Monday, January 16, 2006

Ads in Games: Becoming a Bigger Problem

Do you like advertisements in your games? Activision certainly thinks so, as they’ve gone on record saying that gamers “want ads in their games’. Uh, we do? I really don’t mind when it’s a very minor part of a game or it actually fits in with the game’s world, but when it goes too far, that’s when I get annoyed.

The funny thing is, gaming’s largest company (financially), EA Games, is one of the biggest offenders of this.

All throughout Need for Speed Underground 2, you’ll drive throughout the open city finding certain stores. For the first minute you’ll see a Best Buy. Then a few minutes after that you’ll see a Burger King. A couple minutes later you’ll keep seeing both of them constantly popping up.

Now, if there were maybe only a few throughout the whole game I really wouldn’t mind. But having so many of these Best Buy and Burger King stores popping up throughout the game is simply unacceptable. Also, with another EA game, ‘Burnout 3’ (which is incredible, by the way), there are tons of ads for EA’s games in addition to the lame Axe ads. Really, is there going to be a huge ad for Tiger Wood’s PGA Tour in a busy city? Of course not! It seems very distracting and out of place. Now, the picture on top is when developers have overstepped their bounds.

Above is a picture from the popular PC first-person shooter, ‘Counter Strike’. Now, EA’s ads for their other games might have been annoying, but this is simply unacceptable. Game ads have been getting progressively worse throughout the years, and this is a new step forward for annoying game advertisements, though a big step backward for those who consider games as art.

When ad’s actually fit into the game world, however, I really don’t mind. In the Tony Hawk’s series, the ads fit into the game’s environment perfectly. Still, they didn’t enhance the gameplay in any way, and “small” ads like these could be a stepping-stone to bigger problems in the long run.

Ads: we see them when we drive to work, walk to school, read a newspaper, and watch T.V. Please just keep them out of my games.


At 12:15 PM, Blogger gnome said...

If they at least ;owered game prices.. the ads might have been more acceptable... for the time being this whole idea simply ads to their revenue and (usually) insults our taste...

At 12:16 PM, Blogger gnome said...

not ;owered... lowered I meant

At 10:12 PM, Blogger Ender said...

As you said Ross, ads don't bother me when they are used in moderation and in a way that does not interrupt the flow of a game.

In CS, I could care less. There is not really a storyline or anything compelling going on, so I don't mind an ad.

However, in any game that has ambience, atmosphere, a theme, etc., an ad can really disrupt the motion of the game.

Damnit, it's not as if we aren't already making them filthy rich.....

At 12:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 9:06 PM, Anonymous DigitalSpace said...

The growing abundance of ads in games make me appreciate the fake ads in the GTA games even more.

At 3:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Im all for it! If soem games could be funded by advertisment then those game might have a low box price due to the fact the advertisment will pay a large chunck of sells.


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