Activision lands Massive ads

Ad-serving network to provide dynamic in-game adverts to PC, Xbox 360 versions of Guitar Hero III and Tony Hawk's Proving Ground.

Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock has already proven itself to be a money maker for Activision. In its first week, the publisher announced the game had garnered $115 million in sales, and analysts are predicting that the big breadwinner of October will be the Neversoft-developed rhythm rocker. However, unit sales won't be the only revenue stream contributing to Activision's bottom line.

Microsoft-owned in-game advertisers Massive announced today that the Xbox 360 and PC versions of Guitar Hero III are now part of its dynamic ad-serving network. Having already received the dubious honor of Blatant In-Game Advertising in GameSpot's review, GHIII will receive additional dynamic advertisements that Massive promises to be "contextually relevant to the rock venues in which players perform, further increasing the game's realism."

Massive also revealed that the similarly Neversoft-developed Tony Hawk's Proving Ground will now feature dynamically served in-game ads in its Xbox 360 iteration. As with GHIII, the ads will attempt to be contextually relevant and "tailored to real-world skating environments."

Thus far, Massive has signed brand-sponsorship deals with Coke, McDonalds, Verizon, and General Mills Pizza Pops for serving ads to the two games in the US, Canada, and Europe.

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Discussion

122 comments
Simba_Dude
Simba_Dude

who the honestly cares about ads. Think about it people. If its some type of sports games sure they should make it a bit more realistic and have ads in there since the player themselves are driving for a more realistic experience. But say if it interferes with a game per say like Ratchet and Clank or Halo or some other sci fi related game then obviously there is something wrong. So stop complaining as long as the ads stick to the right games.

TMIL710
TMIL710

If they do this then they better have more DLC and make them cheaper.

RobJustice
RobJustice

-->londonrider Umm.. I never said game prices will drop. And I'm not sure what your talking about with Developers not making new engines anymore. Last time I checked Unreal 3 isn't using the same engine Unreal was running. Half-Life 2 didn't run the Half-Life engine. Hell, Half-Life's release wasn't even running the same engine they had to start with. Its not really a matter of "greed" its a matter of profit margins. Most publishers have a set percentage of profit they want to maintain. With the current economic state of the US its getting harder and harder to maintain that same quota. The value of the dollar is dropping while cost of living rises. Its simple economics. If you read my whole comment, you would see that I advocate releasing higher priced games without advertisements as opposed to games becoming cheaper because of advertisements.

Jeeesh
Jeeesh

Advertisements for a new Led Zeppelin DVD in Guitar Hero III are not a bad thing at all.

londonrider
londonrider

--> RobJustice Nobody will be dropping prices of games. And it's not because of development costs (they are NOT becoming more expensive, because developers don't develop their own engines anymore, instead they are *re-skinning* them, LOL). It's just the publishers are becoming more and more greedy

RobJustice
RobJustice

There is a lot of debate on this point but what most people are missing is that no one really cares about subtle ads that are artistically placed with companies that make sense within the context of the gaming world. What everyone is scared of is that "further increasing the game's realism" will be GIANT billboards that distract from the game's mood. As far as game prices dropping, thats not going to happen. Game prices steadily rise with each new generation of system. Hell, I remember being pissed when my original Playstation games cost $50 as opposed to my usual $30 for the Genesis. The reason companies are looking to in-game adverts is to keep the prices close to what their at now with the increased demand made on developing great games. Its financial doctrine at its finest. To those nay sayers who claim we see adverts everywhere, on TV, in magazines, in movies, etc I would like to point out to you how unobtrusive those are. Commercials on TV are accepted because we don't actually pay (cable and satellite aside) for those channels. If you really want TV shows without commercials now we can go pick up DVD Box sets and watch in comfort. The few ads that make it into the actual show via product placement tend to be tastefully done and not overt. Commonly main characters are shown drinking a Coke, uncommon is it for giant Coke billboards to be a backdrop of a set. The same holds true for movies. The majority of adverts I see prior to the films start are ads for other films. I don't really see that as obtrusive, more of informative. With magazines and websites like this that ads are typically places in such a way to catch your eye for a moment before you move on to the main beef of the site or book (with some of those horrible new flash animations withstanding again... you know the ones that take up the majority of the screen and don't let you do anything until you close them out) but again we have options for a lot of sites to get them advert free. The biggest thing is we, as consumers, need to demand options. Offer a video game without adverts at a slightly higher rate then the version with adverts. I'd drop an extra $10 on a game if I could play without intrusion. Just don't expect in-game advertisement to lower our bottom dollar. I'm not sure if you guys are aware but the price of video game development increases with every new generation of hardware, and personally I think advertisements are an acceptable way to lower that price as long as we are given options that allow those of us willing to cover the development cost to pay for it.

XFilthX
XFilthX

I TOTALLY agree with ControllerLord. But I think its bull that the reason they have those ads in it is for "realism". Noo, they want more $$$

ControllerLord
ControllerLord

That's fine and all, but if they're going to receive money to put ads in their game, then the game should cost less. Take $10 off the game price.

jimmy-fly
jimmy-fly

thats annoying, i hate that, why do they do that

psycomantis_32
psycomantis_32

you scumbags.... if your going to advertise crap in my games, i better get something free out of the deal...AAARRRRRGGGGHHH!!!

IXIAntiksIXI
IXIAntiksIXI

Now that they have ads, GIVE US CHEAPER PRICED GAMES BASTARDS.

