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ET: QUAKE Wars to Include Ads

A Word About In-Game Ads on the Enemy Territory: QUAKE Wars Official Community Site reveals plans to include in-game advertising in Enemy Territory: QUAKE Wars, saying this will fund post-release support for the upcoming multiplayer shooter:

Hi, I'm Neil Postlethwaite, Splash Damage's Managing Director and one of the Producers on Enemy Territory: QUAKE Wars. I'd like to talk to you today about the in-game advertising we have in ETQW.

For the last four years, we've put all of our effort into making Enemy Territory: QUAKE Wars. So, we're not planning to ship this game and walk away. We want to keep supporting ETQW in as many ways as possible. We'll be maintaining the persistent stats servers and the community site, and continuing to support ETQW with updates and improvements.

To help cover this level of on-going support without passing the costs on to the gamer, ETQW will feature appropriate advertisements in select locations of our levels. The ads aren't intrusive and you won't have to interact with them; they'll just be part of the normal environment. In fact, there are some places it's quite odd not to have an advertisement - the sides of container trucks, for example. Great care is being taken to ensure that all our ads are appropriate for the game world and we have absolute approval rights in this area. If it's not appropriate or it's distracting, it won't go in.

The company providing the ad system does not and will not store any personal information or data that otherwise can be used to identify you. All they track is if and how long you look at the advertisements.

For those of you participating in the upcoming beta, you will get a chance to see them for yourself very soon. And of course we will be releasing a demo prior to the retail launch of the game so everyone can check them out first.

Choosing to place ads in Enemy Territory was not a decision we made lightly. However, in doing so we hope to be able to provide a higher level of on-going support to the Enemy Territory: QUAKE Wars community than would have been possible otherwise.

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211. Would you pay for DVDs with commercials? Aug 3, 2007, 04:21 BobBob
 
Its a simple point to make. Would you go out and buy a DVD where your movie is interrupted every 5 minutes with 3 minutes of commercials? No? Then why should we buy a game that has advertising?

 
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210. Wont feel guilty just downloading it Jul 18, 2007, 19:33 webname
 
Since i can spend a couple of hours just staring at the in game adds , before i really play the game.
Its a virtual payment right

 
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209. Re: No subject Jul 18, 2007, 19:31 webname
 


 
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208. ET: QUAKE Wars to Include Ads Jun 28, 2007, 22:58 Conan
 
This is and open letter to Managing Director Neil Postlethwaite of Splash Damage's.

Allow me to start out with your announcement of in-game advertising. We all know the only reason you made your post, because of a mistake in having billboards in your game beta map. Otherwise you would of done what EA/DICE did, and have a white piece of paper fall out of the game box DVD, informing the consumer about spy-ware install on their personnel computer, after the consumer had already bought the copy of your game. This level of dishonest will not go unchallenged. It was obviously a mistake on your part since you made that announcement a day after the beta.

For the last four years, we've put all of our effort into making Enemy Territory: QUAKE Wars. So, we're not planning to ship this game and walk away. We want to keep supporting ETQW in as many ways as possible. We'll be maintaining the persistent stats servers and the community site, and continuing to support ETQW with updates and improvements.

It is your morale responsibility to support a product that you produced. That is a common business practice and the laws of our land up to a certain point.

Persistent stats servers are funded by higher game server prices that your OGSP [ Official Game Server Provider ] charges the consumers. And as far as updates.......that your best interest to update your product for your own reputation as a game producer.

Now for your spin on 4 years in making Quake Wars. Allow me to ask you a simple question. Is this the reason for in-game advertising to cover your cost overruns? Are you that incompetent as manger directer to produce a product on budget, and on time? Is this the real reason to advertise.....to cover your ass? If your answer is no.....then it must be greed.

To help cover this level of on-going support without passing the costs on to the gamer, ETQW will feature appropriate advertisements in select locations of our levels. The ads aren't intrusive and you won't have to interact with them; they'll just be part of the normal environment. In fact, there are some places it's quite odd not to have an advertisement - the sides of container trucks, for example. Great care is being taken to ensure that all our ads are appropriate for the game world and we have absolute approval rights in this area. If it's not appropriate or it's distracting, it won't go in.

What your passing to the consumers is snake oil. After your original deception about not following EA/DICE ranked servers........then about in-game advertising you expect us to believe those comments? To cover your cost? Again you just admitted that you went over budget. If your game is successful should their be a need to advertise in a game that consumers had bought? Wouldn't that be in kind of advertising in pay-per view channel?

Now in case you had forgotten. Most of us....who are older escape the real world by playing games on-line. The last thing we want is to have consumer products shoved down our throats when playing. That is the very reason is why you failed in the first place, as Managing Director of Splash Damage and Quake Wars. You had forgotten your roots.....as a gamer.

