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  A Smart Way to Handle In-Game Ads, For Once  
 
 
Posted 2008-04-17 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
Long-time readers of this blog will know how I loathe in-game advertising and how it is often rammed into games with ham-fisted clumsiness. This being said, I'm pleased to discover that in-game ads are coming to massively-multiplayer superhero games City of Heroes / City of Villiains (known as CoX in combination). Why am I pleased? Because those responsible for the move have obviously learned from past advertisers' mistakes and are being considerate of the players and the world they inhabit:
  • CoX world is a contemporary, urban setting. Perfectly suitable for contemporary, urban advertising (unlike far-future sci-fi settings, for example)
  • Ads will only be displayed in areas that had already featured fictional ads--not a major impact on the aesthetic of the game, and, arguably a method of increasing the world's "realism"
  • Most importantly, players can turn the ads off.
  • Players have been invited to submit their own advertisements for inclusion in the world. Great move, getting the players involved and feeling ownership over their environment--players are probably less likely to turn off ads this way
  • Ad revenue will bankroll further development of the subscription-based game rather than simply make the publisher richer.
 
     
 
   
 
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  3 Comments  
 
   
 
Comment posted by RyanHensonCreighton
April 18, 2008 @ 11:36 am
     
 
Sure, it works in CoX. But if a game like that discovers the "magic circumstances" behind making in-game advertisting work, will that shackle the creativity behind the games?

You may no longer be able to set a game in the distant future or in a fantasty medieval setting, because *this is how we do ads in MMOs*, and they only work in a modern-day setting.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Tony Walsh
April 18, 2008 @ 11:39 am
     
 
Well, I suppose it's possible, but I don't think gamers are ready to accept an MMO-sphere which consists exclusively of modern, urban settings.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by RyanHensonCreighton
April 18, 2008 @ 11:54 am
     
 
Who cares what gamers are ready to accept when advertisers are footing the bill?
 
     
 
     
   
 
 
     
 
     
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