Sims Online Anti-Corporate Protest Brewing over McDonald's

Well I guess I can’t really disagree with them. I wonder, will the game be cheaper if it comes with ads? :roll:

Anyways, curious readers may want to check out this article “Big Mac Attacked” on the upcoming Sims Online:

http://www.shift.com/content/web/425/1.html

Not sure how far this will actually go, but given the unchanging headline on the Quarter to Three homepage, I thought folks here would appreciate hearing about this.

I sincerely doubt it will lower the shelf price of the game.
It depends how it’s done, if the advertising fits into the game I can’t complain.

But if it doesn’t (the towering randomly placed nVidia banners in Beam Breakers comes to mind) it annoys me.

Economically, there’s no reason for in-game advertising to change the shelf-price at all, unless it decreases demand for the game.

How do you figure? I assume what you’re getting at here is “price is affected by only supply and demand; in-game product placement affects neither.” I think that’s overly simplistic, though. Companies do not always charge whatever the market will bear for their products.

For example, people in the US would probably pay money for broadcast TV (see England). But TV (and radio) networks have worked out a different revenue model, which allows them to give their products away for free. Similarly, big electronics chains often charge below what the market will bear – sometimes even below cost – on smaller items, because it allows them to generate revenue on bigger items. Or take people like Microsoft with the Xbox, or Gillette with razors: you sell the initial product at below cost and then rake in bucks on game licenses or razorblades. There are lots of ways to make money; charging the highest bearable price for your product is not always the best one.

Computer game publishers could work out a similar arrangement if advertising (product placement) were profitable enough. They might sell games extra-cheap in order to boost sales figures, which would allow them to charge higher advertising rates, thereby making larger profits despite the fact that they are making less on the actual per-unit sales (or even overall profit from sales) of games.

Do I think that would ever happen? No, probably not. I doubt advertisers would feel they reach enough people. But hey, who knows?

Thousands of products are placed in movies each year and my ticket prices only seem to go up. That kind of advertizing goes to subsitize production, I suppose. Or is used in cross promoting (as with the new Jaguar in the new Bond movie). With games, who gives a fuck? What do I care if it’s a Happy Burger or a McDonalds in a game? Or if it’s Coke in a machine instead of “Cola”?

I’d draw a line at actual commercials interrupting the gameplay. That would be uncool in the “commercials before the previews before the movie” way. But this idiot protest strikes me as the kind of thing anti-globalization rioters do when they’re not throwing bricks through the window of a locally owned McDonald’s franchise near a WTO summit. Don’t like it? Don’t buy the game… I guess this is what happens when your love of the Sims comes in conflict with your hatred of capitalism.

How do you figure? I assume what you’re getting at here is “price is affected by only supply and demand; in-game product placement affects neither.” I think that’s overly simplistic, though. Companies do not always charge whatever the market will bear for their products.

For example, people in the US would probably pay money for broadcast TV (see England). But TV (and radio) networks have worked out a different revenue model, which allows them to give their products away for free. Similarly, big electronics chains often charge below what the market will bear – sometimes even below cost – on smaller items, because it allows them to generate revenue on bigger items. Or take people like Microsoft with the Xbox, or Gillette with razors: you sell the initial product at below cost and then rake in bucks on game licenses or razorblades. There are lots of ways to make money; charging the highest bearable price for your product is not always the best one.

Computer game publishers could work out a similar arrangement if advertising (product placement) were profitable enough. They might sell games extra-cheap in order to boost sales figures, which would allow them to charge higher advertising rates, thereby making larger profits despite the fact that they are making less on the actual per-unit sales (or even overall profit from sales) of games.

Do I think that would ever happen? No, probably not. I doubt advertisers would feel they reach enough people. But hey, who knows?[/quote]

You’re right; I was thinking off 100k unit games, but practically giving them away for advertising revenue would work pretty well on the blockbusters. Well, theoretically; I’d really be surprised if anyone can put up with in-game advertising; it’s far more intrusive than in any other medium.

It’s free money for the publishers and developers, so it will stay. The average person probably likes to see familiar brands.

“Hey, they have all that crap I like to buy in this game! It’s like real life!”

My favourite use of in-game advertising was in San Francisco Rush 2049 for the Dreamcast. There are Slim Jim ads all over the place.