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In-Game Ads Added To  Wipeout HD , Scrutinized
In-Game Ads Added To Wipeout HD, Scrutinized
August 4, 2009 | By Kris Graft

August 4, 2009 | By Kris Graft
More: Console/PC

In-game ad house Double Fusion has brought dynamic, in-game video advertising to the PlayStation 3 game Wipeout HD across North America and Europe, the company said Monday.

Double Fusion said it will inject advertising that will complement the hover-racer's futuristic presentation. The new video ads have yet to launch, but Double Fusion CEO Jonathan Epstein said certain unnamed advertisers have already signed up for placements in Wipeout HD. Ads will be shown during the game's loading screens, Double Fusion said.

The company added that the video ads would be "the highest definition" available in-game, and the game will also have supplemental ads that are standard definition.

One of the game's advertisers is State Farm -- an insurance firm that doesn't exactly reflect the reckless blow-em-up zero-gravity racing exhibited in Wipeout HD or previous franchise entries. (See this YouTube video, found via games blog Fidgit).

Wipeout HD arrived as an ad-free download for PlayStation Network in September 2008. The game is developed by Sony Liverpool, which recently released the expansion, Wipeout HD Fury.

Double Fusion said it plans to launch in-game advertising in "another handful" of PS3 games by the end of the year. The San Francisco-based company services more than 30 game publishers via its ad network.

Analysts have estimated that in-game ad spending could reach $1 billion by 2014. Currently the market stands at about $600 million, a figure that also includes web games.

[UPDATE: According to in-game comparison footage captured by YouTube user Ryaldeco, the in-game Wipeout HD ad is displayed as part the "loading" process, thereby significantly inflating that loading process to more than twice its usual length. The user reports having to sit through the ad more than three times in an hour.]

[UPDATE 2: Sony has informed Eurogamer that the ad in question has been removed, commenting that "we are investigating the situation to ensure that any in-game advertising does not affect gameplay."]

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Lo Pan
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I am still awaiting the 'deal' for consumers here. Drop the price of the game by 15% then you can hit me with ads. Unfortunately movie theaters already hit us with pre-film ads and yet we pay more each year for admission.

Bryan Carter
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Actually I think there may be grounds for consumer action against this on the part of users who have to pay for their bandwidth.

Alan Rimkeit
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Wow, this really pisses me off actually. I am very, very unhappy by the move on Sony's part. What are they thinking? I paid for the game. I paid for the expansion pack. Why should I be made to look at ads? I hate TV ads. I hate ads period. Now I have to look at them in my favorite game of all time? WTF? No Sony, just NO. In a boycott I am not playing on-line anymore. I refuse to support this idiocy.

Alex Nautilus
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Connect the PS3 through a firewall/router and disable/block/redirect ad servers' dns/ip. Piece of cake.

Nicolas Casanova
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It was ok until the "double loading time" thing came up!! What if future games have this doubled loding times just to add insurance companies advertisements???

I'm really ok with in-game ads but if it lowers the quality/fun of the game it's just unforgivable!! I'm really sick of loading times and waiting for online players to join my game at the point that sometimes I prefer turning off the game and continue playing later when I have my patience back.

About the thing ALan Rimkeit said that we pay for the game and the expansion pack and we don't have to pay more I agree but not with this game. When I recommended the game to my friends I couldn't believe such a good game cost so little, so I understand Studio Liverpool looking for more cash. But if it was a bluray $60 release I couldn't agree more, we are paying for fun experiences, not for ads.