The company providing the ad system does not and will not store any personal information or data that otherwise can be used to identify you. All they track is if and how long you look at the advertisements.

This is a dangerous road to travel on if we as consumers except this.

For those of you participating in the upcoming beta, you will get a chance to see them for yourself very soon. And of course we will be releasing a demo prior to the retail launch of the game so everyone can check them out first.

Now this is were you deceive the public. You stated upcoming beta. [ As if you were informing the public before the beta ]You made this post after the first release of the beta!!! You realized that mistake and made that post. All what we have to do is check the dates on your forum when this post was made......and when the first beta release. Since i pointed that out on your forum....those post been deleted and i was issued Infractions.

Choosing to place ads in Enemy Territory was not a decision we made lightly. However, in doing so we hope to be able to provide a higher level of on-going support to the Enemy Territory: QUAKE Wars community than would have been possible otherwise.

Of course it was a hard decision to make. It was your incompetents that cause this decision in the first place. If you had produced this project on time and in budget this decision would never been made.

I'm sorry it had to come to this.......but your incompetent is not our problem. Nor should we be lied too, nor should we have to except in-game advertising because of your incompetents.




This comment was edited on Jun 28, 23:52.
 
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207. Re: ... Jun 24, 2007, 07:22 JD
 
Of course you are... don't buy the fucking game. That's like saying those of us who didn't like aliens weren't given an option to opt out of seeing them in Doom 3 singleplayer.
No, dumbasss, that is NOT the same. In UT2004 the stats tracking is optional. Players who don't want it can opt out while still being able to play online. Quake Wars could have the same thing. Players who want stats can play on servers which have them enabled and get the ads and tracking too. Players who don't want it could opt out and then not have the stats tracking and the ads. Sure it would limit the choice of servers for them, but it certainly beats not playing the game at all.

This comment was edited on Jun 24, 07:26.
 
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206. ... Jun 24, 2007, 06:01 theyarecomingforyou
 
Those of us who don't want the persistent stats and rankings aren't being given the option to opt out of it or the advertising which supposedly supports it.
Of course you are... don't buy the fucking game. That's like saying those of us who didn't like aliens weren't given an option to opt out of seeing them in Doom 3 singleplayer.

More is better, but when the methods you choose to get more end up costing you more than you get through lost sales, somebody needs to be fired.
Indeed, but I haven't seen any evidence to suggest that is the case.

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205. Re: No subject Jun 23, 2007, 14:03 JD
 
ETQW and BF2142 have something else in common that many of you are aren't considering, either because you're uninformed, or because you aren't paying attention : persistent stat tracking and ranking.
UT2004 also has persistent stat tracking and it has no embedded advertising. Next!

I'm sure that the hardware and person(s) required for stat/rank tracking services like these will cost SOMETHING, especially as the amount of players increases.
Those of us who don't want the persistent stats and rankings aren't being given the option to opt out of it or the advertising which supposedly supports it.

Also, games like these require other services and/or people to help stop cheaters. I'm sure that these people don't work for free yet.
No, they actually pay for the privilege. It's called being an adminstrator on a game server.

Which brings me to my next point : game companies aren't "not for profit" organizations. People need money, and more is always better.
More is better, but when the methods you choose to get more end up costing you more than you get through lost sales, somebody needs to be fired.

This comment was edited on Jun 23, 14:08.
 
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204. No subject Jun 23, 2007, 13:22 Kedyn
 
ETQW and BF2142 have something else in common that many of you are aren't considering, either because you're uninformed, or because you aren't paying attention : persistent stat tracking and ranking.

I'm sure that the hardware and person(s) required for stat/rank tracking services like these will cost SOMETHING, especially as the amount of players increases. Even if it remains small, companies still need to keep it going, at least for a few years. Some companies also release free content, which is always a plus, and probably costs something.

Also, games like these require other services and/or people to help stop cheaters. I'm sure that these people don't work for free yet.

Which brings me to my next point : game companies aren't "not for profit" organizations. People need money, and more is always better.

And finally, I believe that if a game is good enough, I'd gladly play it even if I had to stare at Lane Bryant ads at the top of the screen... But then again, maybe pretty plus-sized models would make any game better.

With all of that said, I will probably not buy ETQW. I don't care much for how it plays, or looks. I liked BF2142 better, which I put over 120 played hours into.

This comment was edited on Jun 23, 13:23.
 
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203. Re: ... Jun 23, 2007, 12:52 Bhruic
 
...unless you play on a cracked server, which pirates most certainly do.

The majority of online multiplayer games don't get cracked servers. Some of them do. Even the ones that do, however, don't tend to have a lot of them. Your assertion was that Guild Wars was doing so well because it wasn't "hemmoraging" money to piracy. Almost no purely online shooter does.

