Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Privacy Entertainment Games

Are Optional Ads Worth The Trouble? 245

Posted by Zonk
from the opt-in-opt-out-do-a-dance-all-about dept.
azuredrake writes "NCSoft's City of Heroes has just announced that in-game ads are being added to the game, provided by an advertising firm Double Fusion. However, unlike in many games, the ads being brought to CoH have been defined as 'always optional'. The publishers see the ads as a purely additional revenue stream, not as something that will ever allow advertisers to affect game content. Commentary is available at Gamasutra. Is making advertisement volunteer-based a viable way to get around cynicism? The tone of these ads seems to be 'check them out to help the game'. Are there any sites or services in which you'd voluntarily look at ads to lend a hand? "
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Are Optional Ads Worth The Trouble?

Comments Filter:
  • Of course! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by PoeticExplosion (943918) <poeticexplosion@ ... minus physicist> on Sunday April 06, 2008 @02:30AM (#22978000)
    If the ads are low-key, then they don't really bother me. So why shouldn't I help a company I like make a little extra money?
    • Re:Of course! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) <taiki@co[ ]et ['x.n' in gap]> on Sunday April 06, 2008 @03:20AM (#22978176)
      because you're already paid for the client AND for a monthly subscription? I mean if it was something like Guild Wars, where it was free...
      • Re:Of course! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Kierthos (225954) on Sunday April 06, 2008 @03:40AM (#22978250) Homepage
        Buying the game and paying the monthly fee means you get to play the game. That's it. It doesn't give you anything beyond that. You don't own part of the company because you pay a monthly fee, you don't get to break the rules whenever you want because you pay a monthly fee, and you don't get to decide what the company does to bring in extra revenue because you pay a monthly fee.

        If you find it annoying, opt out.
        • Or more realistically, not play CoH/CoV.

          Which is why I don't own a 360.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Kierthos (225954)
            Yeah, but if I quit a MMORPG every time they did some little thing that annoyed me, I wouldn't have played WoW for three years. And that's what this is. A little thing. There are already billboards and signs in CoH/CoV. And honestly, unless you're going by specific areas repeatedly, or flying or super-leaping all the time, you're probably not going to notice most of the billboards and signs right now. And since the plans are to put real ads only where the billboards and signs currently exist, and not plaste
        • Re:Of course! (Score:5, Insightful)

          by blahplusplus (757119) on Sunday April 06, 2008 @04:46AM (#22978416)
          "Buying the game and paying the monthly fee means you get to play the game. That's it"

          The whole 'liscensing' and 'software as a service' is quite a scam anyway, if I'm paying for a product I don't want to see ads. I'd like to have some time and place where I do not have ads in my face. Games is one of the few mediums that ads have not yet penetrated. We see enough ads in our daily lives, on the way to/from wherever, etc, etc?

          If I'm voting for a product with my dollars and I am a customer they better damn well listen, I think the optional ads is a good thing in that those of us who don't want to have it shoved down our throat get to opt out of it but I know I'm not the only one tired of being haggled for cash 24/7.

          • by aarku (151823)
            I really hope you don't pay for cable/satellite television.
      • by MoriaOrc (822758)
        Nitpick: Guild Wars isn't free.
        The cost of the game is paid up-front as the cost of an access key (with optional out-of-date installer and manual if you buy it in a brick & mortar store). To support the ongoing cost of maintaining the servers (as well as keep putting bread on the table), they released additional "chapters" which are self-contained and similar in size to the original. Not free, just different.

        More on topic, the "metropolitan/urban center" environment City of Heroes seems like an en
        • by Jugalator (259273)

          To support the ongoing cost of maintaining the servers (as well as keep putting bread on the table), they released additional "chapters" which are self-contained and similar in size to the original. Not free, just different.
          The GW chapters are usually called "expansions" in the traditional MMO funding though. And yes, even if you bought WOW, you still have to buy its expansions for the extra dungeons.
      • by morari (1080535)

        because you're already paid for the client AND for a monthly subscription? I mean if it was something like Guild Wars, where it was free...
        Bingo!

        I was thinking the exact same after reading this in the Fire House the other day.

