Monday, September 19th 2011

Game Hacks and Cracks: In-Game Ads Next

The "Scene", self-styled "Robin Hood" hackers of the computer world allegedly fighting for you and me, who first made the no-CD crack and then the cracked DRM, are starting to target the intrusive adverts that are now appearing in today's hottest game titles such as the latest Deus Ex:

That Star Wars ad adds nothing to the gameplay and looks somewhat jarring and out of place there, doesn't it? Ads are generally perceived to be unwanted and annoying by the target audience, so it's not hard to see a gamer's frustration at having to put up with them in a game that they paid good money for. Unfortunately, there's a nasty trend now to sneak in intrusive ads with no warning before you buy the game. This is likely to alienate a significant percentage of people and reduce their future game spending with that software house, so the strategy could backfire. However, the problem with ads, is that they're integrated into the story and gameplay, so unfortunately, it may not be easy or possible to just exorcise them like you can with DRM, without leaving a big hole. From now on, this reporter will most certainly be checking game reviews and forums carefully for the presence of these ads and their intrusiveness, before purchase.

If you'd like to know more about this, there's an interesting and detailed article over at TechCrunch.Source: TechCrunch
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51 Comments on Game Hacks and Cracks: In-Game Ads Next

#1
NC37
Hack Wipeout HD please...those Honda Civic ads playing before every race made me stop playing the game and gave me an urge to hunt sasquatch women.
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#2
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
by: NC37
Hack Wipeout HD please...those Honda Civic ads playing before every race made me stop playing the game and gave me an urge to hunt sasquatch women.
You know, I'd probably boycott games with overly intrusive ads like I do all DRM other than Steam, which is only "acceptable" to me, not "ok".
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#4
micropage7
ha ha ha..:laugh:
i think that its about cracking or cheating the game
i busted :roll:
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#6
BumbleBee
you barely notice it. it's not like their full screen ads for tampons or the swiffer jet.
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#7
AphexDreamer
Plus if a game takes place in a city, I'd like to see ads cause I don't know about you but my City has ads...

Of course its all about how you do it. All nonchalant that adds realism to the game is cool. But in your face like maybe showing ads at loading screen. Hell no, no thank you.
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#8
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
It really wouldn't be bad if it was something like a starbucks on the corner or a billboard with a Target ad those would be ok. A freaking commercial on the loading screen is ridiculous.
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#9
dir_d
Good ol nforce.nl i used to check all the releases there before i grew up and started paying for games.
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#10
swaaye
Movies do the sponsor thing. For example, I thought it was awesome that Taco Bell won the fast food franchise wars in Demolition Man and turned into a high end dining establishment. ;) Bladerunner had lots of ads for companies too.

But stupid Star Wars bluray ad banners..... The endless ad campaigns and reworks of Star Wars have turned me off to the whole Lucas* empire. It dirties Deus Ex.
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#11
Jegergrim
Frankly I don't mind the Ads that much, as mentioned unless it's obvilously irritating e.g. on a loading screen. It might even help relieve the company on some of the expenses / allow for a higher development budget...I'm not to sure about the latter..
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#12
wickerman
I see a place for ads in racing games, after all real race cars are full of ads! But it is somewhat annoying to know a developer spent his work day making that load screen or menu screen look as authentic as possible to fit the games art style then some a-hole throws an ad right in the corner.
But it is absolutely absurd for me to pay full price for a game that has ads in it. If you are going to get paid every time I load up this game, then I should get a discount or a share of the profits. It's only fair right? Hell Amazon will sell you an ad supported kindle for a discount, but we have to pay full price? Not only that, but its ads added AFTER the launch of the game without our knowledge..lame.

Anyone remember that free version of FarCry that came out full of McDonald's ads? That was annoying, but hey it was completely free.

Admittedly this time its not a bad ad, but if it is allowed to continue it will only get worse. I can see a real opportunity to release ad supported games at a discount, and full price ones without them. Works very well for android and ios devs, no reason it cant work on PC.
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#13
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
I have no issue with adverts during the loading screens, what else am I doing during the loading screen? Looking at the same boring picture? Frankly, I would welcome a different image on each loading screen.

I also don't mind adverts during the gameplay either, as long as it fits. For example, I played a FPS game years ago(I'm talking more than 5 years ago) that had built in ads that appeared as posters on the walls of the levels. They were tackfully placed and you didn't really notice them because they fit with the scene, but they did definitey rotate advertisements. I don't mind those at all either.
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#14
Steevo
No thanks to ads. I feel I have a right to expect a game ad all its contents to be mine, without extra bullshit thrown in at the last.


