Aggro Me: Welcome to the Future! Enjoy the Commercials!
Welcome to the Future! Enjoy the Commercials!
I was browsing the forums Monday night (always a dangerous occupation) and I ran across this thread. It shows a screenshot of Planetside with, get this, an in-game billboard for the movie Deuce Bigalow, Euoropean Gigolo. Now, as much as I have ranted against SOE for trying to find revenue stream after revenue stream rather than focusing on gameplay, I have to admit I thought this thread was a clever joke. I figured it had to be fake.But, I did a little research and found this thread on the Planetside forums with a SOE dev stating that the revenue from the in-game ads will be used to "help the entire Planetside community." And if you don't believe that link, here's a link to a Massive Incorporated press release, proudly proclaiming their unholy allegiance with SOE.I shouldn't have been shocked, but I was. After all, Planetside is not a free game, it has subscribers. And sure, they make the argument that these heinous billboards will help them pay for more gameplay features. But that's a slippery slope. Once you let this type of advertising in the door, it just becomes a fact of life. It saddens me that SOE would choose to embark on this route. And if I was playing Planetside, my number one most requested gameplay feature would be to not see a picture of Rob Schneider. Ever. There's some real immersion for you. Wow, I am in an alien world, but they still have really bad movies here!So can we expect this to come to EQ2? Well, let's be honest, in my estimation, EQ2 has not been a knockout for SOE economically. Based on the subscription numbers, I'm thinking the profits are not that great. So don't think it is out of the question until I hear a definitive statement from SOE otherwise.I shudder in fear of the day I log on to EQII and see Jet Blue ads on the Griffon towers and Ace Hardware billboards in the Tradeskill area. "Thank you for casting Ice Comet - sponsored by Dairy Queen!"Update: Between the time I first wrote this and posted it, Blackguard stated on the official forums: "There are no current plans to add in-game advertisements to any of our titles other than PlanetSide. That includes EverQuest II, of course."I'm sorry, but that doesn't mean much. It's not Blackguard's fault, obviously, but saying "no current plans" is vague enough to leave the door open for anything down the road.
Even putting aside my personal dislike for in-game advertising, I wonder if the revenues these ads pull in will be enough to make up for the damage to SOE's already tarnished brand image.