    • That's most of what I want out of ads, actually. Right now, I adblock most flash and most animated gifs. Static images and text ads can stay.

      I do occasionally click on ads, low-key or not -- and I do often read them -- but if you piss me off, you are decreasing your chances of getting me as a customer.
    • Well, it depends (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Moraelin (679338) on Sunday April 06, 2008 @03:59AM (#22978306) Journal
      Well, it depends.

      COH happens in a modern day metropolis. Ads and billboards aren't out of place. You kinda expect them there.

      In fact, the game already _had_ billboards and posters from day 1, except they were mildly funny parodies instead of actual ads. For example stuff like ads for lawyers getting the villains out of jail after your superhero toon arrests them, or for some fictional in-game companies like Crey Industries, etc.

      Replacing an ad for Crey with an ad for Microsoft, wouldn't seem out of place at all. (And doubly so for a lot of us nerds, since the Crey are a major supervillain group in the game;)

      Or I wouldn't be even give it a second thought if there was a McDonald's in Galaxy City. I mean they already have fictional restaurants there, with funny names like "El Super Mexicano."

      The same can't be said for a lot of other settings and genres, though. E.g., it would feel awfully weird to have billboards for IBM and Coca Cola along the road to Darnassus in WOW.

      And that's really what I'm fearing. That it might re-sort genres and settings according to how fit they are for ads.

      Remember that we already _had_ such an effect. Adventure games were still popular games, and that market was actually _growing_ when everyone dropped them like a hot potato in the 90's. Why? Because making a simplistic FPS was _much_ cheaper. Even if you sold less copies than an adventure, you'd still make more profit.

      I can see "games fit for ads" vs "games where ads look out of place" repeating that history.

      Adventures eventually made a comeback, because, basically, people eventually came to expect the same level of scripting and animations in a FPS as in an adventure. So the price difference vanished.

      The same might never happen in the case of "games fit for ads" vs "games where ads look out of place." Already all else is equal. Only one of them can get more money. Short of advertisers pulling out, it stays that way.

      So I fear that we _might_ slide towards every game happening in a city, or a race-track, or along of big billboard-overdosed highway. And that doesn't sound too great.
      • This acceptance of adverts appears to be a purely American-centric. US Television is a good example of this. adverts every 5 minutes with advert overlays in the program and product placement.

        Then you get a mess like Stargate SG1 where for example in one Episode not only does a Dell XPS laptop get more screen time then the main actors but it also saves the day ("Line in the sand").

        What gets me with NCSoft is if this is optional why are they making people Opt-Out rather then Opt-In?
        • Because theres a lot of people that don't care enough to adjust the setting. They think they'll have more people leaving it on than people going out of their way to turn it on.
      • by Bonker (243350)
        What much of the commentary here misses is that a significant number of CoH and CoV players have been ASKING for in-game ads from real-world companies from some time.

        Paragon City (and the Rogue Isles) are sprawling metropolises with billboards, public transportation, store fronts, movie posters, video screens, and the like. In a real city, these are all COVERED with advertising. We don't get quite the volume of advertising, fake or otherwise, in CoH, so our city feels a little lacking in that area. City of
        • by Moraelin (679338)
          I actually play both, so, well, I have a harder time believing that kind of a blanket extrapolation. It's not just me, I've grouped with hundreds of people from both the USA and EU servers, and not once have I heard someone complaining that the lack of ads kills their mood. Even on the boards, I haven't seen that complaint popping up before, though maybe I just missed one thread or another. More tellingly, you yourself don't link to a thread where people have complained about lack of ads, you link to variou
      • by itsdapead (734413)

        In fact, the game already _had_ billboards and posters from day 1, except they were mildly funny parodies instead of actual ads. For example stuff like ads for lawyers getting the villains out of jail after your superhero toon arrests them

        Seems to me that if they get replaced by boring real ads for fizzy phosphoric acid and corn syrup beverages, the game will have been impoverished slightly.

    • Some people (including myself) think that having some "real world" ads wouldn't just be a revenue stream, it would add to the immersion. City of Heroes is supposed to be located in a modern city - Paragon City - a "metropolis" in Rhode Island. I like some of the fake ads, but I'd personally like to see a mix. This is a win/win situation to me. Making it optional means even if you don't share that view, your experience is unchanged.

