THQ signs deal for Massive in-game ads

Advertising network chalks up another addition to its growing stable of partners.

Massive Incorporated is on a bit of a roll these days. Last month the in-game advertising network assimilated the in-game advertising for Sony Online Entertainment's massively multiplayer role-playing game The Matrix Online, and on Friday the company announced a long-term deal to provide ads for "several to-be-disclosed AAA titles" from developer Spark Unlimited. Today the company announced that it has added THQ to its list of game-industry partners.

"Dynamic, in-game advertising not only offers publishers new revenue opportunities, but when done properly creates added realism that can actually enhance game play," THQ executive vice president of worldwide publishing Kelly Flock said in a statement.

"We are excited to team with Massive because we believe their network strategy and sensitivity to game play will deliver value to publishers, advertisers and gamers. We look forward to exploring together what we see as a world of new possibilities for delivering advertising to the medium of interactive entertainment."

No specific THQ projects were mentioned as being candidates for Massive's in-game ad network.

Massive's technology has already been used in Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, SWAT 4, and Anarchy Online. It's advertising partners include Coca-Cola, Comcast's G4 network, GameFly, Honda, the US Navy, NBC, Nokia, Panasonic, Paramount Pictures, Sci-Fi Channel, The WB Television Network, T-Mobile, Universal Music Group, Verizon DSL, Warner Bros., and XFM Radio.

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Discussion

30 comments
106728
106728

"". I dont wanna pay $50 to watch ads. "" You probably pay a LOT for cable television but tolerate some ads there. .. Still, product placement ruins games and movies for me. To those who say it is realistic...I think it's obnoxious. Seeing PEPSI or TACO BELL in games only detracts from the point of the game/movie scene.

MasterManiac772
MasterManiac772

I get enough half-brained advertisements EVERYWHERE else to want to see them plastered all over everything in videogames. Vote with your wallets, people - don't go anywhere near games that ship (for a good fifty or sixty bucks, no less) with a ton of unecessarily excessive or obstructing advertisements. The occasional out-of-the-way billboard is one thing, but the over-the-top nonsense the likes of which is often seen in some of the more popular PC games out there is just unforgivable.

chrisdojo
chrisdojo

the only bad thing about in game ads is companies probably won't actually lower prices of games. they'll continue to charge 50 or 60 $$$ and say the ads "help keep the cost down"..... when actually the game makers are just pulling in more dough.

ewjim
ewjim

It's good... i think...

Riblion
Riblion

Any in-game advertising is bad for a game. Game worlds are supposed to be different and in many ways an escape from the real world. In the real world there is already too many advertisements for everything you can think of, and I think that these companies should stay the f**k out of video games. I'm worried that eventually almost every game will have lucrative corporate sponsorships. The day that happens will be the day I (and hopefully many others) will stop playing games until things are returned to how they should be. The sole instance where I find corporate logos and products in games acceptable is in realistic racing games such as Gran Turismo, in which you buy the game because you WANT to drive a Jaguar, or a Ferrari, or a classic Mustang.

yboucher
yboucher

MuchasGracias hit the nail squarely: before you know it, advertisers will have a say in the content. Just as it is the case with TV.

Thanos_of_MW
Thanos_of_MW

I'll just have to add THQ to the list of companies I won't buy games from. Hopefully more people will do this and put them out of business. The only way I would accept this is if the game is FREE (and personally wouldn't bother downloading it)

onigedaki
onigedaki

Id rather my ingame character drink "Coca-Cola" then just "cola". Or drive a honda instead of the crappilly named cars in "Ridge Racer"

MuchasGarcias
MuchasGarcias

In-game advertising is rotten to the core and a betrayal of gamers. If you think it adds realism, you're drinking the kool-aid. Massive is doing this to do one thing: make money off of you. That's what for-profit companies do. The publishers will balance out the income they can get from Massive vs. the number of gamers they'll lose, and before you know it, advertisers start getting say in game content. And these publishers are public for the most part, so it's not some clique of game lovers who are guiding them, it's just shareholders. And shareholders want growth. That's what Massive is playing to, and that's why it's very important to be conscious of what the games you buy are supporting. /rant

deadwooddick
deadwooddick

Who cares? Its not like the ads are part of the content. The only thing that would be bad is if they put adds for products in games where they are out of context like a Pepsi billboard in Elder Scrolls or something. Otherwise they dont break the immersion at all. As far as adds on the loading screen, who cares? Its not like the video game generation isnt already inundated with commercialism already. Most kids born in the 80's or later have never even seen a cartoon that didnt have a toy line, a video game, a movie and a cereal associated as part of its marketing. Video games made more money than the movie industry last year. You dont think advertisers know this and use it to their advantage? If it briings more money to the gaming industry i'm all for it. More money means the potential for better games.

