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Valve Pens In-Game Ad Deal for Counter-Strike

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the eat-fresh dept.

Businesses 113

Making the (now fondly remembered) Subway Counter-Strike ads a reality, Valve has inked a deal with the content pusher IGA. An article at GamesIndustry states that this may be the biggest in-game ad deal ever, as this still insanely popular title racks up something like '5 billion player-minutes each month' From the article: "'As the world's premier online action game, Counter-Strike's player minutes exceed its closest competitor by more than 100 per cent,' said Doug Lombardi, marketing director for Valve. 'Additionally, Counter-Strike rivals many of the current top ten watched shows on American televisions. For instance, a top ranked, one hour, weekly program garners 20 million viewers and results in approximately 4.8 billion viewer minutes per month. Conversely, Counter-Strike generates over 5 billion player minutes in the same period of time. And, nobody fast-forwards through any part of Counter-Strike,' added Lombardi."

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113 comments

Oh.. (1)

j0nkatz (315168) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317024)

Vavle Pens...

I read that way wrong.

Re:Oh.. (2, Funny)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317312)

I thought it was "Valve Penis" and I kept wondering why I should buy one.

Re:Oh.. (1)

eln (21727) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317958)

I don't know about you, but I'd rather not have to log on to Steam every time I want to play with my penis.

Free? (5, Interesting)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317026)

With the simple laws of supply they should make Counter-Strike free then it would only increase their ad counts.

Re:Free? (1)

FLEB (312391) | more than 7 years ago | (#17320176)

It could work, although there's a likelyhood they'd end up diluting things like game quality, value to potential subscribers (look at the recent talk about Second Life's high, but volatile user base), or even the perceived value to their ad clients, if then end up becoming the "Daily Shopper" of games.

Wth? (2, Insightful)

Misanthrope (49269) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317056)

Where can I sign up to get my money back?

Your money's vanished (2, Informative)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317208)

in a puff of Steam.

I've actually been all for Steam, but only because it's generally meant good things so far. If they actually start making these inescapable -- putting them in the middle of classic maps like Dust -- well, under ordinary circumstances, no one would upgrade, but this is Steam, so you don't have that choice.

Guess I should've listened to "power corrupts"...

Re:Your money's vanished (1)

Thansal (999464) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317338)

I kinda doubt they will be stupid enough to place them on maps where it does not belong, I expect things like replacing the Pop Dog ads, and putting stuff in newspaper stands/soda machines/bus stands/etc etc etc.

That and putting the adds on the scoreboard. (this one is a nobrainer).

Personaly? So long as they don't go the route that AO did (LOUD and OBNOXIOUS adds in shops), I don't care. Admitedly I havn't played a second of CS in years, but that is just because I hate everyone that plays it.

The fun thing is that everyones first thought will be, well we just mod tem outta existance, duh (this is the HL community afterall). However, what it would take to mod adds outta maps would basicly comedown to wallhacking, and VAC is relatively effective still :P

Re:Your money's vanished (1)

Darundal (891860) | more than 7 years ago | (#17319124)

Actually, I doubt you will be exposed to this if you don't want to. I bet that they are going to either put up some REALLY GOOD servers with modified versions of maps up, or they release a free version that only lets you play on certain ad-supported servers...moreover, I doubt they will let you play with modified versions of these graphics on...

Re:Wth? (1)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317386)

Ya know, people keep bringing this up, wanting their money back, I'm wondering who ended up buying CS?...

I bought Half-Life and downloaded CS back when it was in Beta, and CS:S comes with HL2 for free (I bought it for HL2, don't play CS much these days)...

Did you actually buy the standalone CS or what exactly?...

Seriously, I'm really curious about this.

Re:Wth? (1)

Thansal (999464) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317590)

THANK YOU!

I remember when Valve bought up the CS team and started selling CS:Retail. $20 a pop for somethign that is a free download if you have a different $20 (could be gotten for less in bargain bins) game. Heck, I payed like $30 for HL:GotY, and that had HL, HL:OpFor, TFC, and CS packaged in it.

Not only were you paying $20 for sometihng you can download for free, but you were also paying $20 for a crippled version of the HL engine, yes crippled, as in you could not properly run other HL mods (same thing happened with DoD:R).

Yes, this is changed now with steam, it is now $10 for CS, and the version of HL you can buy from Steam is $10 and does not include CS. And yah, they are jacking the prices, and seperating content, I still dont' care much. If I were to get on the boat now I could just buy what I want and nothing else (aka buy HL, and HL2).

Re:Wth? (1)

ShaneThePain (929627) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317724)

I bought HL: GotY and I played HUNDREDS of mods on it.
It worked fine.
Maybe you just dont know how to use your computer?

