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Games As The New Advertising Frontier 33

Posted by Zonk
from the dance-dance-mcdonald's-mix dept.
TechnoPulp wrote to mention an article running on the CBS News site discussing Gaming and the New Advertising Frontier. From the article: "Advertising in video games isn't like marketing on television or radio. Since each video game title is a world unto itself, advertisements placed inside that world can pollute it and make it uninhabitable. Gamers won't touch it if it becomes fouled with evil ads. To that end, there are companies whose business is to guide other businesses through the gaming universe. Two such chaperons are IGN Entertainment and Massive Inc."
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Games As The New Advertising Frontier

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  • "Two such chaperons are IGN Entertainment and Massive Inc."

    Yeah...b/c having half the page splashed with the advertiser of the day really makes me want to read their site. Remember when the whole damn place had a red and yellow McDonalds theme? Thank God for flashblock!
  • But he still reports it as a fact:

    gamers won't touch it if it becomes fouled with evil ads.

    Any examples of gamers not buying any game because it had advertising in it, much less ALL, a majority, or a plurality even?

    I'm glad that there are so many blogs out there because they collectively lift the IQ of the average reporter. But that still doesn't help CBS news.

    • Burnout 3 comes to mind. I recall seeing a few Axe ads in the game. Do these ads make me want to stop playing the game? No. Obviously this is an overstatement. I think buying a game or not has to do with how well it's made, and not if there's advertising in it.

      If advertisements in games are used appropriately, then I really won't care. If you're going to put a billboard in a game by a road because it's realistic, you might as well put an add on there. To a certain extent it makes a game seem more realis

    • gamers won't touch it if it becomes fouled with evil ads.

      Any examples of gamers not buying any game because it had advertising in it, much less ALL, a majority, or a plurality even?


      All he said was "gamers", which by definition means any number above two.

      I'm one. Anyone else want to volunteer and turn this into a true factual statement?

      Note that examples are not necessary, as he's speaking in future tense. But I certainly will not buy any game that is "fouled with evil ads" (which I take to mean pre
      • I second the motion ;)
      • I'm one. Anyone else want to volunteer and turn this into a true factual statement?

        You're not one - but you liar. You own Sega GT for Xbox which has ingame advertising. You also own PG2 for Xbox which, IIRC, not only has advertising but downloads new advertising.

        For a reporter to say "gamers" and ascribe something to them without saying "gamers, by which I mean me and no one else, cause this is a rant piece disguised as journalism" is about what I'd come to expect from the MSM.

      • Rampant advertising is the reason I gave up on TV and rarely go to see a movie in the theater. If games start getting that bad, they'll lose me as a customer.
        • Yeah I made the mistake of turning on Howard Stern this morning on the way to work, just as he broke for a commercial. 20 minutes later I was at work and the same commercial break was going. Thank god for mythtv. If I read even one review that says a game is splattered with ads, I will NOT buy it unless it is at a bargain basement price to make up for it, and probably not even then.
          • I think you are being silly and hypocritical. This is evident by you being a reader of /.

            This site is 'splattered' with ads. Yet you read here and post. I find it silly grandstanding for you to suggest you agree with this article - as if a few billboards in a racing game or seeing a corp logo during a load screen will deter you from playing.

            • The ads here are easily ignored... what they are talking about here is big billboards touting ads, or a sign that pops up when you frag someone that says "Enjoy the satisfaction of your recent frag with a delicious Pepsi!!!"

              I have to agree with the post a few up, i hate TV and Theaters for this exact same thing... I barely watch TV and I definitely Don't watch commercials... I just sweared off going to the theater for the same thing...

              IF they were going to subsidize the games with ad revenue then maybe...
              • IF they were going to subsidize the games with ad revenue then maybe... but as current ad trends go (Cable TV, Theaters, etc..) then you won't see a nickel difference...

                Actually, they do subsidize the game and they do make a difference on cable TV - one way or another, they increase the net present value of any project.

              • My first thought when trying to picture ads in my games was "Nike: the official shoe of the Imperial Cross-training Team. Made with authentic Wookie slave labor!"

                Seriously though, my problem with ads in games is that they're not likely to stay subtle and discrete. Banner ads started off that way, and now we have the seizure-inducing blinking animated banner ad and the intensely annoying unblockable floating ad. Maybe I'm just being excessively cynical, and maybe this time the marketers won't run amok... b

  • Yeah, the McGriddles week sticks out in my mind. Then there's also IGN's ads between every other page of content. Are they gonna stick ads in on loading screens on us then? Do we get into marketing tactics to delay loading times so they can get more eyes on the product for longer sets of time?

    Wonderful...
  • There was this neat game, "The Legend of Lezda: the Adventures of Jinx", that had a full page ad between every scene, trying to sell you advertising space in the next release of the game, which seems to have never been released.
  • Someone needs to patent the idea of an advertisement on a loading screen and then never use it. ;D
    • Something else to think about is would lots of ads in a game make the loading time a lot longer?

