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APB To Use In-Game Audio Advertisements

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the almost-like-an-all-points-bulletin dept.

Advertising 97

Rock, Paper, Shotgun reports that upcoming action MMOG APB: All Points Bulletin will use in-game audio advertisements as part of its business model. The number of ads you hear will be limited: "you'll only hear an ad when you go into a new zone, and that's only once every three hours." Nevertheless, some gamers are upset that these ads will be included on top of APB's already unusual payment plans. The game is set for release next Tuesday. Producer Jesse Knapp says of Realtime Worlds' goals for APB, "We looked at other online action games, and we saw things we felt could be better. Only 12 to 32 players in a match, bad connection due to peer-to-peer, dead cities, way too much time in lobbies, things like that. So what we set out to do was to make a game that has that online player vs. player action game experience in a large city with other players around, no lobbies, dynamic matchmaking, dedicated servers, great experience, and that's been one of the driving factors of APB from the very beginning." CVG recently previewed the game.

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I'm gonna advertise for niggers (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32688934)

NIGGERS FOR SALE! Don't buy a second-hand and worn out nigger from those other sites. My are fresh and haven't been broken in yet!

Re:I'm gonna advertise for niggers (0, Redundant)

know1 (854868) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689088)

This is one of the most original comments I have ever seen. :rolleyes:

Re:I'm gonna advertise for niggers (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32689122)

This is one of the most gay comments I have ever seen. :rolleyes:

Re:I'm gonna advertise for niggers (0, Redundant)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689228)

This is one of the most original comments I have ever seen. *rolls eyes*

Re:I'm gonna advertise for niggers (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32690348)

This is one of the most rolliest comments I have ever seen *rickrolls eyes*

Pardon? (5, Interesting)

Vitani (1219376) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689012)

"APB's already unusual payment plans"

Don't you mean "APB's *awesome* payment plans"? Being able to "pay as you go" means this might be the first MMO I ever play as I've always opposed paying a monthly fee for a game I may or may not play depending on my free time in any given month.

Re:Pardon? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32689094)

Unusual in the sense of "not common".

Not common != crappy payment plans.

You defense was unnecessary.

Re:Pardon? (4, Insightful)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689098)

Have you heard of Guild Wars?

Re:Pardon? (2, Informative)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689160)

Or now Global Agenda... they just ditched their sub model due to player comments.

Not for everyone, but it's a non-fee based MMO.

Personally, as someone who played during the "keys to the city" event, I think APB is going to fail miserably. It's so glitchy that I wouldn't even pay for it - I even paid for Age of Conan after being in Beta because it wasn't THIS glitchy.

Their payment system really stinks, and to add in advertisements is just adding insult to injury. Good luck surviving your first year APB, doubt you will, but good luck with that one anyway. I know you won't have my money.

Re:Pardon? (1)

PIBM (588930) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690006)

Have you though it could be your computer ? We were 5 playing together here, spent out whole 10 hours and encountered no problems at all. We are planning a pre-release lan party for this weekend too =)

Re:Pardon? (1)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 4 years ago | (#32698246)

i7 920, 6GB DDR3, HD 5750 on Windows 7.... yep, my computer.

Re:Pardon? (1)

PIBM (588930) | more than 4 years ago | (#32699254)

None of us are using ATIs, that could be a start. We had from Q9550 to I7-960, 2GB ram to 24GB ram, geforce from 9600 GT running in 2560x1600 (which was quite slow with default settings, btw) up to GTX 275 (which was quite fast even on 2560x1600, so was the 250 1GB).

Re:Pardon? (1)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689686)

Have you heard of Guild Wars?

Guild Wars rocks. A few weeks ago I fired it up for the first time in over three years and all my characters were still there with all their stuff and "birthday" presents for every year they existed!

If Guild Wars 2 follows the same model (which I believe it will) I'll pick it up too.

Re:Pardon? (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 4 years ago | (#32693076)

Guild wars is not the only game to do what you stated. Vanguard and EQ are just two examples. They keep characters even if you aren't paying the monthly fee.

Re:Pardon? (1)

Kitkoan (1719118) | more than 4 years ago | (#32697454)

Yes, but Guild Wars has a one time fee and when you buy the software and no monthly fee, so to keep the characters and give the 'upgrades/birthday gifts' during those 3 years of inactivity is pretty impressive since Arena.net doesn't make any more money from this since they were already paid.

Re:Pardon? (1)

i4ybrid (1615617) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689246)

An MMORPG I played implemented this pay-as-you-go sort of system about five years ago. It doesn't really work well because MMORPGs are time consuming by nature. If you pay $50 for a game, then only get the pay-as-you-go subscription plan, you're not getting your money's worth. It ends up costing more to use the pay-as-you-go if you get anywhere close to addicted to the game.

Re:Pardon? (1)

Azzmodan (96691) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690180)

APB has it both, you can opt for buying X hours, or for buying a monthly unlimited plan.

