Update 05/07: EA has denied any involvement with PlayerWon. See here for more.
Our original story follows.
An in-game advertising platform called playerWON has launched which will allow publishers to drop in 15 or 30 second ‘TV style’ adverts in to games which, if watched, unlock perks within the game. EA and Hi Rez Studios, creators of Smite, Paladins and Realm Royale, have signed up to use the new platform along with some of the “world’s biggest gaming studios”. The platform is owned by Simulmedia, a TV advertising company.
Developers will be able to add the adverts to their games and research has found that “players are willing to watch up to 10 ads per day in order to unlock free perks.” Analysis by Morgan Stanley has suggested the in-game console adverts could generate $2 billion revenue.
Obviously this is just not going to wash in AAA game that you have just paid £80 for so let’s hope EA and the other companies are only going to use the in-game adverts in free to play titles. That said, it’s not like Apex Legends doesn’t make money, it’s generated more that $1 billion for EA.
Last year EA sneaked in adverts to UFC 4 in a post release update but they were very quickly removed after a massive backlash.
“It is abundantly clear from your feedback that integrating ads into the Replay and overlay experience is not welcome,” said EA at the time. “The advertisements have been disabled by the team and we apologize for any disruption to gameplay that players may have experienced.”
Just this month Facebook suffered a blow when they started to trial adverts within VR games. Blaston, one the games testing the adverts, was review bombed on Steam and the Oculus store, with some players asking for refunds for the game. Resolution Games quickly decided decided that VR adverts in their game “isn’t the best fit”.
Amusingly there are a lot of “PlayerWon” accounts across on the web including a site, a streamer, a merchandising company and a YouTube account who are all very confused why they are being hassled by gamers.
Could someone provide some context for this? This account is for a streaming channel and we've seen this message twice now. Thanks! https://t.co/dVYRHf1PSQ
— PlayerWon (@PlayerWonTV) July 1, 2021