Re:Wth? (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 7 years ago | (#17318372)

While this info is meaningless now. The retail box of CS was actually useful. The key that it came with was a perfectly valid HL key. This of course was only useful when you snagged it from some unsuspecting friend who decided to chunk it to buy the regular HL. :)

Re:Wth? (1)

Thansal (999464) | more than 7 years ago | (#17318432)

Wait, are you saying that the CD Key shipped with CS:R would activate a copy of HL?

I seriously doubt this, though if it is true, that is awsome :D

Re:Wth? (1)

kcbnac (854015) | more than 7 years ago | (#17318622)

No, its true. I was kicking myself after buying 2 copies of the Platinum Pack (retail, included all the original HL content)

Its how I ended up with 8 Steam accounts for the HL stuff - 3 per on those (HL, CS and one of the expansions) and a pair of retail HL boxes I ended up getting off my neighbor for some repair back in the day...

Re:Wth? (1)

DaSilva_XiaoPuTao (1036976) | more than 7 years ago | (#17321022)

Not anymore, as its a route I just recently went down.
There are two packs in *some* shops or on steam you can buy now, and they are..

Half Life 1 Anthology : Gives you HL1, Opfor, Blueshift, DMC, Ricochet, TFC & 3rd party mod use, No CS or DOD

Counter-Strike Anthology : Gives you CS, CZ, CZ deleted scenes & DoD

The CS Anthology pack is what I bought in the shop, it cost 15. I didnt expect it too allow me to play HL1, but I did expect to be able to play 3rd party HL mods, but it doesn't, you need HL1 for that. And if you buy HL1 Anthology pack which is also 15 in shops, you cant play CS until you buy that.
They are roughly the same price on steam. So I had to pay 30 to play CS and HL 3rd party mods, which is pretty much the same price I paid 5 years ago for the game, even though HL was out on budget 2 years ago for 5 and gave you everything.

No suprise that these packs are published by EA..

Nobody cares (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17317094)

Frost Pist!

The fact that I got frost pist on dial-up proves it.

if i played (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317106)

i'd be so mad i'd quit.

Re:if i played (1)

PFI_Optix (936301) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317578)

What irks me about it is the change of product AFTER PURCHASE. This isn't a patch or an addon, it's a fundamental change in the game with the sole purpose of netting Valve more money.

Late 2006 blunder? (5, Insightful)

PoderOmega (677170) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317134)

Wow, this one just missed the "Gaming's Biggest Blunders of 2006" article. So Valve got pissed when someone with a CS server put in Subway ads, and I am sure it is because Valve had something like this in works for a while. I think that if someone is running a server that sells Valve's games, Valve should let the servers collect revenue on these ads. I can't tell from the article if this is the case, but I assume Valve is collecting all the revenue for themselves (how would they do that anyway? do all the servers have to register with value to be available in steam?).

Many people have said it, but here it comes again. Ads are fine if they are not intrusive and make sense. On top of that, make the freaking ads destructible. I don't want to drop a grenade and have the whole area singed but the Pepsi ad is shiny and new.

Re:Late 2006 blunder? (1)

HappySqurriel (1010623) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317274)

I always thought that ads could be a good thing, but it turns out that I was the only one. The area I thought it would be used is that a MMO would add ads when a player logged in (a 30 second McDonalds comercial was always my example) and this would eliminate the need for a monthly fee.

Re:Late 2006 blunder? (1)

Alistar (900738) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317962)

I think you're a little naive if you think that putting 30 second McDonalds commercial in your game will get the MMO company to eliminate monthly fees.

They will just pocket the extra cash and say its all for the consumer so that they maintain the "quality" of the game.

Re:Late 2006 blunder? (1)

legal_asshole (859683) | more than 7 years ago | (#17318666)

On top of that, make the freaking ads destructible. I don't want to drop a grenade and have the whole area singed but the Pepsi ad is shiny and new.


Actually, making ads destructable should be required, but would also provide interesting metrics in terms of ad consumption. One would also assume that they would track how long each ad is viewed (directly and/or indirectly, while moving, the angle, etc.), and if people shoot it up or throw grenades at it.

What would also be interesting is to see if people change their routes (or run backwards through the map and then turning around to the left) through the maps to avoid a viewing the ads :)

Re:Late 2006 blunder? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17321188)

Ads are fine if they are not intrusive and make sense.

Ads are always intrusive. And that's the problem.

Advertising in game should be treated with the contempt, disgust, and boycott-by-wallet that it so richly deserves.

Rape me (5, Interesting)

crabpeople (720852) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317142)

I guess the fact that I already PAID multiple times (hl2, then again for CS) does not factor into this at all? Worse yet, If I try and hack the games to remove the ads, they can just take ALL the games I have on steam and invalidate them. I knew I should never put money into steam. They have way too much control over you.