Re:Pardon? (4, Interesting)

FileNotFound (85933) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689354)

You guys are all missing the elephant in the room.

Here is the BIG difference between APB gametime purchasing system and say WOW.

APB has a currency called RTW points.
You can buy RTW points for $.
You can buy gametime with RTW points.
You can buy and SELL items in game for RTW points.

Do you understand what this means?

You can play the game without EVER spending another dollar after purchasing the box.

If anyone of you ever played EVE online, this is a familiar concept.

In EVE you could buy time codes for $$ and sell them for EVE in game currency. I had 4 accounts in EVE and did not pay for any of them with actual money.

Being able to buy gametime by playing a game is a fantastic concept.

Re:Pardon? (1)

Therilith (1306561) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690510)

Hence:
You can buy and SELL items in game for $.

No thanks.

Re:Pardon? (1)

FileNotFound (85933) | more than 4 years ago | (#32691388)

Umm. There isn't a single MMO on the face of this planet in which items are not already sold for currency.

Re:Pardon? (1)

JarinArenos (955039) | more than 4 years ago | (#32696504)

Missed the point. You can't buy game-time in WoW with Gold.

Re:Pardon? (1)

AlltheCoolNamesGone (838035) | more than 4 years ago | (#32708030)

Yes but most (Granted a direct in-game currency to real world money has happened before) games don't condone it, at the very least or they actively try to stop it.

Re:Pardon? (1)

Conchobair (1648793) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689382)

I am definatley going to play this game, on top of all that has been mentioned, you can also earn game time in the game itself. I don't have the full details, I tink I remember hearing you can pay for it with in game currency.

Re:Pardon? (1)

sorak (246725) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689390)

"APB's already unusual payment plans"

Don't you mean "APB's *awesome* payment plans"? Being able to "pay as you go" means this might be the first MMO I ever play as I've always opposed paying a monthly fee for a game I may or may not play depending on my free time in any given month.

I agree. You can either pay for it like you would a traditional MMORPG, or you can get some pay-as-you-go scheme. If you don't like the second option, use the first.

Frog boiling ahoy (4, Funny)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689030)

To begin with, it'll be one add every 3 hours. Once we get used to that, it'll be one an hour, one every ten minutes, then before we know it, there'll be so many ads bombarding us in-game that we might as well go outside into the real world and start shooting actual cops in the face.

Is that what you want, APB? Because that's what's going to happen!

Re:Frog boiling ahoy (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689056)

And would you be surprised if APB will start showing them more often, once their server gives the game a signal?

Re:Frog boiling ahoy (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689392)

Is that any different from the ads that are shown constantly in EA sporting games (they'll claim it's a way to provide stadium atmosphere)? I'd say the frog is already pretty well boiled by now.

To quote Philip J Fry: Only on TV and radio. And in magazines and movies and at ball games and on buses and milk cartons and T-shirts and written in the sky. But not in dreams. No, sir-ee!

Re:Frog boiling ahoy (1)

sorak (246725) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689404)

To begin with, it'll be one add every 3 hours. Once we get used to that, it'll be one an hour, one every ten minutes, then before we know it, there'll be so many ads bombarding us in-game that we might as well go outside into the real world and start shooting actual cops in the face.

Is that what you want, APB? Because that's what's going to happen!

APB is going to lead to people shooting cops in the face? Jack Thompson, is that you?

Re:Frog boiling ahoy (2, Funny)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689430)

Will they be like GTA radio advertisements?

"Do you want to see my underwear,
I don't have any hair down there,
I got a Little Lacy Surprise,
oh Daddy please close your eyes!"

APB= Ads Permanently Blasting (2, Interesting)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689738)

You think they are going to bombard us with so much ads we will go insane and civilization collapses.

I think you are an optimist.

Re:Frog boiling ahoy (1)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689808)

That's a pretty big barrel of grease you're trying to pour on that inclined plane. You need any help with that? No? Ok, you seem to be doing a good enough job yourself.

Oh goodie (5, Insightful)

Tridus (79566) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689036)

So I get to pay full game price for the game, then get to pay for hours (or a normal subscription) to play it... AND I get annoying ads on top of that?

Gee, these guys sure know how to get me excited about playing a game!

Re:Oh goodie (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32689082)

Don't forget paying by the hour, although at least they offer a monthly plan. To boot, this MMO isn't that advertised. This is the first time I've heard about APB, and having my first impression of an unreleased game be something that spits ads at you in a new way just doesn't sell the game to me at all.

Re:Oh goodie (1)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689188)

My thoughts too.

I personally don't mind ads in things like sport or racing games, they are already there in real life so it's not like it's too intrusive. This is just double dipping.

Re:Oh goodie (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32689260)

I personally don't mind ads in things like sport or racing games, they are already there in real life so it's not like it's too intrusive.

whereas when walking down a city street in real life, you'll never see or hear an ad.

