting still and passively taking in adverts. At least with Tivo you can fast forward--I don't think a similar workaround will be available to gamers. Charge me a price that covers your costs and keep the ads out.

Console gaming (5, Insightful)

linvir (970218) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280702)

Seems that every day, another piece of news shows up telling me that I got out of console gaming at exactly the right time.

This generation just gets more underwhelming by the minute.

Re:Console gaming (1)

User 956 (568564) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280982)

This generation just gets more underwhelming by the minute.

What, you mean you don't like the new hit show, "Ow, My Balls!"? (Brought to you by Carl's Jr.)

Re:Console gaming (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281418)

It's still better than "Bitch, Those Are My Balls!" (Brought to you by Marriage, Inc.)

Re:Console gaming (1)

PFI_Optix (936301) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281060)

But you're going to miss out on Command & Conquer 3 on console! /sarcasm

This generation just gets more underwhelming by the minute.

I have a whole great big rant about how the upcoming generation sucks far more than most, but it just makes me sound like an old man griping about these darned kids who won't stay off my lawn.

Re:Console gaming (3, Insightful)

linvir (970218) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281210)

I have a whole great big rant about how the upcoming generation sucks far more than most
Let me guess:
  • Needless obsession with "realistic" graphics
  • Market saturated by cookie-cutter sequels, remakes and franchises
  • Too little focus on fun
  • Fear of innovation
  • Games now cost a fortune to make
  • A bunch of other stuff

I bet I have the same rant as you.

but it just makes me sound like an old man
It certainly does. I showed my cousin our old Amstrad CPC464 the other day. He was not impressed by the tape deck, the five minute loading times, or the simplistic gameplay. I think there's a happy medium though, somewhere around the SNES era.

Re:Console gaming (1)

MeanderingMind (884641) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281482)

Indeed, I can think of a huge number of games from the SNES era that I have fond memories of.

Tecmo Super Bowl
Secret of Mana
Seiken Densetsu 3
Final Fantasy IV
Final Fantasy VI
Chrono Trigger
Super Mario World
Super Mario Kart
Metal Warriors
Megaman X
Yoshi's Island
Super Bomberman 2
Super Metroid
Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
Street Fighter 2

And that's all top of my head, hardly thinking about it, excluding Genesis titles.

There have been great games since then, Azure Dreams for the Playstation, Super Smash Bros on the N64, or Katamari Damancy on the PS2 being examples. However, it seems a lot easier to completely blow a 3D game than a 2D one.

Re:Console gaming (1)

king-manic (409855) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281590)

your just forgettign the dreck they had before. For every Secret of mana or Space invaders they had 4 secret of evermore and ET. The sequlitis, unfun dreck is as common as it's always been. Only now the over all quality has gone from terrible to mediocre.

I have a guess... (4, Insightful)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280708)

Gamers will be willing to take it until the point where they won't, then the producers will stop at exactly that point. Yeah, I know, it's not rocket surgery.

Games are getting more and more expensive to produce. This seems like a reasonable extra revenue stream, unless taken to extremes. The market will adjust itself so it's not taken to extremes.

Re:I have a guess... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281002)

Gamers will be willing to take it until the point where they won't, then the producers will stop at exactly that point

No, the industry will stop for a while. Then, once you get a little more accustomed to the reaming you're getting, they'll expand the program again. Companies don't stop trying to get more money for the same or less.

Yeah, I know, it's not rocket surgery.

*laugh* That's one of the best mixed metaphors ever!!

The market will adjust itself so it's not taken to extremes.

The market also adjusts itsself to people becoming accustomed to certain things. This may slow down somewhat, but the trend isn't going to go away.


Re:I have a guess... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18281102)

*laugh* That's one of the best mixed metaphors ever!!
Make like a tree and get out of here.

Re:I have a guess... (1)

MeanderingMind (884641) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281524)

Sadly, Biff's stupidity can't be qualified as a mixed metaphor so much as a simple screw up.

A fool and his money gather no moss.... that's mixing things up.

And Rocket Surgery needs to be a new game.

Re:I have a guess... (1)

iamacat (583406) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281514)

Games are getting more and more expensive to produce.

Virtual reality games are getting more and more expensive to produce. They are also getting less and less fun to play because:

  • Reality is messy and it takes too much time to do things.
  • People play games to escape from reality
  • Cartoon graphics looks nice
  • The plot is trivial because all costs go to graphics and its hard to potray interesting things in photorealistic way

All other kind of games - puzzle, scrolling shooter, non-VR roleplaying - are getting cheaper and cheaper to produce with availability of high level languages and graphics tools. It's time for someone to realize that a 3D FPS is not the only kind of game, just as e-mail and word processor are not the only possible applications.