Now I won't buy that game.


The only adverts I liked were Office Space stuff in some of the CS:S upgrade packs, having some demotivators in there too was awesome.
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#15
Jegergrim
by: newtekie1
I have no issue with adverts during the loading screens, what else am I doing during the loading screen? Looking at the same boring picture? Frankly, I would welcome a different image on each loading screen.

I also don't mind adverts during the gameplay either, as long as it fits. For example, I played a FPS game years ago(I'm talking more than 5 years ago) that had built in ads that appeared as posters on the walls of the levels. They were tackfully placed and you didn't really notice them because they fit with the scene, but they did definitey rotate advertisements. I don't mind those at all either.
You have a very good point, but I to a certaint extent feel as though the loading screen is a crucial part of the game, as some of them really set the "atmosphere" of the game, e.g. horrorgames, where theres a small clip playing whilst your loading (about the storyline) and so forth, if I were to all of a sudden see a commercial for underwear or toothpaste I would certainly loose that feeling straight away...
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#16
BumbleBee
DVD/Blu-ray discs have ads and trailers.
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#17
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
by: Jegergrim
You have a very good point, but I to a certaint extent feel as though the loading screen is a crucial part of the game, as some of them really set the "atmosphere" of the game, e.g. horrorgames, where theres a small clip playing whilst your loading (about the storyline) and so forth, if I were to all of a sudden see a commercial for underwear or toothpaste I would certainly loose that feeling straight away...
You're right, but most of the games today have a stupid stationary image that adds nothing to the gameplay, so replacing it with an ad that generates revenue for the developer and increases the likelyhood of them creating a new game or releasing new content for the current game is fine by me.
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#18
Easy Rhino
Linux Advocate
you do know that the ads in video games keep the costs down, right? and that hacking the game in a way the changes the code in that manner is purely illegal and unendorsable by anyone who believes in the rule of law?
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#19
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
It costs them money to implement ad systems in games (it's not like a web page where a few copy and pastes and it's done). To them, it is just another revenue source after the point of sale. Ehm, a means to milk a cash cow more.

In short: it's disgusting. It's justified if the game were free (they got to pay for it some how) but Deus Ex: Human Revolution is not free. In fact, it's rather expensive considering you could only buy 14 gallons of gasoline for the same price.
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#20
Easy Rhino
Linux Advocate
by: FordGT90Concept
It costs them money to implement ad systems in games (it's not like a web page where a few copy and pastes and it's done). To them, it is just another revenue source after the point of sale. Ehm, a means to milk a cash cow more.

In short: it's disgusting. It's justified if the game were free (they got to pay for it some how) but Deus Ex: Human Revolution is not free. In fact, it's rather expensive.
so pay $60 for a game with ads or $65 for a game without ads. you choose. but don't steal or manipulate the code. it is their product. if you hate it so much then don't buy it.
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#21
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
I would pay $65, every time, if the game was worth $60 in the first place.

What I do after they got the money is my business and my business alone. When you buy a Nike shoe, does Nike make sure you never change the insoles or paint it a different color? The only, only thing they need to concern themselves with is that I'm not producing counterfeits and selling them off as original.
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#22
Mussels
Moderprator
the thing with these ads, is that as soon as you learn the addresses for the adservers, you can just disable them in your router/hosts file/firewall. so they really arent hard to get rid of if you know your way around a computer.
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#23
wickerman
I would also pay $65 every time, because I just don't like ads. Most of the time they are not relevant to me either because I have no interest at all in that product, or hell even in this particular instance I already bought the new star wars game. If I already bought the item the advertisement does nothing but waste a corner of my screen.

And like FordGT90Concept, I feel that once I buy something I should have full fair use ownership. No I shouldn't have the right to rip it and give it out to everyone on the internet, but I should have the right to modify the game how ever I see fit. Weather that means I remove useless ads or I create new content such as weapons, skins, maps, etc. It shouldn't be illegal to modify a game, in any shape or form within fair use.
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#24
Easy Rhino
Linux Advocate
you aren't buying the game. shoes are not software. with software you purchase a license to use it based on terms and conditions. pretty basic legal speak. people who do not understand it should do some reading. otherwise, make your own video games and stfu.
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#25
Jizzler
Shutting up now, along with my wallet.
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