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Sunday, June 20, 2010

What pisses me off? ADS IN GAMES!

Yeah, ads for real world products in video games. Now, we see ads all the time. On TV, Newspapers (well, for those that still read newspapers), billboards along roads, clothing, everywhere. One of the very few places we could just escape all the ridiculous advertisements is video games. Until recently...

Yeah, look at that. What a pile of fuck. Now, advertisements in games are not EXACTLY new, these date all the way back to Crazy Taxi for the Dreamcast. The developers of that game wanted to have places like pizza hut in the game. The game developers actually PAID the people at pizza hut (along with the other establishments) to use their names and logos in the game.

Somewhat more recently, game developers realized they could get a free extra source of income via their games. The justification for this garbage is that, in games where realism is the focus, the ads serve to make the world feel more real. Yeah, real shitty. Sorry, but I don't care if I'm in metal gears of halo shooting up "pepsitown" in the "pepsicenter", I don't want to see one goddamn pepsi logo or slogan anywhere.

Ads are not only annoying, it's the principle of it. We aren't getting so much as a discount or apology, it's just pure greed on the part of the game developers/publishers at the expense of their paying customers. I hate the idea of being advertised to, in my video game, that I bought, and at least getting no benefit from it. Now, I know what you might be thinking. The ads make the world feel more real! You know what else would add to the realism? If someone were to punch you in the face if you get hit in a game.

But, game developers deserve the money! Making games is expensive! You might add. Well, game developers said just that when they raised the price of games to $60 (for Xbox 360, PS3 and even some PC games) and we paid. The extra money is getting to developers. As far as everything else goes, if they make GOOD games they'll profit. If they don't and fail, so be it. That's how the business works.

Listen, don't get me wrong, I want GOOD game developers who make GOOD games to thrive. I just don't think putting ADS in VIDEOGAMES is the way to do it. It's annoying and, for me, hurts my enjoyment of games immensely. I sold Saints Row 2 back to Gamestop when I found ads in it. Which is a shame, because I was actually enjoying the gameplay. But I just can't support that kind of bullshit.

Another one was Mercenaries 2 for Xbox 360. A game I went back and forth on buying because of the ads but ended up getting. Mostly because a friend of mine really wanted to play it co-op with me. It took several days for the ads to start showing up but when they did... holy shit. They were ads for some shitty movie. I don't remember the name of it but they were EVERYWHERE. As soon as we were done with co-op I promptly sold this game to Gamestop.

Now, for actual solutions. The best solution would be for developers/publishers to just cut it the hell out. Stop it already. Ads have no place in games, ever.
If they MUST include advertisements why not put them in the case as paper inserts. I'd throw them all away, but I'd at least see them while doing so. Mission accomplished, right? Just keep them out of the game is all I want and I don't think that's too much to ask.

What can you do? Well, the best thing is to not buy games (at least, new) that have in game ads. If you have game(s) with ads, contact the companies behind the products being advertised and let them know you'll be boycotting their products until they stop buying ad space in games. Making this practice not worth it financially to the companies involved is going to be the key.

Some of the companies that have made the greatest profits on games used games without ads, they didn't need them. Games like fallout, elder scrolls, mario, gears of war, halo, grant theft auto, red dead redemption and a ton more I'm too tired to name. Those games did amazingly well because they were good. No ads required.

I'll leave you with a comic on the subject by Penny Arcade.

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