Product Placement in Games

http://www.simhq.com/simhq3/sims/boards/bbs/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=20;t=020801

Assuming the screengrabs shown in that thread haven’t been retouched, so much for the hope that devs and publishers would at least attempt to make in-game ads fit into the environment.

the one with the Deuce Bigalow poster looked like a Poser screenshot.

These ads would be courtesy of in-game advertising rottweilers Massive Inc, I believe - we posted a report on the recent Advertising in Games Conference a couple of days back - seems particularly pertinent:

This is disgusting.

So this game is free now, right?

The patch that introduces the ads is free.

OH SHIT!

They’re making a new Deuce Bigalow movie?

!!

Right, well my judgement on this depends on the answers to two questions:

  1. Would I have to patch the game to play multiplayer?

  2. Is the unpatched game broken or too buggy? In other words, does the game have major problems without the patch?

If the answer to both of those is “no” then it’s no big deal. Carry on. If not, then it’s a good reason not to buy games from games that feature this kind of thing.

Just like some people won’t buy games if they find out that it uses Starforce, I’d imagine some people won’t buy games because they feature advertisements.

I’ve always wondered why basic cable has as many, if not more commericals than network TV. After all, network Tv is free, but you pay for cable.

The simple reason?

People put up with it. Once they put up with it, it becomes just part of the culture.

Same with ads in movies, same with ads on public transport, same with ads you can’t skip at the beginning of DVDs you have bought. You either stand up and let it be known you won’t buy these products, or you get used it it. Market economies are that simple.

same with ads you can’t skip at the beginning of DVDs you have bought.

Issue with this is that you dont know if a DVD has this till after you bought it and tried to play it and then you can not return said dvd.

Personally I am wary of in-game advertising, but not our-right against it. In those screen shots, if those posters were for fictional products or tv shows, would they have been out of place? I do not think they would have, and thus are ok. If however, they would have been out of place, then I would object to it in a game.

In other types of ‘themes’ asside from modern, it can be really problematic. For example if you are playing Sci-fi Game XYZ, an advertisment for a TV show or product that clearly would not exist in that time frame, would be disruptive. I would hope (although I seriously dobut) that they would be clever enough to come up with ‘fake’ products that remind people of real products. For example, advertising for Dice superfast pizza delivery who’s logo looks a lot like dominos pizza delivery, could work without causing to much disruption in the reality of the game.

[PURE SEPCULATION on my part so those with some real industry knowledge please chime in] I suspect that creating posters as vehicles for in game advertising is easy, and allows for a wide variety of products to occupy that slot. However, beyond posters, the creation of advertising bearing assets becomes more problematic (soda machines that once can interact with, etc.), and the type of product that can be applied to that advertising bearing asset become much more limited.

So the impact of in-game advertising will be that we will find an increase in game settings that allow for posters to be placed for carrying advertising.

I am sure that is true, but still, you can skin anything. There is no reason for soda machines to be ‘super cola’ when they can be pepsie or coke machines.

The problem lies in, how do you advertise pepsi or coke in a world where pepsie and coke do not exist? Hopefully the answer would be “You don’t”. I do not really have that would be the answer once advertisers really get a clue about how effective game adds would be. How many hours does someone see the best buy logo while watching a baseball game? Now how many would that be when playing Bf2 or heaven forbid, WoW? Imagine every gripphon having some kind of banner strung behind it, ship’s sails a big green Mt. Dew logos, and goblin blimps with the taco bell dog on them?

EQ2 /pizza

Soda machine being a coke machine would be fine with me, but having a duece bigalow poster in NORTH KOREA is dumb as shit. If it was for some new North Korean movie, it’d be fine.

As for the dvd commercials, I hate them bad enough to get ‘evil’ and just burn myself the dvd without them, then go sell it back to Amoeba at a loss. It’s shady, but that way it completely sucks for all parties involved, rather than just for me. If they are shitting up my movie, I have no problem stiffing them a little.

/rant
God I hate ads. Tell me what it does and shut the fuck up. I’ll find it if I want it or need it. Don’t mail me anything, dont pop up in other mediums.

Magazine ads = the best kind because you never even really see them (except for the fake article ads, those are shitty.) Net ads are ok too, because you can just kill them, which is kind of satisfying, and then you actually DO notice the ads on sites you dont mind, because they are the only ones you see. I think the ‘poe’ sites, chets? are the only ones that I let server me ads, because they arent all for crap I dont want and I may as well buy through his link.

The worst are prescription medicine ads on TV- they dont tell me what it does half the time, and I couldnt buy it if I wanted it. Ultimate stupidity. My doctor can send it my way if its actually going to help with something.

I’ve read that the reason for this is that if they DO tell you what it’s for, they’re legally required to inform you of nasty side effects. But if it’s just “Zoloft. Zoloft! ZOLOFT!!” then they don’t.

I’ll support ads in games when the publishers reduce the retail sales price to compensate for the increased ad revenue.

In other words, never.

But at the very least try to place the ads wisely. A pop machine selling coke in a store is just fine. But movie posters in some secret military base is ridiculous.

Hey maybe the guy who spends endless hours in that sad little office likes to watch stargate and thus has a poster for it.

When I worked in the games industry, people certainly did have movie posters on thier walls and even posters for tv shows. There was this one guy that had this giant Buffy poster promently displayed on the wall right next to his desk.

So, movie posters and tv posters in offices, even millitary ones, are not really out of place.

If you are ok with the wildly unrealistic layouts of buildings in these games, I can’t see a movie poster being to over the top. How many offices (millitary or otherwise) have one, and only one way to get anywhere, are full of locked doors, exept to one guy’s small office which apparently is the major way to get from the left half of the building to the right half.

Roar, gnash, and all that about the evils of advertising, but if this becomes prominent, I’ll also miss some of the great stuff the designers come up with for fake products. Played straight, it can give backstory. Played for laughs, it can be uproariously funny. Either way, it creates detail that helps establish ambience. Sure, an ad for Stealth is hilarious, but for all the wrong reasons.

Uh, weren’t there already ads in SCCT? I don’t see how this is new. They just updated the ads with the last patch. Before that it was War of the Worlds screensavers or posters for some stupid G4 special.