Re:Oh goodie (1)

Hogwash McFly (678207) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690322)

When walking down the street in real life you don't hear audio advertisements coming from nowhere, which appears to be the analogue for what APB will be implementing. You'll turn a corner and suddenly a booming voice of God announces the new flavour of Bawls. What I want to know is, if this game is set in a contemporary urban setting, why not integrate advertisements in a less jarring and more realistic manner? There's ample opportunity to use billboards, television sets (e.g. in a bar or motel lobby, you could overhear a commercial break from a television set like in Max Payne) as well as car radios. People won't mind as much because that's what they would expect from living in a modern city and you'll only hear or see an advert if you are close enough to the source.

Unless of course that's what the designers intend to do on top of the audio advertising talked about here. The article states that "in-game advertising has been tried by a number of games a number of times. It's yet to prove too effective", so perhaps they think that beaming ads directly into the players ears is more effective than the kind of advertising I'm talking about.

Re:Oh goodie (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 4 years ago | (#32693210)

And when they start dumping ads in a "real life" like game, I'll stick solely to fantasy settings. When they start feeding ads in my fantasy games, I'll stop playing those too. It will be a boring life, but I'll live.

I game/pay to get away from real life.

Re:Oh goodie (1)

sixsixtysix (1110135) | more than 4 years ago | (#32699150)

except they rarely do it well. like... look! a pepsi machine! fine, but all of them are pepsi machines? that is fucking stupid and ruins the game. if i were to watch a sporting event (/shiver) and all the ad placements were by one company, all different shapes and size, but still one company, i think i'd puke and never watch that sport again. in a game, put your real sponsor next to either a) another real sponsor or b) made up ones.

Re:Oh goodie (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689534)

But, but, APB is soooo awesome that full price is actually $300. You're getting a bargain because of the ads! It's a steal my friend. Just look at this custom Elbonian workmanship. No one does software like this these days.

Re:Oh goodie (1)

sqlrob (173498) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690524)

Ken Kutaragi, is that you?

Re:Oh goodie (1)

An ominous Cow art (320322) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690860)

I, for one, will never play a game that includes advertising.

Re:Oh goodie (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690916)

What makes you think that it's full price?

Re:Oh goodie (3, Insightful)

apoc.famine (621563) | more than 4 years ago | (#32691690)

I'm starting to feel like an old, ornery codger, but you know, fuck this shit. I used to blow tons of money on games. In the last 5-7 years or so, it's become less and less and less. In the last year, I've purchased 8 games, which cost me a total of about $100. Most of these were either indie or older titles. None had a subscription. None had in-game advertising. None cost more than $30.

They adequately fill the time I have to waste on them, and they don't rip me off, nor piss me off.

I guess I'm old enough now that I don't need to buy any games. I don't need to have the latest shiny thing. In looking at all the fools who will pay way more for the game than it's worth, pay way more per month to play than is reasonable, and despite all that, sit through in-game ads, I feel like an idiot. I should be trying to sell them some useless garbage, rather than doing what I'm doing for a job now. There seems to be an endless supply of stupid people with too much money.

Re:Oh goodie (1)

Labcoat Samurai (1517479) | more than 4 years ago | (#32694550)

In looking at all the fools who will pay way more for the game than it's worth, pay way more per month to play than is reasonable, and despite all that, sit through in-game ads, I feel like an idiot. I should be trying to sell them some useless garbage, rather than doing what I'm doing for a job now. There seems to be an endless supply of stupid people with too much money.

You seem to be under the impression that the value of a product is an objective fact. You can malign a person's taste, but if they get enough subjective enjoyment out of something to offset the cost and it fits within their entertainment budget, it would be stupid *not* to buy it.

Sure, in many cases, you can wait and get it cheaper, but it's also not unheard of for entertainment value to be linked to timeliness. For example, if all of my friends are playing a game now, I'll get more enjoyment for playing it now too, because we can play together and talk about it. Ultimately, it doesn't even matter why you enjoy something. If you *do* enjoy it and feel that your dollar was well spent, then it was a smart purchase. Judging the value of an entertainment purchase is easy. Were you entertained? Do you feel happy about the purchase? If so, then it was a good purchase.

Re:Oh goodie (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32691708)

You're going to actually pay for the game after buying it once?
Hello! You can pay for that game with IN-game money! The game pays for itself. (unless you have the creativity of a lemming)

Stop being a whiner, please. This whole "anti-advertising" thing is seriously getting to childish levels on Slashdot.

Oh hey, looky, i can see a troll rating on the horizon. Gotta love that moderation system, don't agree with someones opinion? TROLL LOLOLOL, pathetic.
This place is as bad as GameFAQs when it comes to intelligence level. Don't know why i even bother reading the comments, everything is modded insightful or informative and any actual thinking is blasted.

ads should only have a place in free products (5, Insightful)

agrif (960591) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689078)

As far as I'm concerned, ads have no place in something you're already paying for. This applies to television, radio, newspapers, phone applications, and websites. Advertisements have been creeping in to paid services more and more recently. I'm fine with ads in free things; I accept that's part of why they are free. But it pains me when I buy something that forces me to see any ads.

