If you thought randomly-placed in-game advertisements were annoying, you’d better be sitting down for this one. It’s come to light that Sony filed a patent that would implement content-suspending advertisements in video games.
As the patent outlines, players would start playing a game and at some point would be given a warning that a commercial was pending. When it’s time to watch the ad, the game would be paused and the player would have to sit through the commercial. Once it’s done, the game would resume where it was paused or a point slightly before the ad took over.
This could seemingly only work in single-player mode as otherwise, all gamers in a multiplayer session would have to watch a commercial at the same time.
While this is essentially no different than watching a television show that’s constantly interrupted by commercials, the landscape is totally different given the fact that people buy games at upwards of $60 a pop. It’d be no different than if movie studios inserted random commercials in the middle of a Blu-ray film you purchased or if record labels tossed in ads mid-song on a CD or digital content you own.
Television and streaming media sources can get away with this practice because you don’t own the content. When you buy a game, it’s yours. Perhaps the only way this could work without ticking off every gamer on the planet would be to utilize a model similar to free mobile games. If a quality console or PC game was free, then yeah, the ads would be reasonable.
The patent application was originally filed on July 22, 2011 and was published on November 10, 2011. According to Digital Trends, the patent was first spotted by a member of the NeoGAF forum yesterday.