I am going to research if a game has ads (1)

0racle (667029) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280710)

If it does, I will not buy it.

Re:I am going to research if a game has ads (-1, Flamebait)

MBraynard (653724) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280804)

Why? That is so inherently illogical.

It's like saying you won't buy a game if the box is blue. It doesn't have anything to do with your enjoyment of the game.

I'd also wager you a hypocrit. Someone else like you mentioned the same thing but also had a link to their game collection in their sig which had many games with adverts.

Maybe you should rephrase your statement so you are not a current or potential victim of hypocracy by saying 'if the adverts interfere with or somehow break the game, I will not buy it, just as I will not buy a very buggy game.'

Your puritanism on this is obnoxious. And typical.

Re:I am going to research if a game has ads (2, Funny)

jspectre (102549) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280884)

yeah. until you're in the middle of your frag fest and suddenly the game pauses.. and an advert starts to play..

"busy killing your friends? take a short break to go down a refreshing glass of joe-kola.. this game of death-killer-2000 brought to you by joe-kola.. kill more people hyped up on joe-kola, it's what the killer craves.. it's got electrolytes! we now return you to your slaughter"

and the game unpauses..

"i remember when games didn't have commercials.. no. really, they didn't!"

Re:I am going to research if a game has ads (1)

NsOmNiA91130 (942812) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281160)

Oh please, the ads are usually nothing more than a billboard ad or a stadium ad. No game I have ever played with ads detracted from the game, in fact, some are helped by it (sports games, in particular). And ads have been in games for a while, hell, some games are ads, such as the Burger King ones.

Re:I am going to research if a game has ads (1)

mingot (665080) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281198)

Heh, yeah, that would be annoying.

In the case of Crackdown there are loads of billboards all around the city. They used to have adverts for dodge trucks. Last night I noticed that some of them were for Intel. I thought it was pretty slick, to be honest.

Re:I am going to research if a game has ads (1)

0racle (667029) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280936)

Exactly how am I a hypocrite, because you believe I must have games with ads in them?

Yes I believe ad's break a game, I believe they ruin a show or movie as well. If I wanted to see ads I would watch TV. I wouldn't read a book that started off "Brought to you by Subway" either.

You asked why I wouldn't buy a game that had ad's in it. I don't want to see them, that's why.

Re:I am going to research if a game has ads (2, Insightful)

linvir (970218) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280954)

How is it illogical? He doesn't want ads in his games, so he's going to vote with his wallet. Makes sense to me, though I doubt I'd go as far. Whether or not adverts interfere with enjoyment is subjective. You can't just tell him that adverts in videogames don't bother him. It doesn't work like that.

And why do you think he's a hypocrite? There is no evidence of this. None. What the hell?

I dont have a problem (5, Informative)

adamstew (909658) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280718)

I don't have any problem with in game ads. If it helps them generate revenue for future development, that can only help create incentive for future games.

Plus, with some games, it makes them more realistic...to have an actual Pepsi, Nike, Pizza Hut, etc. ad in the game rather than just "liberty city pizza".

I would only have a problem with it if the ads took over the game, or they were intrusive on the game play.

For example: If it's just a subway sign, or billboard in a FPS, or those signs hung up around the stadiums in sports games...those are fine...

But if the game actually cuts to a commercial between loading screens...then that's not cool at all.

Re:I dont have a problem (2, Interesting)

SeeManRun (1040704) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280854)

I actually prefer having non existant advertisements. It allows the creators to be more creative with how they have an advertisement for a fake company. Makes it fun to look at the adds because they are creative. I can't remember exactly which games, but I know I have seen some hilarious ones. Duke Nukem comes to mind, but it was so long ago I can't remember. One way to protest this would be to either write software that shuts off the network connection while playing a game (of course single player only) or just to unhook the NIC before playing. I don't imagine there would be enough people to do that to make a difference though.

Re:I dont have a problem (1)

adamstew (909658) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280972)

This is true...there are a lot of games out there that put in many wonderful easter eggs in the form of "advertising" fake products.

Doom 3, Half Life, HL2 all come to mind.

Only problem is, that most companies that are willing to put in-game advertising are also the ones that aren't creative enough, or where the managers aren't willing to take a risk with funny fake ads.

so.. (5, Funny)

mastershake_phd (1050150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280726)

Microsoft's plans to offset Xbox360 game costs with more in game advertisingBR>

So the games are going to be cheaper right?

Re:so.. (1)

undeaf (974710) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280852)

Of course not. I keep hearing such claims of "rising developement costs" all the time, without much justification to go along with them.(although this is the first time I heard such a claim about wii games). It looks like nothing more than a big load of FUD to excuse squeezing consumers more.