      Meanwhile, while the game is actually improved by ads (potentially), NCSoft m
  • by Kierthos (225954) on Sunday April 06, 2008 @02:35AM (#22978006) Homepage
    Is if any advertisers end up being specific to hero-side or villain-side.

    Microsoft as a loyal supporter of Lord Recluse, perhaps?
  • by Sterrance (1257342) on Sunday April 06, 2008 @02:38AM (#22978012)
    A game that has modern day cities in it can appropriately have advertisements on it, just like most racing games now a days. In someways it helps because it makes it feel like a real city. Now if I started seeing signs for Vitamin Water on World of Warcraft, that is when I get offended.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by kemushi88 (1156073)
      I think the parent makes an important point.

      The ads shouldn't ruin the atmosphere of the game. As long as they seem appropriate wherever they appear, then I believe it is acceptable. The placement of ads in games should mimic the placement of ads in the real world.
      • by Haeleth (414428)
        Yes, using real-world ads and real-world products placed realistically would be, well, realistic, and would therefore make games more immersive. But that is very unlikely to happen.

        See, in a real-life city, you have ads for Pepsi and Coke, for McDonald's and Burger King, etc. But in a game, the first company to get in will insist that the ads are exclusively for their own product; that every burger bar in the entire city be a McDonald's, that every single drinks dispenser in the entire game world dispense
        • by EMeta (860558) on Sunday April 06, 2008 @09:52AM (#22979442)
          ...That every single drinks dispenser in the entire game world dispense only Coca-Cola.

          That's not realistic or unobtrusive at all.


          I take it you've never been to Atlanta?
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by quanticle (843097)
          Well, even that's not entirely unrealistic. For example, take my college campus. Coke has negotiated an agreement with my school for the vending machines to dispense only Coke products. If you want to get something else, you have to go off campus. It is rankling, but its not a real inconvenience, since the campus is in the middle of a city, and its trivially easy to go off campus (i.e. cross the street) to get your Pepsi fix.
      • The ads shouldn't ruin the atmosphere of the game. As long as they seem appropriate wherever they appear, then I believe it is acceptable. The placement of ads in games should mimic the placement of ads in the real world.
        How about a scroll posted on a tree in front of an apothecary estolling the virtues of a Centrum Silver Elixer for +1 vitality?

        Targeting adds for a genre can be interesting...
    • by RobBebop (947356)

      I remember when professional baseball stadiums and professional hockey rinks were not dominated by placards touting the annual advertisers. These were simpler times, during which the teams could pay the salaries of the players with the money from ticket sales, TV revenue, and merchandise.

      Now that every team basically whores the spaces in their stadium to the highest bidder, the whole aspect of the games are not as pure. Every stadium has a bank, a telecommunications company, a insurance business, an aut

    • by itsdapead (734413)

      A game that has modern day cities in it can appropriately have advertisements on it, just like most racing games now a days.

      That was my first reaction. Unfortunately, in a supply-and-demand market, once a new income stream like that gets introduced it will start affecting prices, profits, the number of admin leeches who can be supported by each programmer and what gets "greenlighted". The beancounters will summon the fantasy RPG writers and ask why their games aren't raising ad revenue. Eventually it will be impossible to finance a game without ad revenue.

  • Wikipedia (Score:2, Informative)

    When advertisments on Wikipedia were first suggested (to help take the pressure off the funds crisis they were seen as in at the time) voluntary enrollment was suggested. It never got enough support, however. It was a reasonable idea since it is, in some respects, insulting to ask for donations when you could be tapping in to such a large revenue source (even with voluntary enrollment the money generated would be huge).
  • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Sunday April 06, 2008 @02:39AM (#22978016)
    After all, in many games there are places where ads would be appropriate. For example if you have a TV, rather than just having the TV displaying some image loop, it could display ads. Wouldn't be that different from a real TV.

