When In-Game Advertising Ruins Your Game:
Beyond simply being accepting of in-game advertising, I've actually been excited by the prospect ever since learning that advertisers might insert full 3D items into games. I liked the idea of having new models of cars, just released by the manufactures, showing up on the streets of Grand Theft Auto. I liked the idea of new guns showing up in Ghost Recon. Truth be told, I look at in-game advertising as another form of post-release content delivery, assuming it's done correctly.
There's going to be a harsh adjustment period though. Publishers will experiment with the medium of streaming advertising into video games, and sometimes they're bound to mess up. Some of the advertising will be small and unobtrusive. Other times it will large and in the way.
It's up to the gaming community to help publishers find the middle ground.
A screenshot of an in-game advertisement in Dungeon Siege 2: Broken World recently appeared in a forum post on ARStechnica.com, and it is very obtrusive. You can take a look at the screenshot here
From the ARStech post:
What I dont understand is an NPC in a fantasy/adventure game trying to talk to me about codes for an upcoming PSP title. Not only that, but it was voiced as well.
Written by Scero
In-game advertising has its place in the industry. There's too much money to be made from the technology to have publishers ignore it, and I'm all for anything that helps developers make more money off their hard work. However, when the advertising is so completely out of place from the universe of the game it ruins things for the players. You can't blame 2K and Gas Powered Games from trying, but it's also the gaming community's responsibility to voice a strong outcry right at the beginning.
This level of advertising isn't necessary, and quite frankly, is probably ineffective. If presented right, this could be a cool feature, a bonus for fans that own both titles. Presented like this, included with voice acting, it becomes a nuisance. For years Nintendo pushed this exact same feature as a positive thing, the ability for ownership of one game to positively influence another. Yet because of a fumbled presentation, I expect 2K Games to be hearing a great deal of negative feedback about this.
This is simply one of those examples of a publisher feeling the limits, and using a clumsy implementation of in-game advertising. It's not a tremendous sin, especially not enough by itself to make Dungeon Siege II unpalatable, but I certainly hope that publishers take note of the reception and do better the next time around.