I just really don't see this as valve being anything but greedy. They don't even run the servers that you play on - people buy servers from third party companies! If I ran my own halflife server, and there wasn't a way to disable the ads, id be hopping mad. What is this if not just a straight cash grab by valve. "Hey, we have some unexploited asses here, lets rape them!"

Re:Rape me (0, Troll)

headkase (533448) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317384)

Advertising just short of spam is generally a "good" thing. In our market system you need some method of becoming aware of similar products as a basis for making informed buying decisions. You don't have to stop and read each ad so like the majority of advertising it will be relegated to the ignore bin for most players. At the same time if something catches your attention and introduces something new that you really do want then good. Besides as Data said, "Television? That didn't last much longer than the 2040's...".

Re:Rape me (1)

pilkul (667659) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317468)

The Star Trek universe doesn't have money or (much) religion either; its predictions for what will disappear are none too plausible.

Re:Rape me (5, Insightful)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317492)

You work for an ad agency don't you?

Let me make this simple. If you edit a game I ALREADY bought, in order for you to generate future revenue from it without my approval (and if I don't approve I lose the game I paid for) I will be upset.

Clear enough?

Re:Rape me (0, Troll)

headkase (533448) | more than 7 years ago | (#17318476)

You work for an ad agency don't you?

I worked as a telemarketer for about a week (including training) and I quit because I couldn't stand to always be bugging people when I phoned them. So I am definately against intrusive or unwanted advertising.

It's understandable that an old-codger like yourself ;) would object to environmental advertising. In a range of 30 years from now when TV viewership is seriously on the wane because more and more people are interested in participating in virtual environments then the advertising will follow people into those environments. It's inevitable because of the money involved. Now to why I consider this a "good" thing is as I said, the market effects. People need advertising to educate them of their choices. You don't have to pay attention to it. The economical-benefits and progress-creation of our free-market systems depend on the movement of money and like a pump advertising performs that function. 8^p

Re:Rape me (1)

Some_Llama (763766) | more than 7 years ago | (#17318786)

"You don't have to pay attention to it."

Please explain how I can avoid paying any attention to the ads on my TV, Newspaper, Radio, Bus lines, Cars on the road, Flyers stuck to my windshield, calls on my phone, letters in my mail, notes written in the sky, banners on websites, and now BILLBOARDS in my games?

"The economical-benefits and progress-creation of our free-market systems depend on the movement of money and like a pump advertising performs that function."

The only Function advertising performs is to program people to want things they don't need and create opinions about things they would otherwise not give a shit about. Good products sell themselves, people actively promote products they love and believe in, we don't NEED marketing or people like you who expouse the "virtues" of the same.

Your marketing shit speak tells volumes.

Re:Rape me (0, Troll)

headkase (533448) | more than 7 years ago | (#17319046)

My roommate tells me I'm "full of flying bullsh*t" sometimes.
I respond that the operative word is "flying". ;)
:p

Re:Rape me (1)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | more than 7 years ago | (#17320414)

I work for an ad agency and all I have to say is HAHA! I've been against Steam from day one because I KNEW they'd pull shit like this. Once they have a captive audience (and you'd better believe they have you by the balls with Steam) they can cram as much advertising down your throat as they like. Don't like it? Play another game. But the vast majority will play CS still and will suck it down.

Do I think this is a good thing? HELL NO. Parent's point and the Grandparent's points are dead on. They are changing the terms of their agreement on me. I'm sure they have a clause in their contract that lets them, but that doesn't mean I have to be happy about it, or play their crappy ad-infested game.

Re:Rape me (1)

Ribbo.com (885396) | more than 7 years ago | (#17320746)

Slight flaw in your argument that nobody actually pays for CounterStrike. It's a free mod that is given out to people who buy Half Life 2. So yeah, they can change something you haven't ever paid for....

Re:Rape me (1)

Das Modell (969371) | more than 7 years ago | (#17322950)

The ads are for Counter-Strike 1.6, (HL) not Counter-Strike: Source (HL2). Both games are also available as standalone retail products. Even if you don't buy the standalones, you still end up paying for HL/HL2.

Re:Rape me (2, Insightful)

lachlan76 (770870) | more than 7 years ago | (#17322962)

Valve sell Counter-Strike Source separately as well. As for people who got it with Half-Life 2, they in no way received it for free. It is owned by Valve, and it is advertised as part of the product (Half-Life 2).

In what way is a piece of software free if the company that owns it requires you to buy it on its own or with another product?

Re:Rape me (1)

Some_Llama (763766) | more than 7 years ago | (#17318708)

"Advertising just short of spam is generally a "good" thing. In our market system you need some method of becoming aware of similar products as a basis for making informed buying decisions."

Advertising is the WORST way to learn about products. Word of mouth is the BEST WAY to learn about products. Good products sell themselves, bad products need "marketing" to drive "consumer awareness".

