In game advertising has increased slightly over the last few years, a few games using it subtly whilst others (usually downloadable PC games) use it extrovertly. Sony are having second thoughts about it, however, saying that ‘young people don’t like advertising very much’, and that they are sceptical about its growth in the future.
Well, I agree, but I also disagree. I think that advertising in games, when used subtly, won’t upset anyone. For example, Burnout Paradise (which is awesome) uses very subtle advertising of real life products – namely Diesel Jeans and Gillette Fusion razors, on billboards and on certain vans that are driving around like any other NPC vehicle in the game. This doesn’t interrupt the game, or damage the experience in any way. In fact, it adds to the realism.
The more obvious ways of advertising I have seen, however, are annoying. One free game I downloaded from the internet (for the PC) was Ad-supported, which would have been fine, except that the ads got in the way of the gameplay. They popped up for 30 seconds before you could start a game, forcing you to stare at the screen like a prat whilst it slowly but steadily wasted my precious (ahem) time. This is the kind of in-game advertising that should be banned, hung, drawn and quartered, and then cremated.
As long as the ads don’t get in the way of the game, by inhibiting its performance, interrupting the gameplay, getting in the way of the gameplay or somehow damaging the experience of the game in any way, shape or form, it’s fine. Otherwise, screw you. I think most people would agree with me (including the so called ‘young people’, a group to which I belong anyway).