Re:so.. (1)

miyako (632510) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281022)

Higher resolutions and more polygons means that games require much more in the way of artists and developers. In the SNES days, one or two people could easily create a game on par with anything the big names were putting out- even in the PS1/N64 era a small group could put out a game on the cheap, now days even relatively simple games need teams of 15-20 people and a million or so dollars to get out there.

Re:so.. (1)

Cartack (628620) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281506)

a million or so? now a days it costs a million just to license the game engine.

Re:so.. (1)

miyako (632510) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281560)

Big budget games with licensed engines can cost tens of millions of dollars to produce, but even in the PS1/N64, and possibly back into the SNES, days, big budget games were expensive to make. Now days though, you couldn't even make tetris for a console and get it out there for less than a million dollars- and that's the difference. Back in the days of the SNES- and even more so in the NES and Atari years, one or two people with a few thousand dollars to make carts could get a game out there and start making money.

Re:so.. (1)

jahudabudy (714731) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281138)

Of course development costs are rising. The programmers should be getting raises, rent on the office building should be going up, powering the machines used goes up in costs, I'm sure there are hundreds of little expenses that go up over time. Over time, everything goes up in cost, it's the way our economy works. I'm not saying developers aren't trying to also see their profits go up, but you seem skeptical that costs are also going up; they are.

Can be a good thing (1)

nbcjr (797555) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280732)

On racing games the ads only enhance the experience.

Intel (2, Funny)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280748)

From the article:

"showing off ads from Dell, Intel, Discovery Channel, Intel, NBC, Verizon and even the Navy among others."
But will there be ads from Intel?

Re:Intel (1)

PhilipMckrack (311145) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280862)

Looks like intel is buying ad space from thegamefeed. $50.00 for a double list mention, $100.00 for a triple and $1000.00 to have only you listed, but it looks funny when it reads "showing off ads from Intel, Intel, Intel, Intel, Intel, Intel and even Intel among others".

wow... Intel AND Intel (0, Redundant)

miro f (944325) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280754)

will the processor wars never end?

Re:wow... Intel AND Intel (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280834)

...running on an Xbox 360, powered by CPUs made by IBM :-)

Re:wow... Intel AND Intel (2, Funny)

Scooter's_dad (833628) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281018)

Must be an example of dual-core advertising.

It's not only the immersion spolied (2, Insightful)

iampiti (1059688) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280756)

Besides the immersion being spoiled (at least for me), just think how out of place the ads are going to feel a few months from now.
When I saw that huge axe ad in burnout i thought what's doing it there? it's just so big and outstanding.
Please stop the advertisements in games!

Re:It's not only the immersion spolied (1)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281258)

Well, according to one game company [activision.com] , the average gamer wants in-game advertising. [guardian.co.uk] I'm not quite sure how I feel about this, as I feel ads are appropriate in some genres. Consider a sports game, such as baseball or soccer. In their real-world counterparts, ads are generally found lining the playing field. At a baseball stadium, ads are clearly visible right behind the batter, so that the camera is focused on them the entire game. These ads are generally green screen ads and are totally useless at the actual ballpark, they're only added during processing for the home viewer. Now if I was playing a baseball video game, and saw ads behind the batter, I don't think I would care that much. If I was playing a soccer game, and saw ads lining the field, I wouldn't care that much either. If I was playing a racing game such as Burnout, and saw billboards as I drove along, again, not a big deal. Ads are a real part of the "real world", and as games become more realistic, it's only natural to have them included, at least in my opinion.

Now ads are obviously out of place in certain genres or settings. If I was playing Counterstrike and saw an ad for Axe, I wouldn't care, but if I was playing Thief and saw an a similar ad, I'd probably be pissed off. If I was playing a futuristic RPG and some ad agency wanted to be creative and display an ad for Coca-Cola in the year 2500, I'd probably appreciate the fact that their ad was tailored towards my gaming experience and they went out of their to "enhance" the ad. However, if I was playing Final Fantasy 13 and saw an ad for Coke, I'd probably be able to read a rant on some message board complaining about how someone's gaming experience was tainted, and I would generally agree.

Anyways, my point is that ads do have their place, whether they're welcome or not. If they blend into the game well, then more power to them, let them advertise. If they stick out like a sore thumb, then I don't want to see them and feel I have the right to complain then. But as always, we have can vote with our dollars, and if you don't like in-game ads, then don't buy games that have them.

Axe Marketing Response (1)

underwhelm (53409) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281302)

what's doing it there? it's just so big and outstanding.

Dear Consumer,

Thank you for noticing our ad in your video game. We appreciate the glowing praise, as we pride ourselves on our outstanding advertising program.