Now, the question is, how many of these things could be supported without any ads?

Re:ads should only have a place in free products (2, Informative)

gravos (912628) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689158)

Well, if you are charged $10 for a service with ads that costs a business $20 to provide with some reasonable expectation of profit, that means the other $10 that you didn't have to pay is coming from ad revenue.

If you want to argue that they should have charged consumers $20 for the product and gotten rid of the ads, then that's fine, but business owners aren't stupid: they do what works. Such a plan would almost certainly mean they will sell less of the product/service, reach a smaller audience (fewer will buy at $20/ea), and probably lose net revenue.

It's just sortof a business reality in many markets. This is the same reason you almost always see ads in magazines even when you paid for a subscription. In fact, in many magazines ad sales are the primary form of revenue.

Re:ads should only have a place in free products (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32689266)

Could I get a breakdown of that $20? Yeah, didn't think so. Why is it necessary for companies to add this stuff in when they're already raking in RECORD PROFITS etc. every quarter?

The point is that ads on top of initial purchase and subscription are just a shameless money-grab at the cost of the (cow-like) consumers.

Re:ads should only have a place in free products (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32689326)

Could I get a breakdown of that $20? Yeah, didn't think so. Why is it necessary for companies to add this stuff in when they're already raking in RECORD PROFITS etc. every quarter?

Who's making record profits? This game is not released yet. You only have 3 choices in the MMO market as a game developer right now:

a. Be small or medium sized and have a dedicated fanbase (Pick any micropayment asian mmo for a small example, EVE for a medium example)
b. Try something off-the-wall and new (Guild Wars, APB, etc.)
c. Be World of Warcraft

The point is that ads on top of initial purchase and subscription are just a shameless money-grab at the cost of the (cow-like) consumers.

The cool thing is... Gamers aren't (generally) stupid. If the advertisements ruin the game, they stop playing. If they are unobtrusive, then they generally ignore them. Take for example Counter-Strike / CS Source. They added advertisements in the form of textures on several of their popular maps. They advertised Left 4 Dead for a long time. It was unobtrusive, so gamers didn't mind that much.

Re:ads should only have a place in free products (1)

bws111 (1216812) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689852)

Can you provide us with a list of who these companies are that are making RECORD PROFITS every quarter? And what exactly is a RECORD PROFIT? Is it measured in dollars, or margin? Are they getting these profit increases from increased revenue, or decreased expense? What is the clip level for 'too much' profit? I seem to remember that the actual RECORD PROFIT was set by Exxon a few years ago, and it was something like $10B/qtr. What game company surpasses that?

Re:ads should only have a place in free products (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32689802)

So, you don't actually buy anything? Because most products you buy come with the company's brand all over, and that is advertisement. Let's see:

Cars: stereo ads, wheel ads, the car itself has ads... even the windshield has ads.
Computers: please, every computer comes with the "Intel Inside" or "AMD Here" or "Designed for Windows7" stickers. Stupid Macs have an apple everywhere!

Hell, some products are an ad by their self, like an apple :)

Woohoo!!! I've got some mod-points!!!

Re:ads should only have a place in free products (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 4 years ago | (#32692978)

In-game ads can enhance the game if they are done correctly.

What would a racing track be without billboards, for example?

Re:ads should only have a place in free products (1)

Fieryphoenix (1161565) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689280)

Yeah! Ads in pay games is like... ads in HBO. A big no thanks pal, Jesse.

Re:ads should only have a place in free products (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689446)

Indeed. The day the BBC shows an advertisement is the day they stop getting my TV license fee.

As far as this game goes; Meh. Never heard of it before now. Can't be that big of a deal.

Re:ads should only have a place in free products (1)

chowdahhead (1618447) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689508)

If you want to pay for something completely add free, I think you'll be disappointed with the bill you receive for it. We lament advertising and targeted advertising especially, but it offsets the cost of publishing magazines, newspapers, and websites, the prices of tickets to events, and the cost of carrying cable channels. Video games have been the exception in media and entertainment. Instead of dismissing the idea, consider a good implementation of in-game advertising that could allocate more resources to developers to make games cheaper and better.

Re:ads should only have a place in free products (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689642)

Instead of dismissing the idea, consider a good implementation of in-game advertising that could allocate more resources to developers to make games cheaper and better.

Video games are already ridiculously cheap in terms of entertainment time per dollar. They don't need to be any cheaper. And I'm not sure that "more resources" will make games any better. What makes a game great is the core idea, the gameplay. More resources might buy you some more enemy models, or voice actors, but that doesn't make the game any better, just prettier.

Re:ads should only have a place in free products (3, Insightful)

ubersoldat2k7 (1557119) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689856)

Video games are already ridiculously cheap in terms of entertainment time per dollar. They don't need to be any cheaper.

I'm not sure about this. Compared to what? With movies? Yes. With music? Probably. With throwing rocks at birds? I Don't think so! With sex? Depends.

