Ads in games, ads not in games


Video game advertising company Massive recently signed a deal with Vivendi to integrate ‘live’ advertisements within their titles. The first title was the strategy-shooter SWAT4. As one might expect, gamers took about two seconds to find a way to block the origin of the ads. Details here. Nothing a dedicated anti-marketing gamer wouldn’t have already done to block ads on his favorite gaming sites – disallowing ads.* in your hots.etc file is an old trick to block web ads – but it’s probably not going to be long before a patch is going around to enable this with a simple Doubleclick of the mouse (pardon that ad-related pun, please) to allow the less-technical gamers to avoid these in the future.

Gamers love to hack these titles (see ‘Hot Coffee’); if in-game ad technology is going to take off, it’s going to need to be smarter about how these features are implemented. And I have to guess that there may not be too many sponsors who would be happy to see that hostage’s blood spattered on their ad if the player is too slow and the terrorists get to her first. Or maybe that’s just me.

Link: Details of how the hack was found are here.


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