Massive ads implanted in Matrix Online

More real-world products to be advertised in virtual world based on real-world movie that suggests real world is really virtual.

The Matrix Online is already massively multiplayer, but it's about to get an entirely different sort of Massive.

Sony Online Entertainment has announced that beginning with Update 38, The Matrix Online will feature in-game advertising courtesy of Massive Inc. Advertisements for real-world products from Massive's ad partners will be strewn throughout the game's Mega City setting on billboards. Real-world products are already advertised in The Matrix Online, but they were primarily from companies that had provided licenses for items within the gameworld, like clothing.

One big difference that players will notice is that the Massive ads will be refreshed and updated with greater frequency. Sony notes that current ads in the game for fictional products and services will continue to remain a part of the game. Sony has also said that the ads will not be animated, and will not affect the game's performance.

Another effect of the inclusion of Massive ads into The Matrix Online is that player advertising in Mega City will be possible, and Sony might run contests in the future to select player-generated ads and incorporate them in the game.

Massive's advertising technology has been used in Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, SWAT 4, and Anarchy Online. The Matrix Online Update 38 is scheduled to release sometime next week.

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50 comments
Necriscoth
Necriscoth

This MMO advertising has disgusted me alittle. Im a gamer and a marketing professional. As a marketer, I can see the MMO being a great avenue for advertisments in this media. As a gamer, I'm disgusted. So much so that I went ahead a started a blog about this and the whole net neutrality thing. I was actually doing some more research on the MMO advertising topic for my blog when I came across this. I think during my luch hour I will post another....post. If anyone wants to join in, please do. The address is http://cranial-inversion.blogspot.com . I think the game developers and publishers need to think real hard about why they might actually shoot themselves in the foot with this one.

Kravyn81
Kravyn81

So with all this new additional revenue then they can eventually get rid of MMO sub. fees, correct?

chopis182
chopis182

hey, hey, hey se colocar o jogo virase Free2Play ai ia ter pessoas jogando

ElvisNixon
ElvisNixon

Perhaps the adds inject rootkits on our PC's and that's what this is all about...

brianguy7
brianguy7

Well, play a less-than-great MMORPG, expect less than greatness. Let's leave this game and its marketing and go support Blizzard's MMORPG... since they focus on quality games and Sony focuses on invading peoples' lives with ads (and that whole CD-root mess).

josnas
josnas

Just another reason to not buy an SOE product, can't wait to hear about Axe commercials in everquest 2. If i wanted commercials i'd watch TV.

zedizdead
zedizdead

Well, now I know that I will NEVER play this game. Thanks to SoE for making this an easy decision.

RobPennock
RobPennock

Wow. And i thought the need for speed series had a bad case of product placement. I guess this is another reason to play one of the the 100's of other MMO's out there...

kilaan
kilaan

Predictable. It was only a matter of time before something like this happened. It is truly disturbing and sad but predictable.

BounceDK
BounceDK

Stupid ads. Tv, radio, internet, magazines, programs and now games. I wonder when a coffin at a funeral will have ads on the sides... sigh

tomkat69pc
tomkat69pc

... and also you can't skip the advertisement in gamespot-videos ...

SimuLord
SimuLord

I don't find anything objectionable about ads or product placement provided they are not too intrusive. If there's going to be a billboard in a game, may as well stick an ad on it---if you have some sort of moral objection to Sony as a "greedy corporate whatever", then buy a few shares of Sony stock and enjoy the maxim, "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em". Advertising is such an all-encompassing part of our lives anyway, games almost don't feel right without it. If EA wanted to stick the "Capital One Halftime Report" and dialogue like "These guys were lovin' it, here's our McDonald's Players of the Game" into their next sports game, can you really, honestly complain about it? If you're miffed that they're still charging $49.99 despite all those ads, see above paragraph and buy stock in ERTS. If pop-ups or other ads that actually damage a corporate brand start showing up in games, and those ad tactics contribute to lower sales, then the companies will know where the limits are. But ads on billboards in an MMO set in modern/future settings hardly seem out of place.

