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Editorial Debate: In-Game Advertising

Posted Aug 26, 2006 by Jon Wood

Editorial Debate: In-Game Advertising

The popular MMORPG.com Saturday Editorial Debates make a return today as Garrett Fuller and Dan Fortier tackle the slippery subject of in-game advertisements:

 

Dan Fortier: Recently Funcom, makers of Anarchy Online, announced they were adding interactive billboards featuring advertisements for Toyota. I’m not sure wether to laugh or cry at a game developer trying to sell in-game adverts as a feature. I understand that this isn’t the first off the wall ad placed and the game is free to play and this a way to generate income, but please spare me the speech that supposed to get me excited about it.

This kind of thing has been going on in some form for quite a while with games like SWAT 4, Splinter Cell and a virtual horde of sports games placing ads for real life products into their games, but having a billboard for something that clearly has nothing to do with the world I’m in is just wrong. While certain ads can actually enhance the game somewhat by placing things you would expect to see in a parallel world, it borders on insulting to see something like Judge Dredd holding a Red Bull can.

You can read the debate here.

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