In answer to your question "what's [it doing] there:" Thank you for noticing our ad in your video game.


Axe Marketing

Re:It's not only the immersion spolied (1)

Kelbear (870538) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281588)

On the other hand, I was playing R6: Vegas and a sniper was firing down at me from a billboard platform. I popped a round into his head and I zoomed out to reveal...an Axe ad?

I thought, wow, that's cool. I see Axe ads in real life. Amazing that a game featuring counter-terrorism using a contemporary setting is using contemporary ads. It's more realistic than seeing a billboard for "Guillotine" deoderant. Might as well just do it and make some extra dough. I don't mind.

As others have stated, I don't care so long as they do it tastefully.

Getting popular? (2, Interesting)

fotbr (855184) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280760)

Maybe with marketing. But not with any gamer I've talked to.

None of those games are going to be cheaper to buy because of their ads, which is the only way the gaming community is going to like this. If I can get what would have been a $50 game for $20 because it has ads, I might consider buying the game. But I'm not keen on paying "full" price for a game with ads.

Adverts in Crackdown? (1)

Lightwarrior (73124) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280766)

What? I own Crackdown, and I haven't seen a single in-game ad for any real world products - mentioned or otherwise.

Re:Adverts in Crackdown? (1)

Xzzy (111297) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280808)

Open your eyes then dude, because every billboard in the game has an advertisement on it.

Dodge seems to be the most popular one.

Re:Adverts in Crackdown? (1)

Giometrix (932993) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281016)

Crackdown does a pretty good job integrating ads into the game. If this is far as they take than I'm happy.

Crackdown? (1)

svendsen (1029716) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280772)

Play this tons and haven't seen one ad. In fact I was impressed at the time they took to name a lot of buildings with fake names that gave the city a sense of life.

Product Placement or Game Displacement? (1)

gurps_npc (621217) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280776)

I see no problem with Product Placement Adds (Billboard inside the game that you can see, maybe even shoot up etc.)

But I would demand my money back if they did the kind of crap the movies let people get away with (Ads where trailers used to be, etc.)

Re:Product Placement or Game Displacement? (1)

adamstew (909658) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281064)

Trailers are ads...Movie makers pay theaters to put their trailers in with specific movies...

I mean, it helps everyone out...the theaters like it, because you'll come to see more movies, and the movie makers like it because it gives them publicity for their movies. It also makes sense: Show movie ads to people who are willing to pay to go see a movie.

However, the non-movie related ads in theaters do tick me off. I once sat through 20 minutes of non-movie related advertisements for everything ranging from soft drinks, to TV shows, to cars, to clothes, to credit cards, to joining the army. Then the previews started...As a movie lover, I do enjoy previews, and got 10 minutes of those...then the movie I paid to see finally started...a full _30 minutes_ after the scheduled start time of the movie.

Re:Product Placement or Game Displacement? (1)

gurps_npc (621217) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281202)

Trailers are real Ads. They are listings of products for sale at that theater. It is the same thing as going into Burger King and seeing a picture of a burger - that is a listing of what is for sale there, not a real advertisement to get you to do something you don't already want to do.

Even if the trailer is for a movie that is not out yet, it still is different from a regular ad. That is why you like them, but dislike the coke, etc. ads.

Allowing the movie theaters to convince you that a trailer is like a regular ad is how they snuck them in in the first place.

Similarly, if I have to watch even a 10 second commercial before I can begin my game, I will want my money back. Don't let them get away with it.

Re:Product Placement or Game Displacement? (1)

adamstew (909658) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281582)

I do agree that trailers are ads. They just aren't unwanted ads. As a movie lover, I enjoy knowing what's coming out on the horizon :)

What I do have a problem is them showing completely unrelated ads (pepsi, nike, army, cars, etc.) as that is not related to what I am there to do: enjoy movies.

Movie trailers are ads that improve the experience.
non-trailers ads detract from the experience.

Same thing goes in video games: Ads that make up the billboards, posters, etc. in a sports venue improve the experience...Actually cutting from the game to watch a commercial would detract from it.

Subliminal Messaging (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18280780)

Every crackpot conspiracy theorist knows that this has happened since the days that a red monkey threw barrels at us.

I, for one, remain unopposed to and unaffected by ads be they in games, tv, music videos, etc.

Yvan et Nioj!

I shoulda... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18280790)

I had this idea a long time ago, but, as you can guess, I didn't pursue it. now someone else is going to make millions on what could have been my idea.

My View (1)

krunoce (906444) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280812)

I don't mind so much in racing games, but if I see a Wal-Mart logo on my needler in Halo 3 then I'm gonna be pissed.

