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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Re: Dagok - Post #3
Dec 10, 2006, 08:19
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Re: Dagok - Post #3 Dec 10, 2006, 08:19
Dec 10, 2006, 08:19
 
And another point to tack on to this is that the only potential of IGA is to detract from the game experience. That's not to say it's going to make a game suck, guaranteed, but we can say with certainty it's never going to make a game better. Its only potential is to be barely noticeable, or so noticeable it's a distraction and an annoyance.

12.
 
Re: Dagok - Post #3
Dec 9, 2006, 20:15
12.
Re: Dagok - Post #3 Dec 9, 2006, 20:15
Dec 9, 2006, 20:15
 
I found this response from Doug to bring interesting possibilities for mod teams. If ad revenues are enough and could potentially trump game sales revenues, the potential is there for free, or at least significantly cheaper games with advertising.

How can you be so fucking blind???? Is this a real post or are you being sarcastic?

Valve *****PROMISED***** the gaming community that Steam would be a GOOD idea and that GOOD things would happen because of it, like releasing patches to the end-user in the background (which they do quite well most of the time), and like completely circumventing the cost of publishing a game with a big name brand publisher like Vivendi so that Valve could save money & that would mean that players would save money too because Valve loves the customer. And the result was that all that was BULLSHIT!

Valve releases games at the same price. They sell MODs, which while being retail MODs are still MODs. They look pretty, they have that glaze, but full price. The same price that a MOD developer would see on the final product had they been eaten&processed by EA is the same price that Valve sells for. There has never been lower prices to the customer- the gaming community.

You want to know the truth of this? Longer downloads for new content that we don't even want. It means seeing something cheesy and stupid and inappropriate to the immersion-quality of a game simply because that advertiser has paid extremely well & they want their yellow-green wahteveritis plastered everywhere & it will be.

It means absolutely $0 benefit to you as a player. But sometimes I think that Valve has 95% goals of making money & 5% goals of doing work on games. I mean, how can you not know that the Deagle is overpowered compared to the other pistols???? It's your game. Don't you even listen to the community? view any forums at all? Don't you even care? The Deagle has been overpowered since it was a part of the game!!!!!! ANd you are only now realizing this????

Never underestimate the greed of corporate business.

11.
 
Re: It could work...
Dec 9, 2006, 18:38
11.
Re: It could work... Dec 9, 2006, 18:38
Dec 9, 2006, 18:38
 
Agreed, you're either going to play the game or you're not. There really is no half-assing in CS.

10.
 
It could work...
Dec 9, 2006, 14:41
10.
It could work... Dec 9, 2006, 14:41
Dec 9, 2006, 14:41
 
... but probably won't. Affiliate programs are very popular and are beneficial to both parties. Lets say Valve starts an affiliate program where you get X% of the revenue from any ad impression served on any server running your mod.

Valve gets free money. Mod makers get some spare change, which is a lot more than they used to get. Gamers get more mods. Everybody wins.

If the ads were well integrated into the game I think it could work. The problem is that no mod maker is going to have the clout to get tailored ads. Random ads served from IGA are not going to mesh well, and will affect the gameplay experience.

However, arguing that any ads at all will detract from the experience is BS. If the magazine covers in Max Payne had been real magazines (e.g. Playboy, Guns & Ammo) instead of fake ones (e.g. made up porno, made up gun mag), would it have ruined that game? No.

9.
 
Fuck Valve
Dec 9, 2006, 14:28
9.
Fuck Valve Dec 9, 2006, 14:28
Dec 9, 2006, 14:28
 
Fuck this shit. Patching ads into a game millions of people have already purchased without ads is lame and greedy as fuck. I'm officially no longer a valve customer, they can rot in hell with their shitty ass episodic content and their profiteering download service.

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Re: No subject
Dec 9, 2006, 09:02
8.
Re: No subject Dec 9, 2006, 09:02
Dec 9, 2006, 09:02
 
And why do journalists (in general, this interview appears to be via email) allow such comments to get away without attacking them?
Because those so-called journalists are actually game industry lap-dogs who don't want to bite the hand that feeds them and rubs their bellies.