    To work though they have to be unobtrusive. They have to be something that is just a part of the environment, and in a natural way. If they get in the way, then it is not good. That's the real problem is that advertisers seem to think that ads need to be more in your face, stop you from what you are doing to work. Well that isn't acceptable. I will not play a game where I have to sit through an ad to log in.
    • by Znork (31774)
      After all, in many games there are places where ads would be appropriate.

      Many sites too. How about... price comparison sites? That would be both relevant and appropriate, and, I think, highly effective as the viewers are commonly those considering an imminent purchase. In fact, I sometimes wonder why some segments even bother advertising elsewhere.

      Of course, it also requires the product and price to be competitive, so maybe that's why.

    • by Haeleth (414428)

      For example if you have a TV, rather than just having the TV displaying some image loop, it could display ads. Wouldn't be that different from a real TV.
      You poor suffering American. In Britain you can watch TV all day and never see a single commercial...
  • Delusions.. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fortunato (106228) on Sunday April 06, 2008 @02:39AM (#22978018)
    I think this is pretty easy to predict. Basically, a significant percentage of people will "opt-out". Enough so that they will eventually remove the opt-out choice. At which point, a critical mass of people will be miffed enough that they will just cancel membership. And their net revenue will be a significant percentage less than it is right now before they introduced this ridiculous scheme.

    I mean seriously. If they even have to consider alternate revenue streams that are so obviously risky, it pretty much is the writing on the wall for the game, is it not?

    But then again, I know people in marketing that are under the complete and utter idiotic delusion that people LIKE and WANT advertising. Self delusion never fails to amaze me.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Kierthos (225954)
      I don't know about that. I mean, you're right in that a significant percentage will opt-out. I'm probably going to opt-in, at least at first, and if the advertising doesn't significantly degrade my playing experience (i.e. cause tons of lag), then I'll probably leave it on, if for no other reason that it would be nice to see something other then the same couple dozen or so current billboards in CoH/CoV. But I can't see them changing the ads to always being on, if for no other reason then the range of graphi
  • by RenHoek (101570) on Sunday April 06, 2008 @02:41AM (#22978030) Homepage
    I've white listed a number of sites on adblock for a while that I felt like supporting. However it meant white listing well known ad servers, so that meant I was seeing them on other sites as well. I've tried surfing without any ad blocking for a while, but that's not a workable solution. I'd be reading some article on a site with a BLINK BLINK FLASH MOVE MOVE ad besides it. It doesn't make for an easy read.

    Never mind the sites that *shouts* SUDDENLY ADD SOUND to a page while you're quietly trying to read an article at work.

    In the end, I've gone back to just adblocking the hell out of everything, I've tried, and some sites are good with it, but the majority of other sites ruin it for those that try to play nice.

    We need, Google to start a competitor to Paypal, so I can donate some small amounts of money to the sites I like. (I don't use Paypal, because they're a bunch of crooks)
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Gokee2 (1136055)

      .We need, Google to start a competitor to Paypal, so I can donate some small amounts of money to the sites I like. (
      Google Checkout https://www.google.com/accounts/ServiceLogin?service=sierra&continue=https%3A%2F%2Fcheckout.google.com [google.com]
    • by vux984 (928602) on Sunday April 06, 2008 @04:58AM (#22978444)
      We need, Google to start a competitor to Paypal, so I can donate some small amounts of money to the sites I like. (I don't use Paypal, because they're a bunch of crooks)

      Yes lets all suckle at the google teat until we're so dependant on them the microsoft monopoly will seem like a pathetic joke. Lets give them our documents, our email, lets let them gather every detail they can about our lives, lets let them take a picture of our house... oh I know... they should totally handle our money too!

      I agree paypal needs some decent competition, but suggesting it be handled by google is as stupid as suggesting it be handled by microsoft. Or maybe not, at least with microsoft I don't have to worry about my transaction history being added to one of the largest surveillance networks on the planet.

      Thanks, but no thanks.

    • by blackest_k (761565) on Sunday April 06, 2008 @08:15AM (#22979038) Homepage Journal
      http://adblockplus.org/devbuilds/ [adblockplus.org]

      rather annoyingly firefox beta5 isn't compatible with the mainstream release of adblock however the development build here works fine.