You're a marketer aren't you, be honest.

Re:Rape me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17319072)

Advertising is pollution. Pollution is bad, mmmkay?

Re:Rape me (1)

sheetsda (230887) | more than 7 years ago | (#17318754)

I had to turn off downloading of content in Counterstrike because of the excessive and annoying sound files that servers kept wanting me to download. One other thing I noticed though, one particular mod that a server ran downloaded a wall decal onto my client and replaced one of the in-game textures with, as George Carlin would put it, it's "logo feces". If in-game ads bother you that much, I suggest you override Valve's default using this same trick, provided they don't take special care to prevent that.

Re:Rape me (1)

PingSpike (947548) | more than 7 years ago | (#17320242)

There's a switch valve added that allows you to block only sound downloading. Its something like cl_autodownload "nosounds", check the steam forums to confirm. It was a godsend when I found it, since those sounds were really making it impossible to play the game because they were overused...not to mention I certainly didn't like waiting an extra 5 minutes when joining a server to download them.

Hopefully you're right about the other bits.

Re:Rape me (1)

Das Modell (969371) | more than 7 years ago | (#17322934)

cl_downloadfilter nosounds

I wish I could also block the download of custom skins, but then I get error textures.

Re:Rape me (1)

PingSpike (947548) | more than 7 years ago | (#17323934)

I thought I read that there was a way to limit the models used in game, forcing them to use the default CT/T skins. I never bothered to figure it out because while skins are usually crappy and annoying, very few servers I play on use them so they haven't bothered me to much. I wish I could just download maps and nothing else.

Valve also added a switch that disabled commands sent from the server recently. (It breaks a lot of things, and they botched it turning it on by default...but it was still a good idea.)

While I'm disappointed some of these things weren't included in the original release, but I'm happy they (eventually) added them.

Re:Rape me (1)

Das Modell (969371) | more than 7 years ago | (#17323972)

cl_minmodels. It reduces the number of models to just one per side, but I don't know if it affects custom skins.

Re:Rape me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17320428)

"I guess the fact that I already PAID multiple times (hl2, then again for CS) does not factor into this at all?"

No, it doesn't in the slightest, since the ads are for CS 1.6. You know, the 6 year old HL1 version of the game which you get for free when you buy HL1 for $10, alongside that bunch of other games you also get for free. Like Opposing Force, Blue Shift, Day of Defeat, Deathmatch Classic, Team Fortress Classic, and Richochet. And then getting access to well established mods like The Specialists, Natural Selection, yada yada.

But, at least now you can be happy you're not going to get ads in CS:S, right? Right?

Re:Rape me (1)

nacturation (646836) | more than 7 years ago | (#17322812)

I just really don't see this as valve being anything but greedy. They don't even run the servers that you play on - people buy servers from third party companies! If I ran my own halflife server, and there wasn't a way to disable the ads, id be hopping mad. What is this if not just a straight cash grab by valve. "Hey, we have some unexploited asses here, lets rape them!"
You know, it used to be that clothing manufacturers hid their branding on the inside of garments. But then a few of them figured out that if they made their brand appear desireable enough, people would pay *extra* money to advertise on behalf of the company and walk around as living billboards with BOCA sprawled on their chest and B.U.M. plastered on their ass. So now you have people walking around with Nike this and Prada that and it's getting to be difficult to find good quality unbranded clothing anymore. So give it a few years. Pretty soon everybody will be paying Valve money to run a Nike Counter Strike server, and at CS tournaments Nike will sponsor the gaming gods with their own line of pro gaming slobware. Then all the wannabe gamers will rush out and spend $75 to get the Nike swoosh on their ergonomic high performance pro gamer gel mouse pad system.

(Not to pick too much on Nike... some of their gear is good quality, but they're a classic example of lifestyle branding. If it weren't for the risk of tarnishing their image with the jocks, I think they would have gotten into the gaming scene already.)
 

Alt-Tab (2, Insightful)

WaXHeLL (452463) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317146)

"And, nobody fast-forwards through any part of Counter-Strike,' added Lombardi."

Instead of fast forwarding, I just alt tab out if I die early in a match.

Oh...goodie! (4, Informative)

PingSpike (947548) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317148)

So...what domains do I put in my hosts file to assure this crap doesn't load?

Re:Oh...goodie! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17317316)

> So...what domains do I put in my hosts file to assure this crap doesn't load?

And since Steam automatically gives everyone every upgrade, and since it has to phone home periodically or it'll self-destruct... I'll wager that there's a revision coming down the pipe where anyone doing anything like that is shut down.

If I wanted to replace my computer with a locked down device that pushes content to me on a subscription plan, I'd have bought a Phantom console. If MS Vista sucks due to its DRM, so much more so for Steam.