Re:ads should only have a place in free products (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32689598)

Are you're morally opposed to buying newspapers then? They are something that you pay for that also has advertising. They'd cost a lot more (probably to the point of unsustainability) without the adverts!

I think this is a great idea as a budget gamer - subsidising something that they would otherwise charge for with ads. They are planning to just play the ad during the loading screens or when you first spawn - it's not going to interfere with any actual gameplay so it saves you a little off your monthly fee.

However, I'd be the first to jump on the soapbox if they make them more invasive!

Re:ads should only have a place in free products (1)

Stick32 (975497) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690690)

You know 5 years ago I would have agreed with you... The problem is that the price we're paying for games is essentially the same that we were paying 10 years ago. The same price when you could develop a blockbuster title with 20 people. Nowadays triple-A titles require staffs at least 4-5 times larger than that. Production costs are exploding while the products finished price remains fairly fixed

Now I know, yes, more people are playing games today than there were 10 years ago, but it's not enough to offset increased production costs especially on the PC market. So either your choices these days are try to sell enough copies to make a profit (which is hard to do on the PC platform especially with a new IP and unproven game genre), or try to sell enough and subtly incorporate in game advertisement to shore up the shortfall.

You gotta remember, developers are people too. In most cases, they like putting adds in their creations as much as you like paying to see them.

Soon cracked & emulated (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32689130)

I bet $50 that there will be a crack that removes the advertisements in less than 2 weeks after the game's release.

People are already reverse engineering the game while it's still in beta:

# All Game Client to/from Login Server opcodes (GC2LS/LS2GC).
# All Game Client to/from World Server opcodes (GC2WS/WS2GC).
# How to connect to another server than retail.
# What encryption/auth schemes we’re dealing with (RC4, SRP 6a).
# The game uses some sort of serialization framework for packets.
# The backend runs a UT3-like server model.
# There is a separate (HTTP-based) Music Server that the game connects to.

Already used to ads (2, Interesting)

jlebrech (810586) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689142)

I've already heard ads in GTA4 but they were for fictional products.

Why not just have a radio that tunes into the current area that you can switch off after a minute of play, or just continue listening to all the ads.

Big shotgun, isn't it? (1)

I'm Not There (1956) (1823304) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689146)

These magical pills can make your main weapon bigger than your shotgun.

W T F (4, Informative)

rotide (1015173) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689190)

1. Buy the game for the MSRP of $50
2. Play 50 hours for "free."
3. Buy additional game time using one of two options:
a) $6.99 for 20 hours
b) $9.99 for unlimited hours during the next 30 days (or you can also buy 60 or 90 day subscriptions)

So, first, you're out $50 for the game itself. Then you're out basically $9.99 a month for the subscription. On top of that they want to send you advertisements?

Seriously, WTF? Pick either the advertising supported model or subscription model, don't double dip at the customers expense.

Re:W T F (1)

MattSausage (940218) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689262)

Well, if enough people agree with you, and refuse to play because of the advertising, then the game will fail and people will get fired for their incompetence, hopefully setting an example for new games to come to avoid it.

If, on the other hand, players of this game by and large not only don't mind the ads, but in fact find it amusing that real world products are in their game, then this model will succeed brilliantly, and future games will begin to follow suit.


I personally find the second option more likely. Gamer's in general have a VERY high tolerance for this sort of thing assuming the gameplay is decent to good.

Re:W T F (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32689830)

It's not that gamers have a high tolerance, it's that they have no self interest. What always strikes me about them is that even when they're being treated like absolute shit, they leap to defend the "honor" of their chosen company or product at the slightest hint of criticism. Blizzard pretty much relies on this fact to not only stay in business, but to be massively successful. Their games are derivative, their customer service is horrendous and their technical problems are constant and overbearing, but Blizzard fans just doggedly stick to the idea that Blizzard and Blizzard products can do no wrong. Makes me wonder if EA ever gets jealous of them.

It's sort of like the new car geek, I suppose. When I was a kid, the thing was to defend Chevy or Ford to the death even though I had no particular stake in either. Now, instead of irrationally defending the failures of car companies, younger generations irrationally defend the failures of video game companies.

Whatever, though. Back to the actual topic at hand, I refuse to pay AND watch/hear ads, so I'll skip this, but the payment scheme sounds good to me. On an hourly basis within MMOs I'm like the article's author. I get screwed by flat rate "unlimited" play plans. I can't stay interested for long blocks of time or for days on end with simplistic things like WoW/EQ/etc., so 20 hours a month for a single game is plenty of time for me, which effectively makes my "monthly" rate for this game $7. If it weren't for the ads, I'd give this a shot.

Re:W T F (1)

FictionPimp (712802) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689888)

NO they will somehow find a way to blame piracy.

Re:W T F (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 4 years ago | (#32693282)

Piracy, or "hackers"... while implementing yet another nanny program.