Re:My View (1)

PunditGuy (1073446) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281376)

I just came across some Halo 3 concept art [stthomas.edu] you're not going to like.

Re:My View (1)

krunoce (906444) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281546)

ROFL. Dude, you made my week. =)

What's The Problem (4, Insightful)

wolff000 (447340) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280828)

As long as the ads are done well I don't care if they are in my game. We see all kinds of stuff in games that would normally have an ad on it in real life. I don't know how many games have fake ads for products that don't exist to ad to the realism. It doesn't make a difference to me if the vending machine my character walks by says Soda or Cocoa-Cola. Honestly if done correctly in game advertising could really add to the realism of games. Yes it could be very easily overdone and become invasive but if done correctly it could improve games. How you say? Extra income! If the game developers themselves got cash for incorporating real world products in games they could spend more money developing the games and afford to hire better talent. This could be a very good thing for games then again if done wrong it could be the worst thing ever. Only time will tell.

Re:What's The Problem (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280872)

ahh.. the infamous generic "soda" machine.. halo2 is full of those damn things.. i wonder if "soda" is going to be a hit with the new covenant overlords : )

Precisely (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281128)

All comes down to delivery. If the ads are well integrated in to the game in a natural way, then it's a bonus. I'd much rather see in game TVs playing ads (which is what real TVs tend to do) rather than a static image, or 4 frame loop of a guy pretending to talk or something. The only problem will be if it is something stupid like a full screen ad that you have to sit and stare at before you are allowed to play, or otherwise invasive in the game environment.

My guess is that console makers are going to limit them mainly to the former kind. Since they have to bless all games that are going to be released, they can maintain this kind of control. I doubt they want to see their gamers get pissed off.

Advertising isn't bad when it's done well. Product placement in movies is often a very nice thing, as it feels more real.

Re:What's The Problem (4, Interesting)

crabpeople (720852) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281264)

"We see all kinds of stuff in games that would normally have an ad on it in real life"
So, in real life, ads are everywhere. With no debate as to whether or not this is desireable, you have concluded that the practice should naturally be ported to games.

Hows this for a compromise: Less ads in real life, to bring them down to an ingame level.


"Yes it could be very easily overdone and become invasive"
Could be? Thats the entire POINT of advertising!

Crazy Taxi (1)

TimmyDee (713324) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281396)

I'm going to cite Crazy Taxi as a good example of this. The advertising is well placed and does not significantly interfere with game play (in fact, it may make it seem more realistic). I for one was never offended by any of it.

That's not saying I trust MS to make the correct decision when they outline the in-game advertising guidelines. . .

When $70 isn't enough for a game. (1)

necro2607 (771790) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280870)

Oh, so I guess the $70 CDN I dropped for Crackdown wasn't enough, they have to make even further revenue by showing advertisements in my game?

If they're going to start using these irritating not-too-decent tactics to make money, I'd like to see a reduction in the exhorbitant friggin prices for games. Give me a break, it's not like Microsoft is strapped for cash. But hey, no worries, right? I guess now I know not to buy any titles related to this "Massive" subsidary.

Re:When $70 isn't enough for a game. (1)

mandelbr0t (1015855) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280998)

Publishers see this as a huge potential for increased game revenues to help offset the rising development costs for the Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii.
Excuse me? Rising costs of development? What about all Ballmer's chanting about developers? What's this .NET for if not reducing development costs?

So basically what I'm hearing is that even though we've made staggering breakthroughs in hardware, have an embarassment of good development environments to choose from and 10 years of training professionals on new technology, the cost of development has actually increased? Did the price of cocaine go up or something?

I don't believe this crap for a second. Spoiled elitist brats take a $100,000 course to learn some fancy new development platform and they still can't make a project work without a bunch of other spoiled elitist brats and some ridiculously expensive software that they're still learning even after taking the ridiculously expensive course. Then they do copious amounts of drugs until the deadline and make excuses about how they need better hardware, more training and more people on the team. And, oh, I have to pay for these developers to have this wonderful vacation.

I think I'm gonna start pirating games again. >:-|

Re:When $70 isn't enough for a game. (1)

sqlrob (173498) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281088)

It could be completely free to write the code, and development costs would still be outrageous. Cut scenes, models, actors, motion cap...

Re:When $70 isn't enough for a game. (1)

jswigart (1004637) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281562)

It's common knowledge that 'next gen' games cost significantly more than last generation. .NET is useless on consoles, unless your studio plans to limit itself to Xbox and XNA, which last I checked isn't set up yet for commercial products yet. A huge jump in art quality makes up most of the increased costs. Art teams for AAA games on the 'next gen' consoles(Wii excluded), can easily be twice as many people as a AAA game for last generation(ps2, xbox). When you go from 2000-4,000 poly character models with a diffuse texture map to 6000-10000 poly character models with a diffuse map, normal map, specular map, etc, and a much higher quality and quantity animation sets, of course the cost is going to go up. Level design and detail of course is also going up significantly, with the new consoles ability to handle it. It's an unfortunate reality of the industry. The higher the quality of the graphics gets, the more difficult and time consuming(and therefor costly) it is to create that content. No idea what the 2nd part of your rant is all about.