Fuck Valve and the headcrabs they rode in on. HL2 was a great single-player game, but it's one I'll never own legally.

Re:Oh...goodie! (1)

Mountaineer1024 (1024367) | more than 7 years ago | (#17318764)

Any ads appearing in game would simply be textures overlayed onto predefined walls or billboards and as such would be supplied by the CS server.
So you wouldn't be able to filter out the ads without blocking the server.
You could always drop back to offline play if ads really offend you, but CS cost $20 and has returned me more enjoyable game time than I've seen from some $80 titles.
If Valve wants to put ads in that don't impact my gameplay (by for instance appearing as a popup that I must wait 3 seconds before passing or something) then I don't really care.

Re:Oh...goodie! (1)

PingSpike (947548) | more than 7 years ago | (#17319098)

If the ads come from the server, which is hosted by joe's like you and I...why wouldn't the server operators just block the ads? Or replace them with their own subway sub ads?

Re:Oh...goodie! (1)

Mountaineer1024 (1024367) | more than 7 years ago | (#17319260)

All your content comes from your local steam content server, so you couldn't block the ads without blocking all the rest of the updates, hence your server wouldn't be "pure".
Lots of players (myself included) will only play on Valve Anti-Cheat (VAC) secured servers, it reduces (although nothing can eliminate) the number of exploits such as wallhacks and aimbots.
If you are only running 3rd party maps on your server, then I am sure these ads will never appear.
But how many servers are there that don't just loop Dust2 and Train?

Re:Oh...goodie! (1)

PingSpike (947548) | more than 7 years ago | (#17320280)

There's nothing that enforces models or skins for valves games. You can use bright green skins and VAC will never stop you. I personally consider that borderline or outright cheating, but if they aren't enforcing models I would think it would be just as simple to stop the ads.

I think it would be more likely they push different ads served up from some external server somewhere, but you're right they have the capability to include them in the steam updates so it might not be necessary.

History repeats itself (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17317200)

Remember when you could pay for cable television, with one of the biggest perks being it was ad free?
Remember when you could pay for satalite radio, with one of the biggest perks being it was ad free?
Remember when you could pay for video games, with one of the biggest perks being it was ad free?

When will our nation as a nation of consumers stop putting up with ads in things we pay for? What's next? I'll buy a DVD with commercial breaks? My iPod will insert commercials between songs? I'll be forced to watch an ad before I'm allowed to *shop* at a store?

If I'm paying for it, I don't want ads running in it, trying to get my attention, trying to waste my time. I pay for immersion and so a 1 hour movie doesn't turn into 1 hour and 30 minutes. These commercials stream to your computer every time you load up the game, making your load times longer. Then you have to put up with them in the game and they take system resources.

I won't pay for any games that stream ads, but sadly, I think eventually I won't be playing any games in a couple of years.

Re:History repeats itself (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317364)

I'll buy a DVD with commercial breaks?

Maybe you missed the DVDs that start up with movie previews that you can't bypass and you have to view all five before getting to the menu?

Re:History repeats itself (1)

necro2607 (771790) | more than 7 years ago | (#17319774)

Hmm yeah I missed those I think... but then again all my "DVDs" come in .avi format, so I don't need to worry about what kind of viewing experience I'm being locked into by the publisher. One word: VirtualDub. :)

Re:History repeats itself (2, Insightful)

Thraxen (455388) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317440)

Add to the list...

Remember when you could pay for a theater movie and not have to watch any advertising other than for upcoming movies?

I didn't mind the movie previews, but now we have to watch a bunch of Coke, Fanta, and car ads before the movie previews. Was my $8 movie ticket, $3.50 drink, and $4.00 popcorn not enough?

I also hate the fvcking ads on DVDs these days... especially the ones that try and prevent you from skipping them. WTF? I paid for the damn movie, not a bunch of ads.

Re:History repeats itself (1)

necro2607 (771790) | more than 7 years ago | (#17319830)

Yeah, I've long had a policy of not going to movie theatres, unless someone is paying for me of course.

I don't appreciate being advertised to when I've already paid a fucking arm and a leg for the privelege of plasticized popcorn, whiny children and ringing cell phones. Frankly I feel like I'm getting completely taken advantage of if I actually pay the exorbitant $12 movie ticket and insane snack prices, and continue to get bombarded by commercials and marketing mindshare garbage. I don't appreciate being played for a fool and definitely am not going to tolerate that.

