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Sony CEO doesn't like in-game ads

Sony CEO doesn't like in-game ads

In-game adverts are a controversial issue at best - how do you feel about them in games like BF 2142?

In-game adverts are a controversial subject at best and, while some games can get away with splicing adverts into their games to bulk up their revenue, some games fail miserably at it. Most gamers seem to be of the opinion that a good game with adverts can quickly become a very bad game.

Just yesterday The Financial Times had a close look at in-game advertising as a source of revenue for games companies and spoke to some of the top men in the business about their views on the topic. Their answers may surprise you - shockingly, most of the head honchos are anti-advertising at the moment.

Bobby Kotick, Chief Executive of Activision Blizzard, was the first to weigh in on the topic, saying quickly that; "It's early days. I wouldn't go in that direction myself."

Other executives were similarly brief and negative, with Jeff Zucker of NBC Universal saying that he didn't think the business model was established enough yet for mobile and handheld advertising, but Sony CEO Sir Howard Stringer was a little more verbose.

"The [supposed] solution to everything at the moment in the digital space is adsupported," Sir Howard Stringer said. "While advertisers are happy to talk that up, there is a limit to the amount of money available."

With advertising seeping into more and more games as time goes by, one has to wonder where game publishers will draw the line. Can sponsors be content with billboards by the roadside in Burnout Paradise, or will gamers soon have to take the Duracell Road Rage Challenge in place of a game tutorial?

What are your opinions on in-game advertising and how does it affect your gaming experience? Let us know in the forums.

19 Comments

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DXR_13KE 31st January 2008, 10:20 Quote
in certain games adds are not intrusive and will add to the environment..... but in others it just kills it....
Veles 31st January 2008, 10:21 Quote
I don't think they're particularly clever either most of the time, but then that applies to films and TV as well.

TBH I don't really give a crap if they're not stupidly done. I don't want standard Pepsi advert when I'm walking down the hallways of Rapture but I don't mind about a billboard in Crackdown advertising a Dodge whatever because it fits well.
Clocked 31st January 2008, 10:23 Quote
In game advertising is ok if its contextual... pretty much as Veles said
AlexB 31st January 2008, 10:36 Quote
if it makes the games cheaper, then sure, why not, but as it doesnt seem to be the case i'm not a fan.
cjoyce1980 31st January 2008, 10:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DXR_13KE
in certain games adds are not intrusive and will add to the environment..... but in others it just kills it....

developers just need to be clever about which games they can put adds in.
rhuitron 31st January 2008, 10:48 Quote
I think in game ads add a little bit of relief to the player and your eyes.
As well as adds a little bit of realism cohesion to the game and the time it is set.

I really am ok with it.
shammo 31st January 2008, 10:50 Quote
I think this issue's not so difficult to come to a conclusion on.

It boils down to two issues for me.

1. Advertising is a very clear and present part of our culture, at least in most parts of the world, therefore it's inclusion in games where immersion based on approximating reality is a factor (games will continue to get more and more realistic over time, in more ways than photo-realism, physics, AI etc...) can only be a good thing.
As long as the way in which advertising is presented in-game is similar to the way in which it's presented in real-life, it will add value to the game in terms of immersion.

2. This will inevitably open up new opportunities for companies to advertise in a more modern medium, to build new streams of revenue, be more competitive etc... and this will simply improve that particular industry and their respective markets. Therefore, good for everyone in the long-term.

As long as the point 2 is tempered by point 1.
naokaji 31st January 2008, 10:52 Quote
if you have something like a racing game with a free roam mode in a city then ingame adds are ok, one could even argue it adds realism since real cities are plastered with advertising too.

but, if for example we're talking about some middleage theme mmorpg it would absolutely destroy the game.
DXR_13KE 31st January 2008, 11:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by naokaji
if you have something like a racing game with a free roam mode in a city then ingame adds are ok, one could even argue it adds realism since real cities are plastered with advertising too.

but, if for example we're talking about some middleage theme mmorpg it would absolutely destroy the game.

maybe in the login screen.....
CrixD 31st January 2008, 11:20 Quote
If it is realistic and placed the right spots and not like ALL textures are Ads, but instead like more realistic places like we would in the real world, then it is fine by me.
will. 31st January 2008, 11:46 Quote
I think they are fine as long as they are (like other people are saying) in real world situations.

Burnout has loads of adds, but they are all quite suitable for the environment, and it's hilarious taking out diesel vans in a big showtime :D
mrb_no1 31st January 2008, 11:47 Quote
I dont care, i play bf 2142 all the time and whilst yes i can say i have noticed them on occasion, they dont affect myself or the gameplay...although i did catch someone reading one once, i think it was for american gangstar, needless to say he got pwned with a knife. But seriously, what is the problem, if company wants to throw money at a developer to have them there then so long as revenue's are re-invested straight back into the game, or developing new ones and not the pockets of the execs then its a great idea, esp. with pc game sales down, every little helps i do believe.

peace
identikit 31st January 2008, 11:52 Quote
Well I think a majority of people in the industry hate in-game ads, simply because they don't work.
mikeuk2004 31st January 2008, 12:03 Quote
Im going to have to specifically go and look at the ads in bf 2142 because I never noticed them, ones I seen, seem like fake products.
Kufwit 31st January 2008, 13:09 Quote
I would say the same. I played 300 hours of 2142 and the only ads I can remember are for Intel and Nothern Strike.

Come to think of it, I bought both of those

But really I don't care as I think that most of the ad world is way off the mark anyway. Like I'm gonna buy something just cos the Beckhams tells me to !
MilkMan5 31st January 2008, 16:59 Quote
Can you imagine playing WoW, and then notice a billboard advertising the latest BMW car – HAHA, that would be funny
Veles 31st January 2008, 17:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kufwit
I would say the same. I played 300 hours of 2142 and the only ads I can remember are for Intel and Nothern Strike.

I was about to comment on that. We didn't get the IGA in the UK for a while for 2142, but when it arrived, I remember one map just had basically a wall of identical C2D adverts.

I like it when they're realistic, I mentioned Crackdown above but that's not really too realistic either. It doesn't have many billboards about and they're all for the same thing but it was still pretty good. If I were designing the game I would have put far more billboards in there, it seemed a bit devoid of them for a big city, and I would have made sure the adverts were all different like you would expect, and intersperse them with made up ads. Very rarely do I see two adverts the same on my journey into the town centre of Bristol, although thinking about it, Cardiff is pretty ad free.
Redbeaver 31st January 2008, 21:53 Quote
agree with most.

if it matches the atmosphere of the game, then it works. if not, then its not.

btw, if its like sth in the login screen, i could care less as long as i can hit escape and skip it. or take the movie files out....



of course, those are based on the fact that my system privacy is not jeopardized; ie. ingame ads that acts like a spyware when installed with the game..
HourBeforeDawn 31st January 2008, 22:11 Quote
ya I dont like in game ads or at least the ones that look at what you do or what you have on your computer and puts ads based on that >_<
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