      All i need now is a method to remove the gray tramlines running down the page on slashdot. the nesting soon reduces me to 20% width comment 20% side bar 60% tram line. god knows what mobile users get.
  • Helping realism! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by arthurh3535 (447288) on Sunday April 06, 2008 @02:42AM (#22978040)
    One of the things that some people have noted, that in a modern city setting having 'real advertisements' will actually improve immersion. As the developers have stated, it is an additional and optional revenue stream that will go to development.

    They actually had a recent costume/emote pack for Valentine's Day with wedding themed costumes. I bought it for me and a friend... and found out that all of those purchases later that it advanced the addition of the new Villain Epic Archetype by three or four months.

    So I'll be leaving this on and probably actually checking out the advertisements occasionally to help out NCSoft. I like my game being improved even faster.
    • by toriver (11308)
      Sort of. However, it depends on context: I used the free, ad-supported client for Anarchy Online, and really felt that 30,000 years into the future, people would be very unlikely to drink Sprite Zero or listen to Mötley Crüe - which were advertising in the game at the time...

      (Using old form because the new, fancy, Ajaxy form does not understand UTF-8, which this does. Fix plz kthx bye.)
  • Games as art (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kaos07 (1113443) on Sunday April 06, 2008 @02:50AM (#22978056)

    The idea of putting advertising in games, regardless of whether it's optional or not is an interesting one. It comes back to the question of motivation. If a studio designs a game, we assume they (programmers, artists, texturers etc.) are doing it because a) they enjoy it and b) they believe they're creating a cultural icon made up of lots of different artistic elements like sound, visuals and animation.

    Now I think it's fairly accepted that anything that "Sells out" (ie. uses the artistic medium purely for profit) isn't really regarded as art. These days that may seem less the case and I bet you're all waiting to cite examples of particular genres of music and film which contain product placement, but in my opinion and I think the opinion of many of those who both create and appreciate true art (Whether it be film, music, paintings, whatever) those particular examples fail to be art and end up being advertisements in themselves.

    I think that placing ads in the artistic medium of videogames negates the inherent artistic nature of them, as concern grows over whether the creators of the game were making it because of the above reason or purely to make money.

    Then again maybe I'm just sick of seeing the same bunch of #%@&head corporations ripping off their workers, consumers and the environment and infiltrating every aspect of our lives. Gaming should be a form of escapism. It's hard to escape our intense, competitive, profit driven world when there's Coca Cola and Microsoft billboards in my supposedly "alternate" universe.

    • by FlyByPC (841016)

      The idea of putting advertising in games, regardless of whether it's optional or not is an interesting one. It comes back to the question of motivation. If a studio designs a game, we assume they (programmers, artists, texturers etc.) are doing it because a) they enjoy it and b) they believe they're creating a cultural icon made up of lots of different artistic elements like sound, visuals and animation.

      Now I think it's fairly accepted that anything that "Sells out" (ie. uses the artistic medium purely for profit) isn't really regarded as art. These days that may seem less the case and I bet you're all waiting to cite examples of particular genres of music and film which contain product placement, but in my opinion and I think the opinion of many of those who both create and appreciate true art (Whether it be film, music, paintings, whatever) those particular examples fail to be art and end up being advertisements in themselves.

      I think that placing ads in the artistic medium of videogames negates the inherent artistic nature of them, as concern grows over whether the creators of the game were making it because of the above reason or purely to make money.

      Then again maybe I'm just sick of seeing the same bunch of #%@&head corporations ripping off their workers, consumers and the environment and infiltrating every aspect of our lives. Gaming should be a form of escapism. It's hard to escape our intense, competitive, profit driven world when there's Coca Cola and Microsoft billboards in my supposedly "alternate" universe.

      I guess it depends on how it's done. Microsoft ads in Oblivion would be illusion-shattering -- but what about ads for game add-ons, done as posters and such, in an in-game style? ("Wizard's castle for sale -- see Gro-dalk the realty agent in the Market District...") You could speak to the agent if you want, get a description of the add-on, then agree (or not) to receive an email with the purchase details.

      (You could even confirm in-game if you were set up to do this when you registered.)