Re:W T F (3, Insightful)

swordgeek (112599) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690448)

Unfortunately, this is true. You can't say "don't double-dip" to a company. If it's profitable, they'll double-dip, triple-dip, and then sell you an expansion pack every six months. This isn't gaming though, this is life. Companies will do whatever they can get away with to bump up their profits.

I disagree with the statement that 'gamers have a high tolerance for this sort of thing', though. People in general have a fairly short "outrage window." Kick them in the groin, they complain bitterly and swear they won't do business with you. Then you can apologise and kick them in the shins, and they'll be grateful (or at least tolerant) because you're not kicking them in the groin anymore. Of course a year later you can start kicking them in the head, and when they complain bitterly, go back to "only" kicking them in the groin.

Re:W T F (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 4 years ago | (#32693026)

Suppose they are a bunch of sheep that don't like ads, but would rather have a game with ads than no game at all.

It doesn't depend on whether or not the customer likes the ads, it depends on whether or not the ad sales bring the company more money than they lose due to customer frustration with the ads.

Re:W T F (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690992)

What if advertising makes the price cheaper? Is that still double dipping at the customers expense?

Re:W T F (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 4 years ago | (#32691728)

What if advertising makes the price cheaper?

You don't really believe that advertising will lead to reduced prices rather than increased profits, do you?

You presumably also believe the government when they say 'by imposing a tax on widgets we'll be able to cut income tax' and then two years later income tax is back where it was and you also have the widget tax on top.

That said, in a modern-era game I don't have much of an objection to ads since we're bombarded with them in the real world so not having ads in the game world would seem unreal.

Re:W T F (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 4 years ago | (#32694176)

You don't really believe that advertising will lead to reduced prices rather than increased profits, do you?

I believe that inflation is making things cost more money, and a company, in general, strives to keep optimal profits. That means that an increase in price, or the introduction of advertising, given the same conditions, would earn the company less money. It also means that, since such a thing is occurring, it indicates a change of conditions, and a revenue hike is inevitable. So yeah, if advertising wasn't an option for the company, a price rise would be their next best option, and so, the advertising helps prevent prices from rising.

Re:W T F (1)

apoc.famine (621563) | more than 4 years ago | (#32691832)

Are you fucking kidding me? Cheaper? This is a $50 game with a $10/month subscription fee. That's ridiculous already. If they can't make a profit off that, they shouldn't be in business.

This is triple-dipping, at the best.

Doom3 sold 3.5 million copies. If this sells a million copies, and a single month of subscription to go with it, that's a gross of $60 million. One website said the parent company got an investment of $50 million recently. Even if all that went to the game, that's a $10 million profit, WITHOUT the triple-dipping of in-game ads, and with only a single month of subscription. Every 100,000 people that purchase another month subscription puts $1 million into their pockets, before the in-game ads. To include ads is just obscene.

Nice info getting after pre-ordering (1)

XAD1975 (1628499) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689208)

This info won't prevent me from playing the game. However, I would have appreciating knowing this before pre-ordering. Not that, in my case this would have changed anything, but to someone else this may have some importance. On that one, RTW, you are disappointing.

Re:Nice info getting after pre-ordering (2, Insightful)

Tridus (79566) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689470)

Moral of the story: pre-orders are for suckers.

The game will be easy to buy at release, or even better, two weeks after release. By then, all these little details marketing would rather you not know when buying will be public, along with the bugs and problem lists.

There is no good reason to shell out money for a game months in advance with no idea what you're really going to get on release day. If you do and stuff like this happens, you get what you deserve.

There will be cake ... (1)

Gopal.V (532678) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689220)

Oh, there'll be cake and this time it'll be from Betty Crocker.

Fun Game... For About 2 Hours (my 2 cents) (5, Informative)

BertieBaggio (944287) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689258)

Having played the beta, my short review of APB is: drive here, shoot stuff, repeat. Oops! Seems like I broke the embargo on reviews which was initially set at 10 freakin' days after release [rockpapershotgun.com] ! To their credit (I guess), they rolled that back to merely release day [rockpapershotgun.com] .

A more nuanced look at the game shows they have in fact done some things quite nicely. The "All Points Bulletin" mechanic works very nicely. You'll be doing a mission when up pops up a notification that a comparable group from the opposing faction has been sent to stop you. It changes the dynamic of the mission and gives you a jolt of adrenaline as you listen out for the roar of the car engine signifying your would-be assassins drawing close. However, these adversarial matchups aren't without their problems. Say 50% of the time they work and you get a comparable strength team sent against you, resulting in a pitched battle that culminates in either narrow victory or defeat. Perfect! Well, the other 50% of the time you get a team that is woefully underpowered, say one wee neophyte against our group of four. Or massively overpowered, so you "call for backup", which works maybe 10% of the time. Perhaps the opposition are a full map away and have no way of intercepting you in time. Or they are already at the objective and virtually impossible to budge. The latter gets irritating as there are a few excellent camping spots should you get a VIP 'escort' mission. Oh, and I lied about the proportions. Things go right about 25% of the time rather than 50%.