7.
 
Re: No subject
Dec 9, 2006, 08:58
7.
Re: No subject Dec 9, 2006, 08:58
Dec 9, 2006, 08:58
 
I found this response from Doug to bring interesting possibilities for mod teams.
Sure, the interesting possibility is that it will kill mods which attempt it. It is hard enough to get players to try mods and stick with them even when they are free. Most players sure as hell aren't going to bother with mods that are full of ads.

If ad revenues are enough and could potentially trump game sales revenues, the potential is there for free, or at least significantly cheaper games with advertising.
Just as with the myth that games would be cheaper for the consumer on Steam, ad revenue making games less expensive for the consumer will not happen althought the games certainly will be cheaper in quality since they will be laden with ads and tracking. Valve will simply pass those savings into its own coffers not on to the consumer.

This comment was edited on Dec 9, 13:52.
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Re: No subject
Dec 9, 2006, 07:59
6.
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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No subject
Dec 9, 2006, 05:46
5.
No subject Dec 9, 2006, 05:46
Dec 9, 2006, 05:46
 
...and now we know the real reason why Valve sued developpers of a advertising mod for CS1.6 a few months ago, suckers.

4.
 
Re: No subject
Dec 9, 2006, 00:50
PHJF
 
4.
Re: No subject Dec 9, 2006, 00:50
Dec 9, 2006, 00:50
 PHJF
 
Same stuff has been inside server browsers like Blizzard's for years

Except that all those ads at the top of my Diablo II chat window were for other Blizzard products. I don't want to see an "I'm thinkin' Arbys" plastered on the screen every time I press tab.

------
"Oh how awful. Did he at least die peacefully? To shreds you say. Well, how's his wife holding up? To shreds you say."
Steam + PSN: PHJF
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3.
 
Re: No subject
Dec 8, 2006, 23:06
3.
Re: No subject Dec 8, 2006, 23:06
Dec 8, 2006, 23:06
 
As another example of ways that an advertising model may benefit the CS community, for a long time we’ve looked for new ways to let mod authors make money. Funding a game development project is currently a chicken and egg problem — you can’t get funding without having already built a great product, and you can’t build something great without money in the bank. If this experiment with advertising in CS 1.6 is successful, it may turn out that we’re able to help the next round of successful mods get off the ground because of ad revenue.

I found this response from Doug to bring interesting possibilities for mod teams. If ad revenues are enough and could potentially trump game sales revenues, the potential is there for free, or at least significantly cheaper games with advertising.

----------------------------------------------------
Currently playing Company of Heroes.
2.
 
Re: No subject
Dec 8, 2006, 21:49
2.
Re: No subject Dec 8, 2006, 21:49
Dec 8, 2006, 21:49
 
I wonder how they'll implement them?

I don't play on any servers that play official maps anyway so a texture ad won't affect me.

Update: Oh. I'm not a very good reader says what they're doing right in the article. Scoreboard ad doesn't seem so bad and a letterbox spec ad. Who cares. Same stuff has been inside server browsers like Blizzard's for years. Unless I get a pop up right in my face as I'm shooting I don't think I'll even care.

This comment was edited on Dec 8, 21:53.
Avatar 17249
1.
 
No subject
Dec 8, 2006, 21:19
1.
No subject Dec 8, 2006, 21:19
Dec 8, 2006, 21:19
 
"We make these kinds of decisions with our entire community in mind, not just the people who play Counter-Strike.
Exactly because that way you will get advertisers to pay even more for the ads since the number of viewers will be inflated.

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."
LOL! Releasing Counterstrike at retail was only questionable from the standpoint that most users who wanted to play it would just buy Half-Life and download Counterstrike for free instead. Comparing that to tainting an extremely popular game by plastering it with advertising is ludicrous.

Well it looks like the event that finally dethrones Counterstrike as the king of online shooters will be a self-inflicted wound. Of course that assumes that Counterstrike players aren't crackheads who are so addicted to the game that they won't be repulsed by the object of their obsession being bastardized with ads. On second thought maybe I assume too much.

This comment was edited on Dec 8, 21:28.
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