Auto Assault to get streaming ads

NCsoft and Massive ink deal to put ads in upcoming online role-player.

It's hard not to have an opinion about the trend to stream ads into game environments. Now, regardless of what that opinion might be, there's a bit more fat to throw on the fire.

Today, Massive Inc. and NCsoft North America will announce that the upcoming game Auto Assault will ship with the Massive SDK built in. That software application enables ads to stream into the game environment.

Calling the inclusion of ads in the Auto Assault gameworld "a great fit," NCsoft's VP of sales and marketing, Dorothy Ferguson, said, "Massive understands games and has the most seamless and sophisticated process for integrating ads that fit within the game environment." (Note the "billboards" in the two associated screenshots...likely positions where ads could be placed.)

Auto Assault is a Mad Max-like online role-playing game due at retailers next month. It comes from Colorado-based developers NetDevil and was first shown at 2004's Electronic Entertainment Expo.

In a statement, Nicholas Longano, chief marketing officer of Massive, said, "We're excited to team with NCsoft to incorporate real-life advertising into this cutting-edge, highly anticipated game."

Massive made waves back in 2005 when founder and CEO Mitchell Davis went on the stump to evangelize the Massive business model--a network of professionals that would supply the SDK to game developers and publishers and then solicit ad agencies and marketers to buy "space" inside the game as one would buy outdoor or magazine ads. The ad revenue would then be split between the game publisher and Massive.

The company says that it has deals in place with 34 publishers to put the Massive SDK in more than 100 games and that already the company has streamed ads into more than "45 million game sessions."

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Discussion

33 comments
bigtoncampus91
bigtoncampus91

"My god... do ads really effect everyones gameplay so much? Bunch of whinners." Yea really. I didn't even notice any ads untill I saw those pictures. And whats the point of complaining about ads when things are busy getting blown up and flying into the sky you wont even notice them? Its not like theres gonna be commercials or anything.

Lescale
Lescale

How will they mix post appocaliptic time in a mutant city with an add form this time intended for humans ... tell me this ... I don't think they will advertise products for the future. So cut the crap and first fix the bugs instead of thinking how to make more money out of it !!!

doodleschmidt
doodleschmidt

I agree with you, NeoJedi. There is no way that ad placement will have anything to do with this world. This will be a factor in removing the player from the game. This is something that is absolutely wrong. I see too many commercials on TV and hear them on the radio. They should not be in games. I use games to escape from the "real world" and I don't want to be reminded of it while playing. Unfortuneately this is the wave of the future as more companies are forming in order to provided ads to games. This will become more agressive as time goes on. I guess this means my money will be going elsewhere as I refuse to purchase a game that provides this content to games.

NeoJedi
NeoJedi

Isn't this a game set in the future? If it is, then what the hell do adds of today have to do with it?

meimnobody
meimnobody

Massive's Advertisements haven't cut down the price of Sony MMOs nor add more content.

Sundart
Sundart

By letting in these ads, they should be able to cut the online fee entirely, especially if this game does as well as everyone hopes.

xBlitzerx
xBlitzerx

I don't own a 360 (and never will), still I had to say something to all you people that say ads in games don't really bother you. That's not the point. The point is, you are already paying to play the game, now your bending over again, no even further for these companies. It's people like these that will turn the gaming industry into another Hollywood ad-campaign. Way to go guys!!

bioniccommando1
bioniccommando1

Adding advertisement should take away the fee of the game altogether. I dont pay to watch commercials on local channels do I? Why would I pay to have my gaming experience littered with soda ads? Charge for the game when you buy it and make it free to play online if your gonna put ads in it otherwise forget it.

Corvin
Corvin

Its pathetic how many people are under Industry's thumb. We, consumers, are debating how ads are such an integrated part of our live's, well of course they should be in our games, right? There are ads along the highway in life, well it only ads to the realism to put them in our games, after all its what we expect right? So our video games, which are historically a great escape from this over-commercialized horse load of a consumer-based culture of ours, can only aspire to emulated the liabilities of living in a capitalist society? I love when those who stand to benefit tell me I'll feel more comfortable with the ads, more "at home". Just what I wanted; to loathe billboard advertisements strewn about mercilessly across the landscape in my virtual world the way I do in real life. Yay!

