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APB Audio Ads

Massively has word that All Points Bulletin will feature audio advertisements over the game's VOIP channel, with an option of paying a premium to make them go away. They link to this forum post explaining how this works:

You will receive a short audio ad once every 3 hours. HOWEVER ads will only be heard when first entering a district.

So for example:

1) You start up the game and enter the social district.
2) You will hear a short audio ad.
3 You stay in social for 2 hours and then switch to an action district.
4) Upon entering the action district you will NOT hear an ad.
5) You play in the action district for 5 hours and do not hear any ads.
6) You exit the game.
7) You start up the game at a later time and enter a district.
8) You will hear a short audio ad.

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37. Re: APB Audio Ads Jun 26, 2010, 16:50 Ruffiana
Slippery slope arguements are so rarely apt, especially in a situation like this were everyone has the ability to decide what is or is not acceptable. Who determines what is minimal? You, as the player do. Playing this game is entirely optional.

As for reversing something new, there is precedent. City of Heroes introduced real-world ads on the billboards in game. There was a huge player outcry before that happened about how it would lead to ads during loading screens, ads before missions, task forces being brought to you by Taco Bell, etc. None of that happened. A handful of ads went up on billboards, just like the developers said, and that was it. Today, the ads don't exist in game at all. For whatever reason, it proved to be more trouble that it was worth to support the ads in game. Which is something the devlopers also said from the beginning...that ad revenue would never eclipse revenue from subscriptions, and if push came to shove it would be in game ads that would get the boot.

The bottom line is ad revenue for games is just not anywhere near being profitable enough to provide a major source of revenue for a persistent MMO. Even print media and television struggles with remaining solvent through ad revenue alone. Until it is that will prevent advertising in games from becoming out of control in itself. Even without the moral compunctions of the developers ot maintain the purity of their game, it just won't make any business sense. Might as well switch over to a business model of having players pay for subscriptions in bits of string.

Frankly, a game like this that's set in a modern, urban environment is ripe for advertising through billboards; bus stop ads, televisions, radio, etc. I personally feel that kind of realistic use of ad noise would add immensely to the immersion. I'd much rather hear these audio ads blaring out of car steroes as they drive by...especially if I can blow up said car stereo with a rocket launcher.

There's a whole marketting campaing in itself. Blow up 500 Taco Bell billboards in APB and win a coupon for a free soft taco. I'd play it for that reason alone.

This comment was edited on Jun 26, 2010, 16:58.
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