Blackstaff
Blackstaff

If you put Ads in a game then it should be CHEAPER, since they gain money from the ads. Ads are a way for paying for something -without- actually paying for it

Merl57
Merl57

%^&*%^&*( damn it this is what I hate selling out. Selling out for the money. Shame, SHAME on you.

felshs
felshs

i dont mind Ads in game, i think its make it even more realistic cuz every extreme sport cover every inch with ads.

playa42018
playa42018

First they tell us that the downloadable Xbox games won't have achievements and online play inorder to "preserve the integrity of the original gaming experience they provide” and now there will be ads to help "increase the game's realism"

mathias897
mathias897

I don't really mind advertising in my games. A coke guitar would be nice

MrSickVisionz
MrSickVisionz

LOL @ Thrash Unreal. The only musicians who don't go on corporate sponsered tours are those that don't have a fan base to sell out a venue of that size. LOL @ playing music in a large venue for your fans meaning that you don't have dignity.

VegetaMaelstrom
VegetaMaelstrom

Then you had better hope that Activision doesn't decide to come out with an RPG Kit_Sakurazuka because the player would be Ronald's sidekick and the Hamburglar would be the villian. And Grimace could be the gimp.

Kit_Sakurazuka
Kit_Sakurazuka

Huh. Well, if in-game ads lower the price of the game, I'm all for them....Not that I usually play these sorts of games anyway. As long as I never find a McDonalds ad in an RPG, I'm happy.

mhump2002
mhump2002

Unless these corperations are going to sponser free downloadable tracks for us, I dont see how this is a good thing for us consumers. Sure good for Activision shareholders but us gamers, no.

BoogieManZero
BoogieManZero

I died I little inside when I discovered GHIII sold out to Axe.

timthemooseman
timthemooseman

this game is becoming more hypocritical. There is a scene where the band is accused of seelling out, yet the game has so many ads its incredible. not that it effects the gameplay, its still an awesome game

super_slonik
super_slonik

As long as im not distracted by it during song, im fine. Actually, i thought that those go-go dancers that come out on a stage wearing "Axe" tops looked kinda cool :)

bigmick07
bigmick07

as long as it fits with the game and doesn't seem out of place or get in my way im fine with it.

Daffy101
Daffy101

so why were bundles $100 then?

LouieV13
LouieV13

Oh go cry more everyone. Its not like there in your face and destroying your gameplay experiance.

Dill-Man
Dill-Man

oh yeah, tailored to the game pshhhhhhhhhhh this is so dumb, i hate neversoft

Angarah
Angarah

If there are ads in a game, I want a lower price. If there must be ads, they have tobe tastefully done. They CANNOT stick out of the landscape like a sore thumb. Its jsut terrible

ThickFreak
ThickFreak

I don't wanna be distracted by the thought of a Big Mac while I'm shredding against Lou. Or any other time.

vashkey
vashkey

Why do people make such a big deal over in game ads? Most games that have them aren't worth getting and the ones that are don't over do it.

swaneesgotagun
swaneesgotagun

Seriously what is the big deal with ingame ads? why does everyone hate em?

DonutTrooper
DonutTrooper

Ads? Seriously? (voice cracks). Please tell me; is there ANYONE who seriously DOESN'T know about Guitar Hero III?

the-very-best
the-very-best

Damn, that sucks. And I agree with the guy before saying Activision is the next EA. Seriously, there's a new Tony Hawk every few months, and now they're making Guitar Hero like crazy. Just...calm down people.

-Saint
-Saint

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

JaMeS4418
JaMeS4418

They have already been criticised for in game advertising and they need to learn from their mistakes.

DanManX
DanManX

If I were provided with free playable content (Oh... say those new song packs) in exchange for "dynamic advertising" I could see the mutual benefit. As for McDonald's ads "increasing realism", that's just crazy talk. It's just a way for Activision to pay the bills for Red Octane's acquisition. I won't lose any sleep as long as they aren't too intrusive, but it is still uncomfortably sleazy, no matter how "contextually relevant" the ads are.

miningguy
miningguy

wow, are you guys serious unless it inter fears with the gameplay i dont care

gilmog1
gilmog1

It wouldnt be so bad if the benefits of these ad's were passed on to the consumers but there not and thats what p155es me off

bobtheflounder
bobtheflounder

So, if they're making money hand-over-fist with in-game advertisements, then why in the world are the GHIII song packs so expensive?

ctg867
ctg867

Unless GHIII is advertising things that are STRICTLY guitar/guitar culture related, I'm pissed off about it. End of story. Activison, don't be an ass and don something stupid like this.

mattyomo99
mattyomo99

activision is loadedddddd, they have so many sucessful games.

Relys
Relys

Ads suck. nuff said. Why are you guys saying "Oh it's not that big of a deal, and stop ****ing about it"? YOU GAIN NOTHING BY ADS! They're still charging you the same amount of money, and making tons more by subliminally advertising. So shut the **** up! Ads should be a big no-no in games, and all you're doing is chearing them on! Also, this is what's nice about PC gaming. You can hack the game, and remove all the ads. All of you are GIANT suckers! Esspeecially you! (Simpsons movie lol)

thrashunreal
thrashunreal

We're not all sell-outs MrSickVisionz... some musicians like to retain their dignity. Besides... an Axe guitar isn't gonna make me not play a game. It's gonna make me sick that they spent actual time making a guitar with the Axe logo on it. Grow up? Don't tell me to grow up you're the one who's advocating and preaching apathy towards even more intrusive forms of corporate sponsored brainwash. Find a more conspiratorial sounding statement and I'll give you my left nut. robx360, you let me know when you see a game that's $10 less because of in-game ads.

robx360
robx360

The ads are no big deal to me. Also rumor has it that they are to help the price of games come down. I could see spending 50 instead of 60. Downloading content is at the descretion of the user. Nobody is requiring you to download it. Frankly I'm tired of everyone complaing about it. Just wait till the content comes down in price. Otherwise be thankful that you got the game. Then after your done playing GHIII you can go to Mcdonalds. Order a coke and talk on your verizon phone. Can you hear me now........good.