Get ready for TV-style commercials in console and PC games

midian182

Posts: 7,162   +64
Staff member
A hot potato: Have you ever been playing your favorite video game and thought, "Yeah, this is fun and all, but I wish it had some TV-style commercials trying to sell me crap"? It's pretty unlikely, but one company simply doesn't care about how you feel and is set to make this nightmare scenario a reality.

Axios reports that an advertising platform called playerWON, owned and operated by TV ad tech company Simulmedia, has been testing console game ads for over a year—they're also coming to PC. The tests have been successful, according to the firm, and it has now signed deals with Electronic Arts and Tencent's Hi-Rez Studios to put them in more games. Yay!

The ads try to offer some incentives for viewers. Players get to determine whether they want to watch a 15-second or 30-second commercial in exchange for an in-game reward, such as skins and avatars. Presumably, the longer ads come with better benefits.

The feature is being justified by the fact that most 18-34-year-olds are cord-cutters unreachable through traditional methods of advertising such as TV commercials. Moreover, in-game ads are reportedly cheaper and more efficient than brand integrations like those in NBA 2K.

Simulmedia claims its research shows players are willing to watch up to ten ads per day for some freebies. It also said that during the pilot campaign with F2P MOBA Smite, "players were much more likely (22%) to play a game and spend money within the game (11%), if they watched in-game ads that gave them access to more gaming perks."

It appears these ads will be limited to free-to-play games that rely on in-game purchases to make money. Given what happened with the Oculus Quest ads in Blaston and the NBA 2K21 outrage, one would assume studios won't add commercials to their paid-for games. But nothing's certain in big business.

"The acceleration of Free-to-play (F2P) games across Console and PC, like Fortnite, Apex Legends, Call of Duty Warzone and Roblox, means that audiences and play time have seen explosive growth, yet the vast majority of players, over 90%, never spend money F2P games," Simulmedia's EVP, Gaming and OTT, Dave Madden, told Axios.

Even if the ads are limited to free console and PC titles, this is definitely going to anger the majority of gamers. Nevertheless, Simulmedia plans to launch in-game ads in roughly a dozen more titles by the year's end.

Permalink to story.

 

SirDigby

Posts: 838   +664
TechSpot Elite
"The feature is being justified by the fact that most 18-34-year-olds are cord-cutters unreachable through traditional methods of advertising such as TV commercials."

I literally pay to get rid of adds in most places and use adblock on all but my favourite/ small sites, can't stand being constantly sold things.
 

ypsylon

Posts: 397   +334
You say Black Mirror. I say Dark Mirror with Picard facepalm up there. Old TNG novel which is very aptly describing where humanity is heading.
 

gigantor21

Posts: 316   +531
TechSpot Elite
"The feature is being justified by the fact that most 18-34-year-olds are cord-cutters unreachable through traditional methods of advertising such as TV commercials."

I literally pay to get rid of adds in most places and use adblock on all but my favourite/ small sites, can't stand being constantly sold things.

I love how the ad people act like people not watching ads is bad for anyone but them.

The game industry's greed and parasitic growth mentality are limitless...
 

Neatfeatguy

Posts: 495   +814
"The feature is being justified by the fact that most 18-34-year-olds are cord-cutters unreachable through traditional methods of advertising such as TV commercials."

I literally pay to get rid of adds in most places and use adblock on all but my favourite/ small sites, can't stand being constantly sold things.

Years ago, when Gamespot was still a popular site and before it took a dump with new ownership and a gawd-awful revamp, I had a subscription payment I was doing to the site to avoid ads. It's was something pretty inexpensive of $3 a month. Once ownership changed and the site revamped, I pretty much stopped going there like a lot of other people did.

I don't pay for anything like that anymore. Adblock handles 99% of ad removal for me. If any game that wants to run commercials, I just won't get it or continue to play it if commercials are introduced.
 

George Keech

Posts: 62   +74
This is just BS.
As if the cost of games, plus DLCs, plus micro-transactions, plus loot-boxes, weren't enough.
Gamming is becoming such a cluster F*** of anti-consumer practices.
I would assume they would only be in F2P games but got knows these days
 

Kirby1

Posts: 120   +197
This is already how mobile games are. It would make sense for free games on PC as well. But the instant I see a commercial in a game I paid For, it will be returned.
 

BSim500

Posts: 858   +1,977
"it has now signed deals with Electronic Arts"
Did you guys seriously expect anything else? The last "EA" game I bought was Dragon Age Origins (2009), and that was good only because EA acquired Bioware too late in the game's development cycle to screw anything up...
 

Vrmithrax

Posts: 1,590   +648
I'd be ok with this only if you have the option to:
A) Ignore the ad completely, carry on gaming
B) Watch a short ad for a minor perk (cosmetic only)
C) Watch a longer ad for better perk (still cosmetic)

Something of that nature would be acceptable if you could choose to bypass it completely and play normally. Many "Free to Play" games today are more "Pay to Win" games, though, with advantages that are able to be purchased. Might be there is a transition instead to "Watch to Win" there, giving people who opt in to watching ads some in-game currency or premium content. They'll find a way to get those ads in front of us, one way or another...