      I can just imagine if they release another GTA game, if its like the last one (you have to eat) then Rockstar could get loads of money by replacing Clucking Bell and the various other food places with McDonnalds and other fast food places, while at the same time adding a sence of realism to the game (as some others have said already)
  • With average games that cost $50+ these days, there is no excuse for placing ads in them.
  • Splinter Cell (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Scutter (18425) on Wednesday June 08, 2005 @05:26PM (#12762087) Journal
    I just played through SC: Chaos Theory and it had a lot of ads in it as well. They were portrayed as soda machines, wall posters, etc. They were obtrusive in that the non-ads were blurry and out of focus. For example, two soda machines side-by-side, one was a Sprite machine, the other one apparently sold "a suffusion of yellow". So instead of contributing to the immersion by making the virtual world more "real", it just called attention to the fact that it was a product-placement ad and annoyed me instead. I would have preferred two Sprite machines, or perhaps one Sprite and one Coke or something.

    One in-game ad I *did* like, though, was the brightly-lit Axe cologne neon billboard that you had to sneak across while several guards wandered about. I had to shoot the neon out to make it dark enough... ;)
    • How about Slashdot as the new advertising Frontier?

      I just saw on television (G4TV's Attack of the Show) that OSDN is in the process of deploying new commercial initiatives at Slashdot, including those fucking annoying interstitials.

      I hope that isn't true. Well, actually, I hope it is. I'd love to see Slashdot shoot themselves in the foot by pissing everyone off. After all, how many "ads are bad!" stories have been posted here, berating other sites and services for just that kind of behavior?
    • holy crap yeh that was annoying, all the computer monitors had ads for "E3 on g4 live!" and then the x-files a week later. and there were bottles of axe in the bathroom. aarrrgghh
  • by Deathlizard (115856) on Wednesday June 08, 2005 @05:39PM (#12762199) Homepage Journal
    This issue came up in the City of Heroes Message board, and the userbase pretty much declared foul to the point where the devs stepped in to completely deny it.

    My take is a little different. I don't mind in game advertising as long as it follows certain rules.

    1) It drops the price of the game, either in the original cost or in the case of an MMORPG, the price per month.
    2) it doesn't interfere with the game in any way, so that I don't get constantly bombarded by it.

    A perfect example of something I would accept is lets say that they want to add Advertisements in COH. In the game, there are fake billboards everywhere for fake products, and even stores that are somewhat recongnizable to their real counterparts (EX: InFront Steakhouse, Major Flanders Fried Chicken, ETC)

    If they started selling and replacing advertising on all the fake billboards with real advertising, I would be ok with that as long as not every billboard was the same ad, and it followed standard Billboard physics (IE Not Blinking and asking me to punch the monkey by clicking on it or something.) so in this example, if Pepsi Started buying Ad space from Cryptic to put Pepsi billboards around the City, it wouldn't bother me as long as they are the same billboards I might see driving down the freeway. The same thing goes if all the Major Flanders became KFC's overnight. To me, it would make it more realistic since that's what I would expect to see in a city.

    Now if it got to the point where every loading screen is advertising Pepsi, Or The Endurance Inspiration became Pepsi cans, or Crimson is sending me on a mission because the Devouring Earth stole the secret formula for Pepsi in the hopes of using it's own drink to brainwash the populous, I'd be pissed. Also I'd be pissed if I'm still paying 14.95 a month instead of 9.95 a month.
  • They could make the game into an ad, like the old Cool Spot for NES or Darkened Skye [simonsays.com] for PC. Skye was even a pretty good game: it suffered from auto-aim problems, but the writing and voice acting was top-notch.
  • Is when the game is recreating a real space (e.g. a sports stadium or racetrack) and the ads are ads for real companies but they are the not the real ads found at that ground.

    If you are going to put ads in there, either make them totally fake or make them the real ads found at that statium/track/etc.

    One example, EA Sports V8 Challenge bathurst track. There is a large footbridge. In real life, that bridge has a Dunlop sign on it. In the game, the bridge has a Bridgestone sign on it.
  • It seems almost inevitable that the wealthy ad powerhouses are going to elbow their way into our games, most likely in a fashion we don't like. Independent review sites should create a new criteria for annoyance or intrusion of ads while playing the game.
    I would love to know how obvious/distracting game ads are prior to spending $50 on a game. Word of mouth can be extremly powerful and I would happily not purchases a game if advertisers are going to distract us from our fun.

  • I don't think TV style ads will ever fly in the game world, it would be too much of a nuisance and a distraction. However, what might work moderately well would be product placement in the game. Such as a can on a table being a coke/pepsi can. Or showing cars from a certain manufacturer. They need to be put in the right context in a way that makes them fit into the game world, such as incorporating a billboard into a map.
    I like the way Gran Turismo and most racing games handle this, they naturally use it
  • by Infe (52681)
    Anyone remember Yo! Noid for the NES? It was pretty fun. Not the best game in the world, but I would consider it a pretty good execution of Domino's pizza advertisement.

    Here's a link about it at GameFAQs:

    http://www.gamefaqs.com/console/nes/review/563485. html [gamefaqs.com].
  • In the new Xbox Forza Motorsport there are plenty of off track ads, bridges with Mazda, Road & Track on them. In the New York Track I've seen Toys 'R' Us, Powerade, Xbox Live, Microsoft Game Studios and some more that go by too fast. I should stop and see what they all are.

    They're all off track ads so I don't mind them at all and they actually deliver some realism into the game for me.

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