  • No, I wouldn't (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rix (54095) on Sunday April 06, 2008 @02:52AM (#22978072)
    But that's just me, I loathe advertising in any form. I'm never a good target for it.

    Optional advertising is a great idea; it filters out the people that will be offended by it (and who will attribute that offence both to the advertising venue and the advertiser). Everyone wins, the venue doesn't offend it's patrons, the advertiser only gets it's message out to receptive listeners, and people aren't offended.
  • Unless the process of inserting the ad capability into the game threatens to cost more than the ads will pay, I see it as something of a no-loss proposition for the games maker. If a player doesn't mind, then you've got an extra revenue stream ... and if they do then they can just turn it off. It's something kinda hard to knock from my (somewhat cynical) point of view.
  • by Whuffo (1043790) on Sunday April 06, 2008 @03:09AM (#22978134) Homepage Journal
    After all these years of selling their games to retail customers for a healthy sum, game developers are no longer happy with the profit level. You can understand their problem; that CD and cardboard box (with some printed ads included) costs so much that there's just nothing left from that $40.

    So now they'll give in-game advertising a try. It's optional, you know - for now. If this proves to be something that brings in additional revenue the game developers will make it mandatory without a second thought.

    It's just a small step past selling their customer lists to marketing firms. You didn't think that registration was so they could send you a birthday card, did you?

    • It depends on the publisher, I suppose, but in-game ads aren't all greedy. To make a high quality MMORPG (like CoH) these days, a developer will need to spend millions of dollars over a period of 3-4 years. That's a hard sell to investors. And these game companies aren't out to make just one game.

      NCSoft publishes a lot of good, unique games, and if in-game ads will help them publish more good games, I don't have a problem with it.
      • by Splab (574204)
        I (finally) stopped playing counterstrike after Valve put in adds - it was just for their own games, but it pissed me off that after the money they made with the game they decided to forced a (potential) revenue stream down my throat. (No you can't opt out, servers are forced to run newest version - so are you - and NO! I shouldn't be glad they still support the game since they haven't fixed a bug for years, only added adds)

        The second I see an add inside a game I play I stop playing, I can't stand adds.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      This point is so true. Livejournal is a good example. For years their management said there would never be ads on the site, period. Then came optional ad-supported accounts, with slightly more features than fully free accounts. Now recently the site has been sold and the new management has done away with non-ad supported free accounts for new registrations, so even paying users have to see ads when they look at these users' entries.

      Ads were once intentionally absent, then crept their way in under the gu
  • Useful ads? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by FlyByPC (841016) on Sunday April 06, 2008 @03:13AM (#22978148) Homepage
    In general, if ads are useful, targeted, and reasonably unobtrusive, I welcome them as a source of information.

    For instance, if a site wants to advertise (based on a search for robotics-related documents) that they have a good deal on stepper motors, great. I might well click through and find something I'd like. Amazon does a great job with this as far as books go -- their recommendations of what else I'd like often come up with some really cool suggestions.

    What I don't want to see are ads for the general public (or even the general gamer public). Even if such a beast as a typical gamer exists, it ain't me. My taste in ads is somewhat like my taste in music -- I don't expect anyone else to like the exact mix I do (and most people's tastes will be pretty different. I admit I'm weird.)
  • First step (Score:3, Insightful)

    by LS (57954) on Sunday April 06, 2008 @03:19AM (#22978174) Homepage
    New and unproven business models often start out as "free" or "optional". Then when the users get somewhat used to it, the "optional" aspect seems to disappear. This is a slippery slope folks.
    • by Macthorpe (960048)
      I would agree with you, but as a long-time CoH player I can tell you than NCSoft NorCal (who used to be part of Cryptic Studios) have a habit of actually listening to the community, more so than any other MMO that I've played. Where WoW admins shout "Working as Intended" and EVE admins scam the game for money, you can approach CoH admins and ask them for something and they'll tell you if they can do it and when.