If it works, it works (1)

Nananine (967931) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280894)

It's all about how they're used.

For example, Def Jam: Icon probably benefits from in-game advertisements because environments would look more like the real world. Def Jam: Vendetta and Fight for NY had spectacular character customization thanks to the real world clothing labels you could buy and wear in-game. I think if Grand Theft Auto or other modern day games used advertisement, the games would be more immersive.

Heck, even post-apocalyptic games could work advertising in well. I think it'd be cool to see broken down billboards for Coke or Target in a dead city or something.

However, what DOESN'T work is when the advertising sticks out. Crackdown had a terrible billboard advertisement for the Dodge Charger when it first came out (it's now switched to Intel). Why would there be an advertisement for a car company that didn't exist in game? Maybe if they included the car as a drivable vehicle, it would work, but instead it just looked awkward. The free version of Anarchy Online had similar problems, what with animated Navy ads with full sound and really outdated movie posters.

So I don't mind in-game advertising so long as it increases immersion.

Re:If it works, it works (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281566)

I think if Grand Theft Auto or other modern day games used advertisement, the games would be more immersive....

Why would there be an advertisement for a car company that didn't exist in game?
Me, I draw the line at advertisements for real-world products in a thoroughly fictional game location. Especially when the game is a dark parody of reality, so should any in-game ads be dark parodies of real products. And the settings in the Grand Theft Auto franchise (except London, Manchester, and Salford), while based on real locations, are fictional. Also, the models of cars in GTA are based on real cars but given fictional names. (This was referenced in an episode of NCIS where a witness identifies a car by its in-game name, which was the word for "car" in another language, and DiNozzo quips, "So the description of your car is `car'," until McGee notes the GTA connection.)

I twinge a little each time the new Battlestar Galactica uses a colloquial Earth expression too, though I have gotten over them not calling dogs "daggets".

Besides, ads for real products in unrealistic violent games will only help Jack Thompson in his "gamers can't separate fantasy from reality" arguments next time some kid runs someone else's car off the road after seeing a real Axe Body Spray billboard.

Re:If it works, it works (1)

Mercano (826132) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281594)

GTA is loaded with advertising. Billboards all around two, radio stations with commercials every five minute. Its just that every last bit of it is some sort of spoof intended to make you chuckle rather then make you buy.

In game adds are not bad... (1)

Broken scope (973885) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280900)

When some of the benefits comeback to the consumer. If im fighting in a city I'm not going to be annoyed by adds that MAKE SENSE IN THE CONTEXT THEY APPEAR. If I'm in a city and they year ingame is 2507 I don't want to see Martha Stewart Spring collection on a billboard.

Advertising in games works when they are advertising a BRAND not a product. If advertisers could accept that then ads would not be obtrusive.

Re:In game adds are not bad... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18281464)

What if the game is a fantasy game like a final fantasy, elder scrolls, legend of zelda, etc?

Old Days.... (2, Insightful)

Y-Studios (988661) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280912)

Where are the Days of Pitfall, Tetris, Mario, ect....? Just fun and simple entertainment not over taken by advertisements...

Re:Old Days.... (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280980)

they went to the same place that 30 cent gallons of gas and 10 cent loafs of bread went....nowhere. They are still right where you left them years ago.

Getting old kinda blows, eh?

Re:Old Days.... (1)

Y-Studios (988661) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281196)

Yeap, aren't you?...

Commerce and videogames don't mix (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18280928)

This contamination through advertising is a perversion of the original spirit of videgaming.

What we need is a return to the old days, when videogames were lovingly assembled by hand, one at a time, by well-compensated individuals working together in anarcho-syndicalist collectives.

Hmm... (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280930)

See, I don't really care if there are in-game adverts in games like crackdown...it's a city, it will help it feel more like a real city.

That being said, if they are going to make money from advert companies putting their shit in there, then pass the savings..make third party titles 50 bucks and first party titles 40 bucks.

Also, don't do it like they did in Fight Night Round 3. I know boxing is like Nascar in that most of the money comes from advertising, but fuck. Give that shit a rest.

