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January 23, 2006


Christian McCrea

Devil's advocate:

Valve gets the service provider to pay for software, the players to pay for software - is it so dumb that the service providers move costs off the page with ads? How is this different from Valve making a TV show that gets cut up by ads on network television?

Obviously they broke the EULA, but I'm just wondering how we got to point where we are precious about the sanctity (and beyond this devil's advocacy, I am too!) of game worlds. What if a server with ads could afford to upgrade and have much better ping times, better services, better league features, custom maps, etc?


Mm, it's a nice big juicy subject.

I think the point of this post was, however, if you're going to do it, please don't do it BADLY.


The best was when my friend and I were playing an all night session of JetMoto however many years ago, and my friend turns to me and says he suddenly has an inexplicable craving for Mountain Dew.


The doctored photo only represents real life. Disney's been doing this in real life for about as long as they've been around through corporate sponsorships. Currently Autopia is sponsored by Chevron (with Techron Car animations (commercials) to view in line), Star Tours is sponsored by Energizer (with bunny posters as you exit the ride) and Space Mountain having been sponsored in the past by FedEx (I don't know if FedEx is currently sponsoring them now). Corporate logos are all over D-Land. Games are just following in Walt's footsteps.


Again, though.. all the corporate ads in Disney are well themed. VERY well themed, really: here's an example of a McDonalds advert...


... barely visible! Subtle. In fact, there's a nice key word: subtle. The Subway ads in Counter-Strike were certainly not subtle, maybe that's why they're so aggravating.


David Edery

Alice: you've hit the nail on the head. Disney World *is* full of ads, but those ads are diverse, often subtle, and almost always "tactful" (depending on your definition.) And Disney knows when it is time for the ads to stop... you don't find them midway through the Haunted Mansion, or plastered all over Small World.

Christian McCrea

Devil's advocate again.

RE: Alice: agreed, it was shockingly poor. How this company managed to dupe Subway execs is the big story.

How are subtle ads any better? Aren't they more likely to work? I guess I'm a bit hopeful but I see this sort of thing as inflammatory in a good sense, and if gamers (of all God's people, perhaps the most spend-happy) can take umbrage about ads, maybe there can be little seeds of dissent and anti-capitalism germinating. Which as smarter people than I have argued, are what the internet and computer systems already forment.

Cory Doctorow

Jtony, Disneyland has never NOT had commercial sponsorship:

* Dole presents The Enchanted Tiki Room

* Delta presents If You Had Wings

* Monsanto House of the Future

* Kaiser Aluminium Hall of Fame

* Coca-Cola Corner

* Monsanto Journey Thru Innerspace

* RCA Presents Space Mountain

* Dairy Farmers of America Present The Cow of Tomorrow

etc etc etc


I thought my photoshopping was better :)


Note the sub-machine gun.

I'll get me coat...


But advertising in Video Games is nothing now .. take a look at Crazy Taxi ...!


As much as I agree that this particular case of advertising was /way/ over the edge, I've seen a lot of games where it worked nicely. The adds for dnL soda in SSX 3 were unobtrusive to the point that a friend had to point them out to me. (Then again, maybe that's a bad thing? *lol*) As long as it's original content in the game by design, I'm not all that upset with it. The Subway ads I've seen in screenshots just SCREAMED "I don't belong here", though. :/

BTW: I can't see that many Subway logos in one place without recalling my favorite t-shirt sighting. Seen in a local mall, done in the subway logo style and colors; "Zombie: eat flesh"



Thanks, that's what I thought, but I didn't have a chance to do the research. I knew that Dole sponsored the Tiki Room, but I didn't know when that started, if it was from the beginning or added sometime later.

I actually find that the subtle advertising to be more invasive than the obvious stuff... like Dole selling pineapple drinks at the Tiki Room, or the oil industry (Mobil?) sponsoring the dinosaurs at Epcot.

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