Despite these problems, the gameplay is fun if you have a good group that you are in touch with through some kind of voice comms. The problem is that there is very little variety. Perhaps I've been spoiled by Saints Row 2 in this regard, but there seem to be about 3 basic types of mission which leads to the game getting boring quickly - pitched battles or not.

There is also a HUGE amount of customisation, if you're into that sort of thing. I won't say more about this as I'm not buying a game to play dress up...

...Which brings me to my next point: pricing. Pinning down the pricing details wasn't easy, although I did eventually find it on Kotaku or similar. I'll quote from RPS again:

You can purchase a retail version of APB either in-store or via digital download at standard retail price (SRP $49.99/£34.99/€49.99). The game includes 50 hours of action game play out of the box plus unlimited time in APB’s social districts customising, socialising and trading on the marketplace.

Once your game time is up, you have flexibility to top up your action game time from as little as $6.99 (£5.59, €6.29) for an additional 20 hours, while more frequent players can switch to a 30-day unlimited package for only $9.99 (£7.99, €8.99) with discounts available for 90 and 180 days.

The retail package also contains a bonus 100 RTW points towards your next purchases.

An additional benefit to this evolutionary model is the ability for you to convert your own customisations and rewards to tradable products to give to friends or clan-mates or to place on the Marketplace to earn more RTW points (convertible to game time) or in-game cash. Check back later for more details

The problem is, you are paying full retail price plus a decent fraction of 10 of your local denomination (£/$/€) monthly, for what? Progression seems limited - you can gain prestige with local NPC types to do more missions, but your character doesn't seem to get much stronger as with more traditional MMOs. It's not even like EVE where you can claim a small section of the virtual world for your particular gang. Frankly, I'm not sure it is worth paying for a glorified matchmaking service, but that is a judgment call each individual gamer needs to make.

Lastly, technical issues. I left them till last as I don't like bringing them up for a pre-release version of code, but they need to be mentioned. I experienced frequent crashes, something which seemed to affect a small percentage of users, mostly running 64-bit Windows 7. A full redownload of the 7 GB and reinstall *seemed* to fix it, although I did not have enough time to check this fully. I did experience some graphical slowdowns as well, even on minimal settings running on a PC well above recommended spec. Perhaps this was because optimisations had not yet been applied, again due to it being pre-release.

Lag was also an issue, which I mention in a separate paragraph as APB is a shooter after all. It is most frustrating to be denied a kill (or killed yourself) due to network delays, and it happened enough to leave a somewhat bitter aftertaste. However, this may be explainable due to there only being 2 european servers during the beta (EU1 and EU2, natch) and so this may not be a problem if they deploy servers widely. Except if you're in Australia [joystiq.com] , it would seem. Sorry, mates!

In short, the game is quite fun in the short term, but I question its longevity and value. I won't be getting it, but you might.

Re:Fun Game... For About 2 Hours (my 2 cents) (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689586)

Interesting review, thanks. I hoped for a more "open game", maybe more like a GTA-themed EVE, with a player-driven environment; when I head about the "isolated missions instances" I was somewhat disappointed.

I'm sick of ads in games I've paid for (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689294)

Killing Floor is REALLY bad about this. I'll be waiting to play with other people in a game lobby, BAM Red Orchestra advertisement, or an advertisement for the latest Freddy Krueger movie.

I PAID FOR THE FUCKING GAME, GODDAMMIT. Get your ads out of my face AND QUIT WASTING MY BANDWIDTH RESOURCES!

Re:I'm sick of ads in games I've paid for (2, Funny)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689506)

I made the argument of wasted bandwidth on the ZIP+4 story, which I think was posted yesterday.

I've just realised something. The amount of bandwidth that image takes up is more than likely comparable to the increased quantity of fuel consumed by having to carry around that "Bought from Hugenboffs Honda, Surrey" sticker on your rear windscreen. If you don't have those in the US, then the cost of carrying the surround on your vanity plate.

Tell me, will you go to the Ford dealership and demand that they stop putting stickers in the rear of their cars because it wastes your fuel?

Re:I'm sick of ads in games I've paid for (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 4 years ago | (#32691338)

No, I go to Ford and demand they remove those stickers because I don't want their crap on my paid-for property. Stickers, much like DRM (at least to me,) only serves as a depreciation factor to me, and I value the value of my purchased goods, including potential resale value.

And even then, it's my property once I've paid for it. Damn your license, if it's for SALE, you've made your money off of me, you don't get to make more off of MY RESOURCES unless you pay me for the usage of such.

Of course, if you don't see a problem with this, I'll be more than happy to start leeching your power, bandwidth, water/sewage, and maybe even your cell service if you're not smart enough to use a cell phone that's purely for phone calls and nothing else. After all, you don't seem to mind other people using what YOU PAID FOR.

Re:I'm sick of ads in games I've paid for (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 4 years ago | (#32693356)

I requested that my dealership not put their stickers on my car. I also removed the (redundant) manufacturer name and model from the trunk next to their logo (which I'll leave because that's enough for me.)