Donkeljohn
Donkeljohn

Meh. Ads aren't so bad, if the product is interesting enough. I would imagine the billboards would add to the ambiance. How can you drive without seeing billboards?

meimnobody
meimnobody

The pricing plan for Auto Assault hasn't been announced yet. If it is free and we get to destroy the advertisements and they look like old relics to boot then it could be acceptable. Burnt out buildings with faded coca-cola advertisement banners on them would be fine. A pristine coca-cola add flashing in my vehicles HUD not okay especially since the game history shows that such companies no longer exist. Besides it's Hestia Cola everyone drinks on the human side.

Vanilj
Vanilj

Dudes, it's not like they're gonna put Coca Cola-sings all across the screen.

Primevil702
Primevil702

My god... do ads really effect everyones gameplay so much? Bunch of whinners.

bryehngeocef
bryehngeocef

i beta tested this one a few months back...first beta i was in that got delayed :P ...not a good sign. there's so much going on, it would be tought to even notice ads, unless they modeled in some giant billboards

meimnobody
meimnobody

A dev at the auto assault boards has commented about this. Check out the dev digest. No word on if the fee will get changed or elimanted. It certaintly hasn't been lessened or been elimanted in the Sony MMOs it is being used in. Also those companies using the ad tech said that by using it they would be able to get more updates out. This hasn't occured yet. A small snippet from the dev post. Go to the forums and check out the rest. Any one can check them out. "I just wanted everyone to know that we are taking great pains to use these ads primarily to enhance the realism of the world. I am adamantly getting everyone here at NetDevil to understand that these should feel like they are part of the old world, and not out-of-place or in-your-face. One thing I always felt was missing from AA was the remnants of modern real world culture, which if you take a look around any urban center, is oversaturated with ads, billboards, posters, etc. It's a fact of the landscape. For example, why wouldn't you find an old rusted out Coke can in this world?"

Ashura_Zero
Ashura_Zero

So long Auto Assault. I already pay for something much better monthly that has advertisements. Television.

HoundDawgDP
HoundDawgDP

I can understand in-game ads brought into a no-fee MMO model like Guild Wars, but from what I understand, AA isn't like this. Initial development costs are covered by the sale of the game itself ($40-50). Monthly fees are set to offset the cost of the servers and additional content development. This would make in-game content as pure greed, which I won't support.

ReyWing
ReyWing

scantily clad women - turn ON. monthly fees - huge turn OFF. Mad Max setting, vehicular combat - turn ON. real life car ads in game - doesn't matter. real life Victoria Secret model ads in game - huge turn ON.

Dace67
Dace67

Hope NCSoft won't have any monthly fees... *crosses fingers*

GyRo567
GyRo567

Ewww! Ads in games are evil.

kosanv2
kosanv2

"I was thinking about trying this game out, but not any more. Forget that." ditto, I can't stand games that put a ton of in game ads and then charge you to play. company: "Good news everyne. We will now support our game using in game ads!" people: "yay! free game!" company: "wohh! we never said free! You wil still pay us $14 a month!"

ArchieGates
ArchieGates

I was thinking about trying this game out, but not any more. Forget that.

QualityJeverage
QualityJeverage

Ads in games rarely bother me at all. As long they don't disrupt gameplay, I have no problems. Everyone was complaining about the ads in SWAT 4, but what's the problem! So one of the computers has "F.E.A.R" on it. I don't care! As long as the ads aren't too massive and don't impede the player, I don't think it'll be a problem. I still won't buy the game though, the fileplanet beta last weekend was AWFUL.

skemaal
skemaal

Well this is the same thing that Funcom's Anarchy Online has done to get more people to play the game. I think this is something interesting but should be considered as a case by case basis and not a potential future standard. It is a great way to bring life back to older Online games though. So either you charge an extremely low fee or no fee at all, but if they charge the same, they just killed their game.

blackIceJoe
blackIceJoe

I think this will not be that bad it gives it a better feel.Plus has a good chance of not having to pay money to play online is good too.Most sites that have ads let you play for free lets hope this was does also.

Mr_KMG
Mr_KMG

"This better mean that the monthly subscription fee is VERY low or the scrap the fee altogather." Agreed!

Mantis_248th
Mantis_248th

I refuse to pay for a MMO thats gunna stuff ads down my throat. I see it now, tooth paste ads as Im gunning down another car.

ewjim
ewjim

Auto Assault must be great - i love Twisted Metal-like-games! ;)

SiBaba
SiBaba

This better mean that the monthly subscription fee is VERY low or the scrap the fee altogather.

thepyrethatburn
thepyrethatburn

Given that I tend to blow just about everything up in the game, I'm not sure how effective advertising to me will be. Still, as long as it is presented in a Post-Apocalyptic way (rusting billboards and the like), I can deal with it.