US WipEout Players Furious

Some stories just write themselves. In-game advertising company Double Fusion today proudly declared that they’re introducing dynamic adverts into WipEout HD. “The addition of dynamic ads into WipEout HD connects brands to the game’s growing fan-base across North America and Europe via the highest definition video ads available in-game,” says the press release. “Double Fusion , the leading in- and around-game advertising and gaming audience network, will also offer standard definition video ad placements to supplement the HD-quality units.”

Double Fusion claim that their adverts are designed to “contextually match the game’s sleek futuristic design, video advertisements complement the WipEout HD world seamlessly. Ads are shown during the game’s loading screens in a number of different visual alignments.”  All fine, and if it means cheaper games, then we’re all for it.  Except in this case some users are finding that the load times have doubled since the new adverts have been introduced, with the load bar clearly ‘waiting’ for the advert to finish before the game actually starts – this is in both offline and online games.

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In the interest of a vague level of professionalism despite the fact that it’s eleven o’clock at night I quickly fired up Fury to see what all the fuss was about.  5 quick races prompted no adverts so any comparisons can’t yet be verified by TheSixthAxis.  Double Fusion say that by introducing high-resolution dynamic video ads into WipEout HD they are “responding to advertiser demand and offering an engaging ad format while pushing in-game ad innovation to a new level,” claiming that “it comes as no surprise that advertisers … signed up for WipEout HD even before the launch of the new video ad units in the game.”

What are your thoughts on subjectively intrusive in-game advertising like this, which appear to be downloaded live before you start a race, with some users suggesting that up to 5 adverts are shown per hour of gaming?

Thanks, Joystiq, colmsham1990 and superjag86.

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