      NCSoft have earned my trust on this one, and I'll be turning the ads on.
  • Games are supposed to be set in an alternative reality and real-world ads damage the illusion badly. If the game is free, I can always stop playing if ads bother me too much. But if I already shelled out $50, I consider that the publisher already made a reasonable profit and have no desire to increase it further by an indeterminate amount at the expense of my user experience.
    • by Haeleth (414428)

      Games are supposed to be set in an alternative reality
      They are? Is that a law or something? And all these games that claim to be hyper-realistic representations of genuine historical events, are those all really supposed to be in an alternative reality too? Damn, I really should read the fine print a bit better next time.
      • by iamacat (583406)
        I don't know which historical game you are playing that Tampax ads do not challenge your suspension of disbelief, but I am not sure I want it even without the ads.
    • by MattW (97290)
      MMOs have live teams. City of Heroes has had only one expansion, but they've released 10 free updates so far with more content... new classes, new powers, new areas, new "raids", etc. I want more, and if optional ads are a way to get it, excellent. Ultimately though, someone who shares your opinion can disable ads in the option menu. Pretty nice.
  • Why would I want to 'help out' if the company is making money without extra 'help'?

    This would be an understandable addition to the game if it were a necessary revenue stream, but it isn't. I do not at all feel compelled to look at them if they detract from my game playing experience in even the slightest way.

    That said, if:

    • They are not an eyesore and blend in as though they were a part of the game world itself.
    • They do not add 'bloat' to the game in the form of lag while adverts load or cause extra ov
  • Never minded (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Vampyre_Dark (630787)
    I've never minded subtle in-game advertising. A few of my favorite PS2 games have product placement all over them, or ads on the billboards in the city streets.

    They add to the realism of my surroundings, and I always love fake ads when they are plastered all over games like GTA. I usually litter my own 3d art with fake ads. If the Sprunk machines suddenly became Sprite machines, I wouldn't mind.

    Just don't start showing me 30 seconds spots, and use common sense that doesn't stray too far from the context of
  • by xx01dk (191137)
    Sure. I "opt" out of purchasing games that include advertising all the time. Oh, wait...

  • If i'm on a website that i like, i'll often click on ads to increase the chances that the site will survive .

    Southparkstudios is a recent example of this. trey and matt have put the entire volume of their south park work online (and some fun games.... there is a mario kart like racing game) in an ad supported way. They went out on a limb and i think they should get some back.

    What i would really like to see though is some paypal micropayment system where i could pay them to play the shows ad free. I wonde
  • by magamiako1 (1026318) on Sunday April 06, 2008 @04:10AM (#22978324)
    I don't know about anyone else here, but I have never in my life clicked on an ad I have found on a website to purchase an item. And the 'ad bubble' will fall, which is why I find it funny that people seem to cling to it.

    It's an empty revenue stream. Do you think advertisements on a website really sell a product more? Honestly not. I know of nobody that pays attention to them. Even moreso when the ad is in your face like "CONGRATULATIONS! YOU HAVE ONE THIS!" or "HERE HAVE A SEIZURE WHILE TRYING TO HIT THIS MONKEY!"

    Where the real revenue stream will come from is having solid content that people are willing to pay for. People don't buy from newegg because they see newegg adverts smeered all over the place. In fact, newegg doesn't even advertise on TV (though they might have a few times but it's not generally known to the public) yet they make so much money.

    Back to the topic at hand, though. Simple fact:

    1. I will never buy a product I see in a video game.
    2. I don't want a video game wasting my bandwidth and gaming cycles to load an advertisement dynamically while I'm trying to frag someone because I'm never going to buy the stupid item in the first place.
    3. I'd rather my games and fantasy worlds use "joke" versions of popular brands because it makes them funnier, laughing at some of the ways they label brands (Youtoob in South Park vs. Youtube).

    I'm also that guy that walks into Best Buy that knows what he wants and is in and out. I don't buy their replacement plans, I don't buy their 5000 accessories. I want an item and I want just what I want.
    • by MulluskO (305219)
      A non-zero fraction of peple do buy stuff as a result of ads, just like a non-zero fraction of people believe in Nigerian princesses. Cast a wide enough net, and you'll always catch a few dopefish.
  • and their blatant sales pitch [youtube.com] about Loom.