Jackrabbit_slim
Jackrabbit_slim

This announcement should be coupled with another reading: Sony abolishes monthly fees "Why should our customers have to pay monthy fees to see advertising?" -Sony CEO Does thier greed see no end? How long will companies like sony be able to use 'server maintenance' as an excuse for thier outrageous monthly fees? Hopfully not long with thier new found coprperate sponsorship.

Rugby4ever
Rugby4ever

Does Sony not realize that people play games to get away from all that cr**. The minute I discovered that the update to Chaos Theory had planted those stupid ads into It instead of fixing software bugs I stopped playing.

rrrrusty
rrrrusty

Stay away from Halo 2! Stay away from Halo 2! The flood will take you!

mlwillin
mlwillin

This Posting is brought to you by...Pepsi ahhh refreshing

someguy503
someguy503

Great... just when i thought i found a sanctuary from commercial's and advertisements, and now this happens.

BornGamer
BornGamer

The Matrix Online is an unmitigated disaster, as is everything Sony Online Entertainment ever touches. As soon as they learn that delivering a quality product will bring you more customers and greater loyalty, they'll no longer need to stoop to such desperate practices as this.

ElvisNixon
ElvisNixon

Having adds in the matrix online will diminish the game in the same way that the move the Matrix would have been diminished if it was spammed with blatant product endorsements. They have nothing to do with the story unfolding before you, and by definition, intend to distact you. This diminishs the sense of emersion. I see a customer backlash, being that matrix online is a pay for play service, and not highly acclaimed at that. This would befine for free online games, and just about no one would gripe. I see some great ideas for real adds and storefronts built into virtual game worlds. However, it would be better to craft the game from the ground up with that purpose in mind, and have the game itself have some sort of connection to the adds and/or storefronts.

liquidprozac
liquidprozac

Same goes for Cable TV. Last I heard, you still had to pay to get all your programming, but you still have to watch ads. The game should be free if you are going to have to look at ads. It's ridiculous! I'm glad I don't play those MMORPG's. So, basically, you pay $50.00 for the game Aprox. $15 per month to play and look at ads....sounds like a boycott is in order.

kretyn
kretyn

Just plain stupid.

fenriz275
fenriz275

I'd be more disappointed if it wasn't Sony doing this. This is exactly the kind of behavior I'd expect from them. I think it's a dumb idea that will do nothing but force unwanted advertising into another part of my life. Frankly I'm sick of being marketed to. On the plus side the Matrix Online holds no interest for me as a game so meh.

TOWM
TOWM

I want to have a questline based around saving various merchandise from being stolen by agents, and for my reward to be a new suit, made entirely of corporate logos. That is why I pay for my online rpgs.

stinger7bb
stinger7bb

All you saying ads are cool, add realism, etc etc. Why don't you sell your forehead and put an ad on it?? How much money would it take?? Freaking sellouts. Figures it was Sony, they seem to be on a roll lately. rootkits, now ads in games. What will they think of next??

Melgo
Melgo

I can see the potential in the realism, I cant deny the fact that there it might benefit the feel of the game. However, in a MMORPG where you are already paying a monthly fee I find this unnaceptable. Anarchy Online employed Massive, however, that game is free. You play it for free, you get ads no problem. As far as I know if you become a paying AO player the ads dissapear. Paying fees AND seeing ads seems unreasonable.

Ikthog
Ikthog

Talk about niche marketing... yuk yuk.

eyet00th
eyet00th

I wouldn't mind if I thought the profits would help with the technology and servers. But that's NOT where the money will be going. Increased profits get delivered to the TOP, and then eventually trickle down. The Fatcats will get fatter, and developers will still be putting in un-godly hours with a barebones budget. It's the American Way!

Netherscourge
Netherscourge

SoE is a disgrace to Online gaming. This move only confirms it.

electrikALIEN
electrikALIEN

I don't care how it will affect a game like Matrix Online, which is already set in a time and culture where seeing advertisements is just a part of living. What scares me is the next step of in-game advertisements. I don't want to be playing an RPG where my healing potion is replaced with a can of Coke. Nor do I want to play a racing game where each turn is obstructed by a billboard advertising ABC Family's "That's So Raven."