Ugh (1)

BendingSpoons (997813) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280946)

I refuse to play games that have heavy advertising tie-ins. If there's a billboard in the background, it's not that big a deal, but a lot of games bring the prducts into the actual gameplay. I stopped playing Tony Hawk when one of the missions involved "50-50 grinding the McDonalds Arch!", or whatever the hell it was.

Same with Fight Night: Round 3. I didn't mind getting Under-Armor and Everlast gear, since it was at least related to the game, but having a huge Burger King ad taking up half the ring? And unlocking "The King" as a trainer? Ugh. I especially disliked Madden 07 for the xbox, which made you sit thru a "Sprint PCS report" at the end of every drive. The strange thing was, the Sprint ad was present in the xbox version and was absent in the xbox 360 and ps2 versions.

These game companies have to be making a fortune in advertising revenue. After all, they're delivering a captive audience to the advertisers: if you're playing a game, you have to be looking at the screen. Yet the games that advertise cost as much as the ones that don't. Screw that. It's like the commercials before movies. If you're charging me the same price as usual, while subjecting me to a new barrage of messages trying to get me to buy shit, then I don't want your product. I'll wait for the DVD, or in this case, buy a different game.

This is great! (1)

lewp (95638) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280974)

So that means the games won't be...

Oh... really? Still $60?


Oddly enough... (1)

Assmasher (456699) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280992)

...ads in a game like CrackDown actually (maybe I'm crazy but at least to me) more immersive in that it seems a bit more of a 'real world' setting type. I'm not explaining this very well, but it seems very much in line with the urban setting of CrackDown (heck they have to decorate those boards with something anyhow.) Now, if I see ads for the R600 in Oblivion...

Adversting 360 repair services.. (1)

Mark Gillespie (866733) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281038)

Hey, I could advertise a 360 console repair buisness on there, given the horrendous reliability of the 360.. .LOL...

Advertisers wasting money? (1)

DanTheManMS (1039636) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281052)

I recall a recent Slashdot post - In Game Ads May Just Not Work [slashdot.org] - that basically stated that very few people could remember the names of the companies who advertised in-game like that, as the player is too immensed in actually playing the game to really notice. So what's the verdict?

Question, is the game fun? (1)

DaveCBio (659840) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281056)

If the answer is yes then who really gives a shit. I mean as long as we don't have billboard ads in the middle of a fantasy forest does it matter? The ads in Crackdown didn't bother me a bit. Didn't even notice them until someone pointed them out.

Ads add realism and immersion (1)

zdc (1064870) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281168)

It's inevitable: advertising exists in our world and it will soon extend to virtual ones as well.

Will this lead to cheaper games? Nope
Will this lead to better quality games? Did it ever lead to better quality TV? (answer:sometimes)
Will we be able to cope with all of the extra mindless-consumer targeted advertising being flung at us in 1080p and 7.1 surround? Enh... who knows.

What it will lead to is a better sense of realism. So what if these evil, manipulative advertisements make you switch to drinking Coke and staying free with Stay-Free for a few weeks. When you start your next game (or, if the advertisements are dynamic, when the game switches them for you), you'll be drinking Pepsi happily as an Always girl... I promise!

marketing everywhere (3, Insightful)

miyako (632510) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281186)

I mourn the fact that the floodgates have been opened, because I think this will lead to the inevitable decline of the quality of games. For the moment- sure, it doesn't hurt anything, it might even add realism by having actual products in the game, but how long until some game developers are sitting around going "ok, so then we have this level where they walk through a forest and..." "what are you thinking bob? a forest? we can't stick ads in the middle of a forest, how 'bout a 10 minute long cutscene where they are on a subway instead, and ads flash by" "But Jim, the game takes place in 1047AD!" "Hmm, you're right, this whole setting needs to be changed"...etc. Of course, that's the more subtle way that ads will ruin games, the obvious fact is that advertisers don't f*cking realize that people get tired of their f*cking ads, and they keep pusing more and more intrusive ads on us. For people who say "ads will only go as far as players are willing to put up with them" - see the internet. People develop pop-up blockers and flash blockers and ad blockers to avoid ads, and marketers just keep comming up with new ways to spew their crap forth into our minds- single mindeldly bent on infesting every single facet of our lives with ceaseless messages to buy buy buy their soda and pills and toothpaste.

really depends how they do it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18281214)

adverts around the ground of football/soccer/basketball etc will be ok AS LONG AS THEY ARE NOT ANIMATED. If they are - bye bye wont be buying it

if im playing some kind of game where you are in a futuristic/medieval/post apocalyptic environment, how are they going to fit in with the environs? "Foorsooth my leige, try this brown effervescent elixier and watch your teeth fall out!"

If there is an ad break between levels or at the start of the game, forget it.

in GTA though you could put ads in the radio easily enough.