    It was funny :)
  • I really think that television-style advertising maps well to the computer. Every several minutes, the entire computer should pause while full-screen commercials play for several minutes. The ratio should be something like 4 minutes of computing, 5 minutes of commercials. There should also be some sort of mechanism in place to make sure that the user is actually watching the commercials, not just taking a coffee break. It could be something as simple as flashing a random number at several random points dur
  • by zblack_eagle (971870) on Sunday April 06, 2008 @04:17AM (#22978352)
    Perhaps they could divide up advertising revenue or a portion of the revenue amongst all of the players viewing advertisements to reduce the monthly subscription fee. So in the end players are "paying" the same amount. The more people viewing the ads, the greater the overall revenue, and perhaps more people would subscribe to playing
  • by RandomU (1185807)
    Many of you think that no one wants advertising. Good advertising will get a sizable number of players to keep the feature turned on.

    This can be done with

    1)Humor (Look at the number of people who go to YouTube and watch the from the super bowl). If there is a really good ad up and people are laughing and talking about it then other players may well activate the add feature.

    2) General Interest Ads that provide information that COH players by in large want (Ohhhh look, the new Batman Movie is coming out with
    • RandomU wrote:

      Why does anyone think a profitable company would risk losing 20, 40 or even 60% of their player base so they can make a few extra bucks with MANDATORY ads?
      Because the advertisers can pay more than 60% of the smallest MMO's playerbase?

      ~Rebecca
  • Honestly? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Geminii (954348) on Sunday April 06, 2008 @04:39AM (#22978404)
    Are there any sites or services in which you'd voluntarily look at ads to lend a hand?

    No. Not a single one. In fact, I would (and do) take time, effort and money to configure my computer to specifically exclude such wastes of my paid-for bandwidth.

    I have at least three spam filters (ISP, home mail server, POP client) on my email.

    I have ISP and personal spam filters on my Usenet feed.

    I have multiple regex blocks applicable to my browsers, 99% targetted at in-page advertising.

    And hey, my bandwidth use has dropped into a cheaper bracket. So not only am I unperturbed by advertisements for crap on the other side of the world, I save money.

    To advertisers: I already follow fifty-seven news feeds, including multiple ones about new products in areas of personal interest. If I'm not buying your product, it's because either I don't want it, or I don't consider the product list of your particular industry niche to be worth my time. If I ever want to buy something in that niche, I will go do research on it at that time.

    And guess what - if there's an entire product niche that I don't know about, and have never even heard a whisper or hint about from family, friends or blogs, there's a fairly good chance that I don't freakin' need any product in that niche.

    If and when I get or build a PVR-alike, it will be set to delete or block ads. I already don't watch live TV any more. I prefer DVD players which can skip the pre-main-menu crap and any trailers/ads, too. I don't buy newspapers, and if there was a way to get the free local ones on paper with the ads removed, I'd be looking into it.

    "Pull" advertising I don't mind. If I go specifically looking for a product, then by all means try and sell it to me. But any form of "push" advertising irritates the hell out of me.

  • Just add a daily quest from some shady merchant NPC to go pick up his new catalogue - of real life ads.

    If you never want to do the quest, no problem, but there's a motivation of being paid in game money to do it.

    Just make sure they're things that actually belong in the game world. "Ye Olde Spice" would probably be pushing it, but it would at least be better than seeing a giant microsoft banner next to the battle standards in thrall's throne room.
  • by hyades1 (1149581) <hyades1@hotmail.com> on Sunday April 06, 2008 @10:23AM (#22979616)
    How much are they going to pay me?
  • If the ads are customized toward the game's audience I wholeheartedly approve of any billboard/building/bus-stop advertising in an urban game. It's painfully simple to put a Superhero leaping to save a little girl's burger in front of a McD's.
  • by swordgeek (112599) on Sunday April 06, 2008 @05:43PM (#22982654) Journal
    If you want to advertise to me, you can pay me for my time. In gaming, this means that I might play games with advertising if they're free. If you charge me for the game, then forget it--I am not paying you to advertise to me.

(1) Never draw what you can copy. (2) Never copy what you can trace. (3) Never trace what you can cut out and paste down.

Working...