SkarpHedin
SkarpHedin

"Wow, if you're paying monthly for an online game, you should NEVER EVER see any ads at all." totally agree. That's the whole point of paying to play, so that the company making the game doesn't have to resort to commercials.

neo9900
neo9900

So, does this mean that all 5 of the people still playing this game will be bothered by this?

Nico4
Nico4

Too bad i don

MegaJynx
MegaJynx

Well, its not like ads our over saturated in everything today, I mean cmon. They are only in commercials, in bilboards, in mail, in TV shows and movies, on the internet, in phone calls, in magizines, on beverages via sponsered contests, and in other places I may have missed. Yea, I think we could squeese in videogames somewhere in there :) Clearly I'm against it, however, not compleatly. If ingame advertisment could lead to lesser prices for games and not interfere with gameplay AT all, I could live with it, mainly PC games, seeing its so easy to mod system files for almost any game :P

chickonspeed
chickonspeed

I think this is a fine idea, so long as it doesn't hinder anything. Would you rather have your favorite online game survive? Or, be a stubborn dolt and let it be shut down. If you can't handle ads that don't affect your gameplay, then you might as well go live in a cave. They already have fictional ads for cripe's sake.

lquidsnake133
lquidsnake133

Axe ads butterfinger ads burger king ads all add to the uban mix Music is Really good and is mostly required for most games.but the best avertising is clothing

OiPunk138
OiPunk138

If you are going to put advertisements in a video game, than the consumer should see some sort of discount in the price...otherwise, keep advertisements out of the things I pay for. I hate the advertising industry with a passion.

drakanguard
drakanguard

I hope this works for SOE. As long as they aren't intrusive, I hope this could help lower the montly fee's, and maybe eventually follow in the footsteps of Anarchy Online, and allow free play.

csbellina
csbellina

I love ads as long as they are not intrusive (aka pop ads or banner ads) I personally love the Ads in Swat 4 and Anarchy Onlien because it adds a new sense of realism to the game.

MHKnights
MHKnights

This isn't surprising as the game is doing rather poorly sales wise. SOE needed to pull in some cash and this seems to be a good option. Since the Matrix takes place in a modern setting the ads don't seem all that out of place. I remember the beta and how there were all these "Your Ad Here" spots all over. What would really be funny is if you could buy some Red Bull in WoW and it really did give you wings...

vhold
vhold

I thought that this technology in the most recent Splinter Cell was very misued. Why did terrorists have giant posters for G4 TV in their hide out? Why would an office building have huge ads for G4 TV? It made no sense and really busted the suspension of disbelief for me. If it were only used on bill boards outside, bus stops, maybe the back of a few logically placed magazines.. ok.. but as giant posters randomly put throughout the game it was truly retarded.

nemes1s3000
nemes1s3000

As long as it's not a pop-up, it's fine by me. =)

Mistpunkh2o
Mistpunkh2o

i like the idea... companies could alter real-world ads to fit... say something like world of warcraft... and instead of 15 dollars you could pay 10... just because you can make a coke instead of just like jungle juice or something... it's a decent idea

tenbosch
tenbosch

It should ultimately keep the costs down for users and/or improve the experience(i.e. bigger budget). Besides, it may make it seem more realistic.

Mrnam
Mrnam

hey money is everything..... its the sad part of life..... and sony knows these ads would reel in some bit of dough to pay for the servers then the account fees all go to the wallets of the sony dudes.... Sony ROCKS!!!

FourSwordsx4
FourSwordsx4

Wow, if you're paying monthly for an online game, you should NEVER EVER see any ads at all.

artillery
artillery

Wow, I guess that's why they pay the monthly fee?

strahd01
strahd01

Whatever keeps our favorate online games going and they don't get in our way I am good!

coolcool23
coolcool23

Personally I think that as long as its not obtrusive, its pretty cool. I first noticed it in my SC chaos theory game just a while ago with the bevis and butt-head collection and I thought that it was pretty cool to have that added realism.