CD keys are NO defense against piracy.

CD keys are a great defense against piracy. Just like every other defense, however, they aren't perfect.

 
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202. Re: ... Jun 23, 2007, 12:23 JD
 
Having a server that the public can't duplicate - yeah - now that's a defense against piracy.
It's also an offense against a game being played online because it means that the developer or publisher must provide all of the game servers. In that instance the developer or publisher might be able to legitimately claim that support costs are high or higher than for a single-player game, but when the developer or publisher is predominately or exclusively relying upon consumers to host their own games, it can't complain about that cost.

This comment was edited on Jun 23, 12:56.
 
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201. Re: ... Jun 23, 2007, 12:10 JD
 
especially considering the wide variety hardware/software configurations those end users might be utilizing
The vast majority of fixes in games post release are not due to hardware incompatibilities. They are gameplay and media asset bug corrections and feature and content additions. Simply look through release notes of game updates. Hardware incompatibilities usually are corrected by the hardware developers through driver updates. Again, a reading of the release notes accompanying video driver updates clearly demonstrates this.

You CAN'T find all the bugs prior to realize. You can't even find all the SERIOUS bugs prior to release.
Yes, you can especially all of the serious bugs. There have been games which didn't receive many or even any updates which have functioned reasonably well. They don't have to be perfect, and even after many updates some games still aren't because developers make too many fundamental changes to them after release. However, the real point here is that the notion that game developers and publishers need revenue above and beyond that generated from the selling price of the game to make it playable is ludicrous.

Games are increasing in complexity. This increases both development and support costs.
Game development may be increasing in complexity (although one could argue that the evolution of the tools of game development have actually reduced that complexity or at least kept it from expanding), but support is not. Features of the latest games like higher polycount models and larger textures don't make it more difficult to provide technical support for these games. All of the factors I cited along with more mature releases of DirectX and game engines and tools have reduced support costs. So, tell me specifically how are support costs supposedly rising?

Opinion and oversimplification. Confuses a number of issues.
It doesn't confuse any issue at all. While the private servers may not be sending the actual ad images or collecting the tracking data, they do provide the venues and means for players of the game to play online. And, these servers are not without significant financial cost to the individuals running them. Without these servers, there would be no online play.

Unsupported opinion.
And, yet you provide no specific facts and details to refute it.

This comment was edited on Jun 23, 14:07.
 
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200. Re: ... Jun 23, 2007, 06:40 _neolith_
 
It's is *impossible* for a few dozen testers to duplicate the bug-finding efforts of several thousand end users, especially considering the wide variety hardware/software configurations those end users might be utilizing. You CAN'T find all the bugs prior to realize. You can't even find all the SERIOUS bugs prior to release. Even with a public beta test - it's still not going to happen.
The problem is not that there are bugs in games. The problem is that they are now charging us to remove them when they should do that with they money we already payed them when we bought the game.

 
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199. Re: ... Jun 23, 2007, 03:06 Brian
 
"Actually, it's entirely comparable to an online shooter in the way you are trying to compare it. Online shooters almost always require a cd key to play online."

...unless you play on a cracked server, which pirates most certainly do.

"Those don't get pirated. So while a game like, say, UT2K4 might get pirated, people are limited to playing it single player."

Not true.

"The same is true of Guild Wars, except there is no single player, so pirating it is pointless. And while there is certainly the possibility of stolen or generated keys with online shooters, the same is true of Guild Wars."

Except there are no cracked Guild Wars servers. It turns out... the average person can't run an a MMO on their PC. And thus we come back to my original assertion, which still stands.

CD keys are NO defense against piracy. Having a server that the public can't duplicate - yeah - now that's a defense against piracy.

 
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198. Re: ... Jun 23, 2007, 03:01 Brian
 
"It isn't and shouldn't be. The price of the game should cover that because the game shouldn't and wouldn't really need any patches after release if it has been thoroughly tested and fixed beforehand."

Speaking as someone who has worked in the industry, and who has, in fact, specifically worked in the area of quality assurance, I can tell you - once again - that what you propose is fiction. It's is *impossible* for a few dozen testers to duplicate the bug-finding efforts of several thousand end users, especially considering the wide variety hardware/software configurations those end users might be utilizing. You CAN'T find all the bugs prior to realize. You can't even find all the SERIOUS bugs prior to release. Even with a public beta test - it's still not going to happen.

"No, it's game development costs not support costs that are supposedly rising. Fewer hardware vendors, cheaper outsourced labor, and Internet-only support have reduced support costs or at least kept them from expanding like development costs."

Games are increasing in complexity. This increases both development and support costs. The supposedly mitigating factors you cited above are not in any way comparable to the rising cost of support alone.