In the end, in my experience, watching a movie alone at night a nice widescreen LCD monitor and headphones is far more enveloping and effective, anyways. For example, I just watched Ghost In The Shell 2 last night... definitely the kind of movie best watched with minimal interruption and distraction. I understand that some movies are more "social" movies (comedy especially), in which case I suggest arranging a movie night with friends at the home of whoever's got the nicest TV/audio setup. ;)

Server hosts (2, Interesting)

RichPowers (998637) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317210)

I paid $40 for Half-Life and now I'll be forced to see in-game ads when I play CS. Is Valve going to give me a refund? No, because game companies have no problem charging you full price for a game and still making you see ads. But here's my biggest problem: people pay $X a month to run CS servers. Will they get a cut of the ad profit? Will they be able to block these ads? Or will Valve screw them over too? If server admins have no part of the advertisement process, then Valve has sunk to the level of EA... If you want to nip this horrible in-game ad trend in the bud, then stop playing CS. I didn't buy Battlefield 2142 because I wanted to vote no to in-game ads with my dollars...plus BF2142 just blows.

Re:Server hosts (1)

a10waveracer (862795) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317618)

Yeah, I agree. As a CS Server Admin this really pisses me off -- not because they are putting ads in game, necessarily, but because I am already paying $32 every month for my two servers. Why in the hell should Valve be able to make money off of that as well? I figure someone will figure how to mod the game to remove the ads, and I will be all for that -- I'll install that mod as soon as it comes out.

heh (1)

ajenteks (943860) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317216)

'Additionally, Counter-Strike rivals many of the current top ten watched shows on American televisions. For instance, a top ranked, one hour, weekly program garners 20 million viewers and results in approximately 4.8 billion viewer minutes per month. Conversely, Counter-Strike generates over 5 billion player minutes in the same period of time. And, nobody fast-forwards through any part of Counter-Strike,' added Lombardi."

Video Games =! Television shows

Not one of those "top ranked, one hour, weekly program[s]" costs the end user $50+, and when it does, the user gets it commercial free, or at least before the DVD menus load.

Re:heh (1)

MSFanBoi2 (930319) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317256)

Well considering most people ( I think the last count was something like 83%) have cable, or some other broadband provider, be it dish or FIOS, they are actually paying for it too...

Re:heh (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 7 years ago | (#17320536)

That analogy doesn't work, because to play Counter-Strike, I'm already paying my Internet service provider and the CS server owner is already paying his Internet service provider. Both of this in addition to the money I already spent for the game.

Benefits? (1)

dakrin9 (891909) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317224)

I'm sure they won't, but is there any way they can forward some of the benefits from the ad revenue to their users? Usually (on the internet) if I have to watch ads, I get something free for it, but with Counterstrike, i've already paid for the game, but I'll still be having to watch ads. Maybe their excuse is that it's to pay for the bandwidth?

Re:Benefits? (1)

RichPowers (998637) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317258)

What bandwidth? People pay their own money to run CS servers. Valve just pays to run Steam, the biggest DRM-infested piece of shit out there.

Wait for it... (2, Funny)

p!ssa (660270) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317252)

lag death waiting for the ad server to respond...

You've won free extra olives on your next Meatball SUB from Subway!!

  we now return you to your regularly scheduled championship match.

While your looking at the scoreboard another WORD FROM OUR SPONSORS..., pick up your copy of Half-Life 3: Ad Nausem while supplies last.

I am so glad I lost interest in online gaming.

What service? (1)

PingSpike (947548) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317254)

So...why does valve think they are more entitled to this then the server operators that actually pay to host the servers we play on? Ads are tolerable when they're funding some kind of service, but as it stands most of that cost is dumped onto the end users (the server operators). Valve provides support for the end users, and a download service...but those costs have always existed. (trade download service for distribution/publishing costs).

I assume they were also refering to CS:S as well as the older counterstrike.

I'm sure... (1)

garion888 (1042184) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317306)

One of the enterprising counter-strike players is trying to organize a Counter Counter-Strike Strike...or eating cheetos...

Missing a word (1)

eskwayrd (575069) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317370)

'And, nobody fast-forwards through any part of Counter-Strike, yet' added Lombardi.

I wonder if people passing on buying games that include in-game advertising would be considered 'fast forwarding'...

They do this in Battlefield 2142 (1)

forgotten_my_nick (802929) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317458)

Although I have yet to see any adverts in game. Probably because I don't live in the USA and there are legal implications for doing this in the EU.

As it stands. I pay to play the game. I don't pay to get spammed with adverts. They want to spam then they can make the game free.

If I got ads after the fact I would make a note of them and not buy anything from that company again and I'd let them know too.

123 as in 321 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17317538)

> nobody fast-forwards through any part of Counter-Strike

So Ginsu knives will make the character run even faster?

Just another notch (1)

Kelz (611260) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317584)

This just adds to the list of things that I hate about steam.

Not to mention that at EVERY major lan party event I've gone to, valve released an "update" the previous night at around 10PM. And just TRY to drop all the updated files in. Offline updating of steam doesn't work for shit.

