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Published on Aug 1, 2009
UPDATE: The ads have been REMOVED! In recent news, Sony has pulled the ads from the game, so this video is obsolete. While it's always possible that this could be temporary, this is a huge victory for us as paying consumers. This is a new type of intrusive advertising being introduced into games, and it needs to be nipped in the bud before it becomes the norm.
For the moment, no more ads. The gaming community has spoken, and they listened.
Here's a capture of a loading screen advertisement recently introduced to WipEout HD. I replayed the same track a few times, and captured the loading screen each time. I decided to put the ad screen and normal loading screen next to each other so you can see the extra time added to the loading screen because of the ad. The audio is from the top screen. I don't know if this ad was added because of the Fury expansion or the latest patch, but it's a load of crap. I BOUGHT this game, as well as the expansion, and it has been ad free since I got it a year ago. This kind of shit shouldn't be crammed in after the fact.
If it was just a stationary ad I wouldn't mind. If they advertised on the vehicles or the ad monitors in the game, I wouldn't care too much. But this ad is a video, and it's a little longer than a typical load time. My problem is that I can't skip past the end of the ad even though the level is finished loading. The ad appears every so often (I typically get it 3 times in an hour), and it's only a little longer than the level load time, but that adds up if you play a lot. And since they managed to sneak this in, what's to stop them from forcing you to watch a full 30 second ad or longer before you can play?
If you want advertising in the game, fine. There are plenty of ways to do it. But when your advertising impacts the game's performance, which in this case is the load time, that's complete bullshit. Oh, I should also mention that when I captured this, I had my network cable unplugged, so this ad has been embedded into my game, and I'm forced to watch it even when I'm playing single player, OFFLINE. Forcing me to watch it while I'm playing online is one thing, but altering my single player offline experience is an extremely underhanded tactic.
If this is how SCEA is going to start handling their downloadable games, then I'm going to start waiting several months before buying, and won't be buying any of the games that get ads loaded in them AFTER the game has already been released. This is complete bullshit.