[Oct 23, 2007, 9:41 pm ET] - Share - Viewing Comments
Hellgate: London Website
follows-up on our story about the Hellgate demo
) with an explanation of why it's worded the way it
is. According to the post, the language that raised eyebrows is boilerplate
stuff, and that reserving the right to inspect your system is to protect them
against you being naughty, so you should trust them not to be naughty
themselves, though they do admit that parts of the EULA are "somewhat broad in
scope and potentially ambiguous in nature." Word is:
We want to make
something very clear. We are in no way scanning your computers for your personal
information or taking any personal information without your knowledge. The only
time that Flagship or Ping0 would collect your personally identifiable
information is when you actually decide to give it to us. Examples are when you
create an account for Hellgate: London online or when you provide us your
personal information when you enter a contest. The language in the portion of
the EULA that has been cited is actually fairly standardized language that is
used in the vast majority of EULAs for recent on-line software. It was
unfortunately also somewhat broad in scope and potentially ambiguous in nature
in an attempt to keep the legalese at a minimum.
This catch-all statement was included so that we have the ability to determine
if someone is using hacks, unauthorized mods or other abusive applications while
playing the game which spoils the gameplay for everyone else. We also use this
catch-all to protect other parties offering technical support, such as our
online provider, Ping0. This is a completely legitimate function and other
leaders in the MMO space do it in an effort to stop hackers and provide better
technical support. In order to stop hacks and cheats, as well as attempts at
outright fraud, we may need the ability to scan our player’s computers for
applications running at the same time as our game. This paragraph was designed
to be able to allow for such functionality. It is also important to point out
that EA does not determine what we do in regards to online and offline for our
Also, this has nothing specifically to do with advertisements. EA has nothing do
with Massive or potential ad-serving in Hellgate: London. First and foremost,
any in-game advertising that would be in Hellgate: London is there to simulate
how London looks in the real-world. Ads that represent this have been in the
entirety of the beta, and in fact, have been shown in the game for well over a
year. The fact is that we did not agree to potentially have ads in the game just
to make more money. If we did not work with Massive, we would have to get
individual approvals from every single company that we want to feature in the
Underground stations. This is simply too time consuming and it’s much better to
have the experts to do it, allowing us time to focus on making Hellgate: London
better and better while getting a realistic portrayal of London in the process.
Should we elect to serve ads, they must be approved by us, Flagship Studios. We
would demand that they be in-context with the game world - aged, weathered, only
shown in appropriate areas, just as the static posters you see in the Stations
are now. We have no interest in putting giant, bright-white billboard in the
middle of your battles or having you wield swords of Brand X Cola.
Finally, Hellgate: London and all of the online play and components are
controlled by Flagship Studios and Ping0. We’re all gamers here, and we’re as
sensitive to protecting our personal information as you are. This is why we have
spent the past six months becoming a member of the ESRB Privacy Online
certification program. This means that we’re meeting the most rigorous standards
in the industry for protecting your privacy and the information that you provide
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||Re: No subject
||Oct 24, 2007, 17:27
On the subject of the in-game advertising, poor Kaiser has been misinterpreted more often than I could identify. We chose to have Massive stream ads into our game for two main reasons: It lets us have realistic ads that we approve and which are context-appropriate without having to make up fictional companies or movies or whatever. This really does up the realism of the scene. And secondly, we will make some incremental revenue on it, but it really did start with wanting to have realistic ads in the subway tubes. We make no apologies about wanting to make money as this is a business (and a start-up at that,) but if we didn't think this added to the game, we wouldn't do it. Please ask someone who's in the beta or get some screen shots and see for yourself what the ads look like. It's got to be one of the most unobtrusive, context-appropriate use of ads that have ever appeared in a computer game.
Sorry, but being a start-up company doesn't justify charging PC Gamers a $10 monthly subscription fee on top of the $50 box value and then saying in-game ad placement is a necessity for monetary survival and realism. In-game ads for realism in a FICTIONAL game, it would seem to me that FICTIONAL ads would be MORE appropriate then REAL ads. I have no problem with FSS wanting to make some money, I agree it is a business, but I would think that IF your game is as good as you THINK it is, then you should get PLENTY of revenue from box sales and monthly subscriptions as well future expansion packs. Companies like ArenaNet offer the same game model WITHOUT a monthly subscription for certain 'perks' nor do they use ads and their game(s) (GuildWars and Expansions) are doing fine, they are still in business some how.
The placement of 3rd party ads is a kick in the groin to gamers and a sad path for the future of gaming, much like movie threaters, Sports (WAY to much advertising now, we get sponsor ads within the game now, not just commercials anymore, stat lines are now sponsored by blah blah blah), and I guess now gaming. Next we will see a dialog box pop up in a game that will say, "That head shot was brought to you by NVidia, the way it was meant to be played". Thanks for being one of the pioneers to bring this greedy model to our hobby, it will only get worse and worse. Thanks.
Games used to take us away from reality, let us enjoy ourselves for an hour or two, but thanks to people like yourself Mr. Schaefer corporate greed slowly seeps into hobby.
This comment was edited on Oct 24, 17:31.