RageSet
RageSet

"Dynamic, in-game advertising not only offers publishers new revenue opportunities, but when done properly creates added realism that can actually enhance game play," THQ executive vice president of worldwide publishing Kelly Flock said in a statement." Hmm, I only can think of one or two game genres where in-game advertising enhances gameplay. Most of the time it doesn't add crap...for example I'm a long time player of Anarchy Online...seeing the Ads in-game really ruins the feeling you get of playing a game set in the future. Damn...I would have thought Coke Cola would be dead in the future, I'm guessing they're not by their ads in Anarchy Online. Isn't my $30 to $60 bucks enough...why include Ads as well? Greedy companies!

Loomis2_basic
Loomis2_basic

If for instance a game had a re-creation of Times Square, I would like to see an exact re-creation complete with the advrtisements on the square. Adding advertisements for advertisements sake is wrong unless the game is free. Another good example is the NHL games on my computer. Players had modded the game with updated arenas and ice/boards to make them look like the real ones. I gladly loaded that on my system, with ads all over the place. That's how it really is. Did advertisers pay for it? No, but they would and if EA is smart they would incorporate it on their own. I just doubt that extra revenue would make its way back to us in any form.

magus704
magus704

Man, Isn't it bad enough that we're all bombarded by advertising everywhere else? I see no real upside to in-game advertising, it isn't like I'm gonna buy a can of coke because I'm suddenly "aware" of it just because I saw it in a game!

Digital-Devil
Digital-Devil

G4 cool....NBC?...WB?....T-Mobile?, whats next? "Yo tony lets go to BK the home of the wopper!", "Nah Bam lets go the Pizza Hut an order a double cheese with a coke on the side!", I think i'll pass

_sean_05
_sean_05

If they dont make the games cheaper for us, and only do this for their own financial interests, either dont but the game or download it. This is a horrible trend that is anti-gamer, and we should send a clear message to developers that it is NOT acceptable. I dont wanna pay $50 to watch ads. That is just horrible.

Ankaara
Ankaara

Ads can enhance gameplay? Seriously? This is kind of silly. Yes, our real world is full of ads, so a game with ads might seem more real... but when I play a game I want to escape reality. Seeing a billboard for Pepsi while walking around in a game isn't going to help that at all. However, I must say, this dynamic version of advertising (seeing a pepsi can on a desk, etc) would be much more appealing than actually displaying commercials during load times.

runyoncolie
runyoncolie

There was in game advertising in Splinter Cell: CT?!? I've never even noticed in-game advestisments. As long as there not in your face they are fine

diablobasher
diablobasher

We already have to pay for the privilage of not having ads in our websites/some online games, if they want to make the games cheaper, i dont mind seeing products on my loading screen (as long as its not DARN COKE!) i dont so much minde seeing things on billboards or on television/radio ingame, as that adds to realism, but seeing these things all the time, and having my characters wear makes of clothes is rubbish! I dont buy any of this advertised rubbish anyway, so why should i have to look at it. The only adverts i enjoy are the spoof ones in games like Grand theft auto ect. If THQ insist on having intrusive adverts ingame (such as click to continue to the game, or all over my loading screens, as i said, if it adds to realism ingame, i dont mind at all) Then i am going to get a free, pirate copy of your game. How do you like them apples?

insane956dv
insane956dv

money, money, money. Next time you'll see the Arbiter and Master Chief arguing on which is better, Pepsi or Coca-Cola.

Jharper
Jharper

Good thing I don't buy THQ games.

rath999
rath999

I'm tired of all the advertising that we're all inundated with as it is. If I'm paying for a game, I don't expect there to be advertising in it. If the game companies want to make the game free, then they can put all the advertising they want in it.

GerjurdKing
GerjurdKing

This is horrible. If game prices aren't reduced significantly by THQ I won't buy their products. In game logos etc work when they are not in your face constantly but are included to create a sense of realism as in a game like The Getaway. Having the Samsung logo in the corner of the menu screen of PDZ is pointless and annoying.

KoC_Master
KoC_Master

does anyone actually think they'll cut game prices in the process? that's silly. I don't have a problem with in-game advertising as long as it's not a nuisance to the players and the gameplay (i don't remember any advertising in SC:CT as a matter of fact..)

shockwave04
shockwave04

I'll be okay with ads in games when it brings the cost to buy the games down. Untill then I don't like it.

osmonix
osmonix

This is another step towards the tainting of every game. And it will be every game. All load screens will have adds for pepsi and viagra. Link and Mario will be wearing abercrombe and fitch clothes with Nike shoes.

woppo
woppo

When it's done with respect for the game than it's ok. But it was to obvious and without a feeling of context in games like Burnout and Need for Speed. (Both EA titles by the way...)

bklapmeyer
bklapmeyer

I have zero issues with in game advertising... talk about a great way to make games closer to real life. Plus maybe extra revenue to help with development costs (better games) or lower prices (happy customers).