Having been subjected to the annoying product placements in Fight Night Round 3, I'm not overly enamoured with forking out for a game that offsets part of it's production costs by blasting advertisements my way during a gaming session.
It's not like in-game advertising is a new thing, game ads first appeared in the late 1980s, when Marlboro banners were displayed in Sega's arcade auto racing games, so I can't say I haven't had a chance to get used to them.
Indeed recent years have seen the deliberate placement of products as part of the actual game play becoming increasingly common. Who remembers Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Pandora Tomorrow and the Sony Ericsson P900 smartphone?
Fine says I, I see what your doing, but at least you've taken some effort to sensibly merge the product into the actual gameplay. And as long as the in-game posters and vending machines and kickable cans are part of the game fabric, then I'm willing to continue trodding along quite happily.
What I am concerned about is a recent development in the upcoming game Need for Speed Carbon by EA games (they of FN3 fame) which replaces the old Static ads with ads that change over time. (see physorg.com)
Planned for xbox live enabled games and pc's connected to the net, the development is seen as "the first steps in the process of building out the infrastructure behind in-game advertising," according to Chip Lange, EA's VP of online commerce. He worryingly went on to say "instead of selling brands, we can sell the product of the day.........as the online penetration rate picks up with that platform, it becomes a valuable business area"
It remains to be seen, whether as the "valuable business" grows, in-game advertising will become more agressive and reach the point (as it did for me in FN3) that the advertising takes away from the game experience.
While I have no problem with tearing up the city streets flanked by advertisments for coca coola, and skateboards , I'm not particularily interested in forking out big bucks for a game that attempts to sell me toothpaste and tumbler dryers, while i'm battling with the hordes from hell.
elderly tags games xbox360 xbox pc ads Need for Speed advertisements in game ads dynamic ads