Obligatory Onion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32689320)

Link [theonion.com] .

My biggest problem (1)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689902)

My biggest problem is paying $50-60 for the software for a game that is supported by monthly payments.

If we're going to be paying you so much a month to play the game, let us download the software for free.

What better way to celebrate leveling than with (1)

Zarf (5735) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690162)

... the great taste of Charleston Chew! Nixon's favorite candy bar. Remember when you're playing APB use Shankman's Rubbing Compound - "When something needs rubbing, think Shankman!"

At least there are no ads in my dreams.

Lowest Common Denominator (3, Insightful)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690352)

I don't know why these types of stories actually get posted on Slashdot because the comments on here are in no way going to be a reflection of what happens in the real world.

If you read Slashdot then the chances are you're part geek & part interested in technology, maybe even techically savvy. That probably makes you above average intelligence (and that's not just trying to pander to everyone on Slashdot BTW) which therefore means that you're probably less susceptible to marketing "tricks of the trade" and advertising.

However, I suspect *most* of the people (including young kids or teenagers) who play games don't read Slashdot - and are probably not too bothered about adverts in games, especially if it's their parents who have forked out the money to pay for them.

Personally, I hope that marketing and advertising people will be the first against the wall when the revolution comes, but I do give them some credit in being able to justify their own salaries by generating product sales through their methods of advertising - which are ultimately aimed at the lowest common denominator of games players.

So whatever the view on Slashdot about in-game advertising (and I myself have a black & white view that stuff should be free with adverts or paid for without adverts), it is not going to be an indicator of what will really happen in terms of games sales.

Re:Lowest Common Denominator (1)

FileNotFound (85933) | more than 4 years ago | (#32691678)

You're so misguided it's not even funny.

Do you REALLY honestly think that it's still "kids" who play games that daddy and mommy bought for them?

This isn't Wii we are talking about here.

You're talking about a PC game. Most people who play it ARE technically savy. Hell when was the last time you could play a game without some technical expertise to get it working?

Re:Lowest Common Denominator (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 4 years ago | (#32700688)

Games companies judge the success or failure of a game by how many copies it has sold within the first two weeks of release.

Knowledgeable gamers (and I include myself in that description) are never going to rush to buy a game on the first day, they're going to read reviews first and make an informed decision to purchase at a later stage.

I accept that those buying games within the first two weeks of release are probably not just kids, neither for one moment do I believe it's just kids who play games (I'm 48 years old, have been gaming for 30 years odd and am really struggling not to spend all my spare time playing Fallout 3 currently) - but because I'm a regular on Slashdot, I'm kept informed on things like overly restrictive DRM on games which ultimately means there are some games titles I will never buy, no matter how good they are.

Re:Lowest Common Denominator (1)

FileNotFound (85933) | more than 4 years ago | (#32715812)

Well you got me beat on the 30 years of gaming.
But while I'm only now getting close to 30 years of being alive - I've had APB preordered.

In fact, preordering games that have had demos, open betas etc has been the norm for me.

I've played a lot of games, more than enough to know what I look for in a game and to be able to tell if I will like it or not based on demos, honest previews or betas.

I have stopped trusting game reviews a long time ago.

Re:Lowest Common Denominator (1)

Aceticon (140883) | more than 4 years ago | (#32691834)

Actually the above average income earning adult is exactly the kind of people that advertisers most want to reach and of these average income earning adults that play games online, a large slice are the "part geek & interested in technology". In fact, said "part geek & interested in technology" gamers are the juiciest target for online in-game advertising since teenagers have comparitivelly little money while non-techological savvy people do not play online games.

For the "part geek & interested in technology", being exposed to obnoxious advertising of a brand in one of their favorite means of entertainment will hardly endear them to that brand ...

No problem, as long as quality justifies the cost (1)

carlzum (832868) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690766)

Is the game good enough to pay $50 up-front, $10/month, and suffer through ads? If they invest the extra revenue in their development, support, and network, you're getting what you pay for. If they're squeezing loyal customers for extra profit and offering nothing in return, it's a price hike. If it's too much to pay, find something else to do with your time and money. People always gripe about price increases, but if they're willing to pay more the product was under-priced.

Pull over! (1)

jbn-o (555068) | more than 4 years ago | (#32691014)

I sure could use a donut.

APB: All Points Bulletin - bulletin for all points (2, Funny)

YourExperiment (1081089) | more than 4 years ago | (#32691394)

Was "APB: All Points Bulletin" named by "DRGN: The Department of Redundant Game Naming"?

APB = Failure. Enjoy the money pit. Assholes (3, Informative)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 4 years ago | (#32692438)

Dont buy into APB. Let it flop, so that we can stop this trend in gaming.

APB by Atari? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32697212)

Weird game to be making as MMO, but hey, it was a fun one to play in the arcades. WeeeeeeeOOOOOOOOOwwwwweeeeOOOOO!!!!

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