Perfect Opputunity for a StarGate game (1)

jameskojiro (705701) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281216)

Heck they already show powerbars, and stuff fromt eh North Face and even werid Japanese jello like stuff they should be a shoe in.

Are they sure that there are ads... (1)

kid_oliva (899189) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281224)

I just got done beating Crackdown and don't remember seeing any ads. If I had paid for in-game advertising... I'd want my money back.

It's not such a bad option (1)

Alternator (995114) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281230)

Software is expensive to develop.
And games are getting more and more content added which has got to be paid for somehow.

Provided they don't take this advertising thing too far (e.g. they invade your privacy or start interfering with the gameplay) I much prefer it to the other methods of revenue generation such as micro content or episodic content, or outright increasing the price!

It Depends (1)

phoenixwade (997892) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281236)

it Depends on HOW the ads are delivered. If I have to deal with ads like I do in the theatre before the Movie, or on a DVD then it's over for me.

I'd accept an ad that is a part of game play.... A billboard for Pepsi as I drive in search of the next pedestrian to run over wouldn't be bad. Or real ads in the stadium just like you'd see if you go to watch a real sporting event.

But there is probably something in between the innocuous and the obnoxious that will be a line for me that goes too far for someone else.

I know that the really good games cost a small (sometimes a large) fortune to produce..... thousands of manhours, artists, programmers, layout people, scripters, a good game can be more complex to produce than a good movie. To make that happen someone has to pay for it. If advertising caps the price of a game, or better yet reduces it, I'd accept some level of in game ads.

Oh so what (5, Funny)

Bluesman (104513) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281394)

If it bothers you, just don't buy the game.

Buy a cool, refreshing Coca-Cola instead.

Brought to you by Magnavox, and Pepsi (5, Interesting)

Omestes (471991) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281416)

Advertising is really beggining to reach the level of absurdity. I can understand the line of reasoning behind putting advertisements on non-cable TV, but this strange trend to put advertisements into content that the consumer already has paid for boggles my mind. Yes, advertising to cover the costs free services makes sense, but when it goes towards a pay service it is nothing but greed and trying to sodomize your customers for more money.

I stopped going to baseball games because our stadium here is so peppered in ads that it distracts from the game (heck, when ESPN or such is broadcasting the game, sometimes they even pause the game for ads on TV). Our local school buses (whats left to them, most kids now being forced to use our shoddy public transportation) have ads on them. You buy a new computer and it is covered with useless services which pretty much amount to the same thing as ads. Hell its beginning to seem that a good portion of online "user" content is nothing but ads. Avertisers are now turning to strange manipulations like sending nice looking women to bars to through our nonchalant comments like "Man, my new copy of MICROSOFT WINDOWS VISTA makes me steamy and hot!".

What ever happened to quality selling a service?

I really think that ubiquitous advertisement is having bad consequences on people psychologically and sociologically. Advertisements depend on people not using judgment, and encouraging snap judgments based on no information, which, last I checked, is not a desirable trait. Second they further fragment society into little classes. "I'm a Nike person, who likes Coke, and runs Windows!", "Oh yeah? I'm a Reebok person who drinks Mountain Dew, and has a Mac!" Call it brand loyalty or idiocy. Hell I even knew a girl with the Nike swoosh tattooed to her arm (willingly, Nike has nothing to do with it), she didn't understand my laughing at her like it was the most absurd thing I've ever seen. She really thought that "Nike" meant something (not the goddess, the corporate symbol), which is the ultimate goal of these companies.

To get a little postmodern here, advertisements try to manipulate us to live in some realm of arbitrary symbols. They try to manipulate us in all ways except rationally. The whole game is creating a need where none really exists, and this extends beyond individual products, to the whole class of consumerism. We actually beleive, now, that we need various consumer goods to survive, and we need to update these every product revision. Take cell-phones for example, how often have people told you that they couldn't live without them? We don't need consumer goods to survive. We don't need to upgrade them daily.

The new form of ads are even subverting the best way to find quality products, word of mouth. How can you trust anyone when shills are spending millions creating artificial word of mouth? I'll continue blocking all ads online, not watching television, and staying away from sporting events, and boycotting services with obnoxious ads (as opposed to innocuous or clever ones saying what a service actually does).

Yes, you can tell that this whole issue pisses me off.

In game ads (1)

Quzak (1047922) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281466)

Sorry to break it to the industry/advertisers but this is the wrong way to make a profit. The only time when in game adverts are allowed is on freeware/shareware. Software/Hardware that is paid for should never have adverts forced on people.

I really hope they enjoy finding themselves new jobs once the fallout of this stupidity becomes obvious to these oblivious people.

Btw, names of people who approved this crap would be appreciated.
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