"Game developers and publishers shouldn't be generating revenue from private servers or at the very least they should be sharing that revenue with the server operators."

Opinion and oversimplification. Confuses a number of issues.


"This ingame advertising and tracking is just a ploy to generate more profit not recoop costs. It's just gravy, and consumers don't need their games smothered in it."

Unsupported opinion. Inflamatory. Empty appeal to emotion.

J.D., when you get to that point where you no longer know what you're talking about - stop talking.

This comment was edited on Jun 23, 03:07.
 
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197. Re: ... Jun 23, 2007, 01:38 Bhruic
 
Guild Wars isn't comparable to a team based online shooter. For one, as a MMORPG (which, despite some claims to the contrary, it most certainly is) Guild Wars isn't hemmoraging cash to piracy.

Actually, it's entirely comparable to an online shooter in the way you are trying to compare it. Online shooters almost always require a cd key to play online. Those don't get pirated. So while a game like, say, UT2K4 might get pirated, people are limited to playing it single player. The same is true of Guild Wars, except there is no single player, so pirating it is pointless. And while there is certainly the possibility of stolen or generated keys with online shooters, the same is true of Guild Wars.

 
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196. Re: ... Jun 23, 2007, 01:35 Bhruic
 
I think the points have been made clear. The bottom line is that splash damage and others are trying to charge for things that used to be provided at no extra cost in the past.

I hope it will be hard to convince people to pay for things they are used to getting for free.

How exactly is including ads equivalent to charging? You don't have to pay any extra. And you don't have to look at the ads. I'll admit that I'd rather the ads didn't exist, and I can certainly see situations where they are clearly a negative addition to a game, but I can't go so far as to conclude they are the same as extra payment.

 
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195. Re: ... Jun 22, 2007, 21:51 JD
 
If the point is to generate money for support costs (patches, extra content, etc, as well as servers)
It isn't and shouldn't be. The price of the game should cover that because the game shouldn't and wouldn't really need any patches after release if it has been thoroughly tested and fixed beforehand.

The point isn't the rising cost of servers but the rising cost of support.
No, it's game development costs not support costs that are supposedly rising. Fewer hardware vendors, cheaper outsourced labor, and Internet-only support have reduced support costs or at least kept them from expanding like development costs.

Game developers and publishers shouldn't be generating revenue from private servers or at the very least they should be sharing that revenue with the server operators.

This ingame advertising and tracking is just a ploy to generate more profit not recoop costs. It's just gravy, and consumers don't need their games smothered in it.


This comment was edited on Jun 22, 21:58.
 
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194. Re: No subject Jun 22, 2007, 14:31 Ecthelion
 
As you all know, it all comes down to the almighty dollar. $50, $60, $70 Collector's tins, it isn't enough anymore. Money, money, money. If I can get more money for in-game advertising why not?
Would you rather they jacked up the price at purchase? PC games haven't gone up in price since I first started buying them over 12 years ago. I wonder how much they'd have to raise prices to stop doing in-game ads, assuming it costs more to make games (if games really cost more now, which I'm not convinced about). It might just be a cheap ploy to make more money. Maybe publishers are afraid that raising the price of games will cause sales to go down, like failing to reduce the prices of CDs did for the music industry.

While part of me regrets the change, if it's handled intelligently (which seems to be the case for ETQW) I don't see the problem.

With ads becoming more and more intrusive, unfortunately there will eventually be no more need for parodies of well-known brands (for example, "Admiral Crunch" cereal in Futurama). After all, if everyone is getting money to advertise a real product, why show a fake one? Then again, maybe clever companies will sieze the opportunity and pay to have an ad for "Pepzi" or "Pizza Shack".

This comment was edited on Jun 22, 14:36.
 
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193. Re: ... Jun 22, 2007, 11:58 Krovven
 
Gotta disagree with you there theyare...

id hasn't really supported their releases once they hit retail. Yes they release the occasional patch to fix problems (as they should), but they have never been ones to release very much extra content in the months/years following the original release. If that were the case they would have given D3 a whole hell lot more support post-release than they did for the multiplayer.

We shouldn't have to pay for patches to fix what should have been working properly in the initial release.

If you are refering to customer/tech support...bah whatever. They already have support systems in place and the cost per unit is rather small since it's spread across hundreds of titles.

Personally I don't think this has anything to do with paying for the servers or the cost of support. But rather has to do with Activision's greed.

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192. ... Jun 22, 2007, 06:50 theyarecomingforyou
 
Bravo. That is the first sensible thing I have seen you post.
If the point is to generate money for support costs (patches, extra content, etc, as well as servers) then it should be placed on all servers equally. The point isn't the rising cost of servers but the rising cost of support.

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