Beware Marketing Speak (1)

Torgo's Pizza (547926) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317634)

Doug Lombardi's math is really fuzzy here. Now, mine might end being just as bad but I think it's more accurate in it's description. You really can't compare 20 million people watching an hour's worth of television to what ends up being just over 115,000 players playing Counter-Strike in the same amount of time. (That's using his 5 billion player minutes number.) Those CS numbers are less than the number of people who watched the best rated Monday 10pm newscast in Dallas (138,000 homes Our ratings system doesn't count actual people.) Okay, CS is popular... but Lombardi is really stretching it here.

Ads in games? Lower price then. (3, Insightful)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317692)

Other people already pointed this out, but I'd like to emphasize this: if I see ads in my game, they a) better blend into the environment
b) significantly reduce the cost of the game

If I would have seen Subway or Pepsi ads in Skies of Arcadia similarly to how they were implemented in CS, I can guarantee you that I would have tossed it out very quickly. Those ads would have completely destroyed what is a very-well crafted and coherent universe.

Furthermore, I would not expect to pay full price for the game. Take the BK games for example: 3.99 for silly games, but competent games that are essentially one big-ass ad. I can live with that. I probably won't buy them because they're not my cup of tea, but at least I know what I would be getting myself into: a giant ad for Burger King. There is no surprise there.

However, I have the strong suspicion that the ads in CS are going to work very differently: most likely, they'll just be images of current billboard ads or newspaper inserts. Furthermore, since all Valve games need to phone home, they'll be part of a mandatory patch to an existing game. The end result of this is that I'll be looking at badly misplaced ads in a game for which I paid full-price initially, and which I bought with the understanding that there would be no ads in it.

oolo; Piss off, Valve. That's not the way to go about it. Sometimes I think that Marketing execs need to put into a torture chamber for some of their ideas. Just so that they get some decency conditioned back into them. "What's that, Fred? You think we ought to use cartoon characters in our cigarette ads? On with the thumb screws!" I think that'll solve 90% of the problems with advertising. Then again, it assumes decency being part of a CEO's moral makeup.

Agreed (1)

dr_wheel (671305) | more than 7 years ago | (#17318210)

If game developers are going to start feeding us adverts, they'd had better well start lowering their $50 (and now $60) price point for new games.

much better idea (1)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317832)

I've said it before and I'll say it again. If they just made subs the health powerups and/or grenade launcher ammo, it'd be a much more affective and less annoying advertising campaign.

Ted Steven's response.. (1)

d_jedi (773213) | more than 7 years ago | (#17318270)

The Counterstrike is not something you can just dump something on, it's not a big ad-machine. It's, it's a series of tubes!

Same Old, Same Old (1)

spykemail (983593) | more than 7 years ago | (#17318288)

This is just another part of the big media mess. Look at radio - at first radios paid for radio stations. Once everyone had radios they had to switch to ads. Now it's degenerated to the point where radio is MOSTLY ads. Now we've got Satellite radio, but just like Cable you pay for your own equipment, then pay for the service, then watch / listen to ads to help pay for the content. Ignoring the other uses of televisions for a moment you are paying three times for one ultimate thing (your favorite TV shows).

However, both kinds of radio and television and even the internet have a key difference from most games and all movies: they're services. Someone has to pay for the satellites, the transmitters, and even the cable or other networks. Not so with DVDs and *most* video games. Under no circumstances should you purchase a DVD with ads on it unless you can verify that they're ads you want to see *or* they reduced the cost of the product.

In terms of games, it depends. Does the developer provide an ongoing service? Is that service necessary or simply a means of control or justification for additional costs? Do the ads reduce or (preferably) eliminate the cost of this service? These are all questions we should be asking.

Meh.... (1)

tktk (540564) | more than 7 years ago | (#17318684)

I don't have a huge problem with this. When you're outside in RL, do you stop and read every billboard ad and every flyer? I don't. I tune them out. Course, if the ads were somehow in the way or blocked your field of view, then I'd get mad.

Re:Meh.... (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 7 years ago | (#17318880)

Let me give you a real example of how ads can be actually dangerous: in the Bay Area, there's a huge LCD billboard near one of the freeways. It's so large and bright, that driving past it at night actually caused short-term blindness. It's been a while since I last drove that way, but it used to be that when I saw the bluish glow come up over the horizon, I knew that I would have to keep my eyes on the other side of the road in order to still be able to see in the dark. The reason for that was the first couple of times I drove by, my eyes naturally wandered over to the bright spot on the side, had to adjust to the unnatural brightness, and then took a little while to return back to night-time sensitivity.

I expect there to be more than a few ads that will have a similar effect in games.

This Detonation is brought to you by ... (1)

lorg (578246) | more than 7 years ago | (#17319412)

Yes cause there is nothing a company wants more these days then being associated with terrorists that blow stuff up.

