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
ViperXTR
but Fallout New Vegas' loading screens have lots of ads!
...
...
...
oh wait...
:D
Posted on Reply
#2
Altered
I wouldnt mind a ad on the loading screen at the very beginning one time only. After that leave the game alone if I have a choice. Or maybe a box to tik to never show again after making you watch it once. :ohwell:
Posted on Reply
#3
[H]@RD5TUFF
If your going to put adds in my game you better drop the price!
Posted on Reply
#4
xenocide
I don't mind ad's as long as they don't affect the game. I remember reading in Wipeout HD when they implemented loading screen ads, the load times increased substantially. If that seems to be the case with DX:HR, there is a problem...
Posted on Reply
#5
caleb
They could at least give us a choice. 0$ for game with adds and 80$ for game without them.
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#6
[H]@RD5TUFF
caleb said:
They could at least give us a choice. 0$ for game with adds and 80$ for game without them.
I don't know about $0 but 50% off retail would be a start.
Posted on Reply
#7
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
Easy Rhino said:
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.
I can name numerous cases where people have violated those "terms and conditions" publically and the publishers/developers did little/nothing to stop it beyond acknowledging it. "Terms and conditions" rarely hold water when challenged in court. It is little more than scare tactics.
Posted on Reply
#8
DaedalusHelios
Easy Rhino said:
but don't steal or manipulate the code. it is their product. if you hate it so much then don't buy it.
They do not openly reveal the ads before purchase and if you buy a game then you can manipulate its code all you want. Are they going to sue you for dodging shitty ads? Let them try and then counter sue the corporate whores. :laugh:

If anything the act on a large scale of dodging ads would just be the consumers speaking out by action against corporations looking to squeeze the last few dimes they can out of the public. They obviously have little concern of bothering the public on a massive scale by injecting ads into one of the few private experiences the public has left.
Posted on Reply
#9
AsRock
TPU addict
Games with ads in should be FREE or at the very least have a option to disable them. Games like Tiger Woods had ads in although i used to block the ports that made it possible :)..
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#10
tigger
I'm the only one
I've already applied the no ad patch to deus ex.
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#11
RejZoR
Interesting. I never noticed any ads in DX:HR. Quite frankly, well placed ads inside games wouldn't really bother me. We are used to see ads everywhere so if they place it inside game world the same way we see them in real one, i don't really see any problems. For example in racing games, placing ads in side road billboards (those jumbo ads), on i don't know, barns, trucks etc. Ads that are placed where they belong.

But with one important rule. I want the game to be cheaper if it includes such ads. Because if it's not, we don't get anything out of this deal, but publishers or developers will generate some cash from all this. Or for example with DLC's. If you enable ads you can get DLC for free. If you don't, you can pay some price for a DLC and have it without ads. This would be fair enough and well placed business practice.
Posted on Reply
#12
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
RejZoR said:
Interesting. I never noticed any ads in DX:HR. Quite frankly, well placed ads inside games wouldn't really bother me. We are used to see ads everywhere so if they place it inside game world the same way we see them in real one, i don't really see any problems. For example in racing games, placing ads in side road billboards (those jumbo ads), on i don't know, barns, trucks etc. Ads that are placed where they belong.

But with one important rule. I want the game to be cheaper if it includes such ads. Because if it's not, we don't get anything out of this deal, but publishers or developers will generate some cash from all this. Or for example with DLC's. If you enable ads you can get DLC for free. If you don't, you can pay some price for a DLC and have it without ads. This would be fair enough and well placed business practice.
I think that's very reasonable and your second paragraph especially, makes good sense. Unfortunately, I'm not so convinced that the publishers won't simply get greedy and try to make us pay top doller, yet still spam us with lots of intrusive ads. :rolleyes: An example of this practice in action is Sky TV in the UK.
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#13
RejZoR
They will get greedy for sure. Just look at the protection nonsense. We all know no protection ever worked, yet they are still blindly insisting on them. Pirates still play these games, they just annoy legal buyers with them. I don't think the situation with ads will be any different...
Posted on Reply
#14
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
RejZoR said:
They will get greedy for sure. Just look at the protection nonsense. We all know no protection ever worked, yet they are still blindly insisting on them. