A quick idea to throw to the masses. My wife and I watch all our shows on the internet. We get to watch our favorite shows for about 1-3 minutes of ad watching for an hour long show. Could this be brought to MMOs?
Obviously MMOs have tried in game advertising. Planetside had in-game advertising while players waited for transportation between battles. Matrix Online had them strewn throughout the MegaCity as well. I believe Anarchy Online was the first big MMO to implement in game advertising. I think the problem was two-fold: (1) it impinged on player’s feel of immersion. Seeing Fanta ads in Planetside breaks the feeling that the developers were trying to create through lore, props, etc. (2) the advertisers could not be sure how well their ads were doing. I know I barely look at the developer created wall-hangings and stained glass windows depicting actual lore. In a world where my mind automatically parses out ads on countless web pages, why would anything be different in an active game?
But, what if just prior to a play session a gamer could watch a few ads? The player logs in, the system checks to see how much ad-time is “owed” based on past play time, and then it starts streaming a few ads to the player. A player who is “hardcore” with “no time for this $%#&” could pay the monthly subscription fee and get no ads.
This allows advertising without breaking the game immersion, gives players more options to pay for the game, and gives advertisers a way to gain access to an audience they may not normally get. If I can generate enough money for a big TV studio to keep LOST afloat through minimal ad-watching, shouldn’t there be a way I can pay for a $15 subscription by doing the same?
tuned to a dead station