Counter-Strike Ads Q&A

CS-Nation (thanks Shacknews) has a Q&A with Valve's Doug Lombardi about plans to bring-in game advertising to Counter-Strike: Source: "We make these kinds of decisions with our entire community in mind, not just the people who play Counter-Strike. Our very first Counter-Strike experiment was actually a business-related one: Bringing the game to a retail audience when it was already available on the Internet as a free download seemed to the community like a pretty questionable choice — but it’s worked out well with the community becoming larger and stronger."
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Dec 9, 2006, 07:59
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Re: No subject Dec 9, 2006, 07:59
Dec 9, 2006, 07:59
 
(This comment made with the full prediction that IGA will hit CS:S within a year)

I like how Lombardi's trying to compare the benefits of revenue from IGA to bringing the product retail. It's even better that there's the indirect suggestion that IGA will bring in more players to the community. News flash: It will drive some away, and the best they can hope for is a wash due to those with old rigs not being able to play anything else.

I mean, I really shouldn't care since, you know, I stopped playing Counter-Strike around the paleolithic era, but how does retail revenue and IGA revenue compare? And why do journalists (in general, this interview appears to be via email) allow such comments to get away without attacking them? Retail revenue can be easily attributed to the success of a title and has always been an obvious indicator of product success. How do game companies track IGA revenue in comparison to their retail sales? If they do track it by title, do they then factor it into their business decisions, such as deciding whether or not a sequel is a good idea? Does Valve have a comprehensive strategy for allocating percentages of IGA revenue to things like map design, new features and continuing support for the title? Does it reduce the price point of the next title? Or is it just extra play money with the fanciful notion that it's beneficial in some way? With the general concern over IGA and the lax announcements regarding its implementation, in my eyes the perception is that companies are not doing anything useful with the funds - it's just another way to milk a product after it's already been paid for.

My only conclusion from the article is that Valve is implementing it into CS 1.6 to both support running the master server for the older version and also to drive the players from that version to CS:Source, so that they can save costs in that way. However, I also think that Valve should allow for some precision in their explanation when people are suddenly looking at ads in their games, and may well be looking at ads in their newer titles - right around the time they've forgotten about this announcement, in fact.

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