  - the terrorists choice!

CS: Spam (1)

denmarkw00t (892627) | more than 7 years ago | (#17319572)

So what is the likely-hood that this will open a floodgate of spray-ads? Sure,
Valve took some action when the subway ad fiasco went down, but whats going to
happen when users start seeing Valve's ads in-game? Once they start doing it,
users may feel 'more justified' in spraying ads. The question is: would spamming
via spray be worth it? Could enough ad revenue be brought in to afford another
Steam account when your first spamming account finally gets deleted? Once players
start getting used to Valve's ads, would they be more prone to pay attention to
other, non-Valve spray ads?

Oh, and I can't wait to see maps like de_goldbond and fy_chex_mix_bold surface : D

Re:CS: Spam (1)

PingSpike (947548) | more than 7 years ago | (#17320364)

Well, you can just turn sprays off. And given that 2/3s of sprays in counterstrike seem to be pictures of stretched out anuses or some sort of "I'm a bigot d00dz!!!11" crap its actually not a bad idea.

Although it sounds like the next phase for viral marketing! I did see some one with a spray that was just the best buy logo the other day, so maybe its actually the current phase!

im soo gonna pimp out my cs:s tag (1)

putch (469506) | more than 7 years ago | (#17319762)

it'll go to the highest bidder. i'll blow your head off with an over-priced m4a1 the tag your corpse with a viagra ad.

Dedicated Server Hosts? (1)

jpardey (569633) | more than 7 years ago | (#17320462)

If Valve is making money off of my (I don't have one, but maybe some day) CS:S server, why shouldn't they help me offset the cost in my bandwidth? If they want to start their own dedicated server network, good for them, but right now I see no reason for server ops to be happy.

Re:Dedicated Server Hosts? (1)

go_jesse (243193) | more than 7 years ago | (#17322592)

my clan runs two of these CS:S servers on a single machine, it really does seem like the bandwidth should be offset by at least credits to the admin's steam account. Our clan donates money to help pay for the bandwidth, that now Valve is going to monetarily benefit more from (than just users purchasing the game). I'm not a happy server op.

Valve pens! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17321196)

So...how long will it take to get our hands on Valve pens after the ads are in?

Called it, and it won't work. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17321744)

1: Server owners are going to be told they HAVE to run advertising on their servers, which THEY PAY for and spend THEIR TIME to keep clean, to subsidize valve, who doesn't spend a PENNY on providing actual servers for their customers. I can see server owners being told "run it or else" and the server owners saying "allright, where's my money". I can see valve telling them to screw off and a lot of good servers and communities switching to other games.

2: Gamers don't like advertising; the better the advertising is the more attention it gathers, and therefor, the more annoyance it presents. If there's a lot of it, they'll switch to the competition.

3: Remember; you can't crack the application to remove the adware. Valve has made sure you have to run the actual software via steam and I'm pretty sure they'll set it up so an IP-block of the ad servers will disable the game entirely. So either you view it or you switch games. A lot of people are going to get angry and notice they can't do anything and decide steam is a giant pile of shit and go play other games which don't require it.

Depends on Implementation (1)

pissedoffamerican (1002647) | more than 7 years ago | (#17322128)

Obviously, ads would be out of place in, say, Neverwinter Nights 2. But at least in CS it's a modern game, so they wouldn't be totally out of place. Rainbow Six Vegas has Axe body spray ads. One building you fly over had 3 different billboards on it. But it's easy to ignore them, I almost didn't see them because I was looking around inside the helo. I just happened to look outside to see where we were. Anyways, I just hope the ads in CS aren't intrusive. Like having a Pepsi logo on a soda machine. That's OK. But if they start putting billboards in random places it'll ruin the game.

One step (1)

name*censored* (884880) | more than 7 years ago | (#17324098)

And of course, within 5 minutes of the advertisers putting their stuff up, they'll realise that people (well, the ones that haven't left in disgust) are largely doing in game what they do in real life with ads, and that is - IGNORE THEM. So they'll make them the type that jump out at you, flashing (they might be kind enough to explain it away with crap like "broken flurescence backlight" but I doubt they give that much of a crap about even being logical) and generally intrude on gameplay. It's disgusting that they keep doing things to annoy people who have GIVEN THEM MONEY (eg, changing weapon costs according to demand, but at least they had good intentions there).

I was considering buying CS, was slightly put off by the market-demand-for-weapon thing. After this, there's no way in hell I'm *PAYING* money to see ads, I'd sure never do it in any other case (No I dont have cable TV/subscriptions to ad laden sites/don't watch product-placement movies like "I, Robot"/etc). I shouldn't have to pay money so that I can make someone else money ON TOP OF what I've already given them.
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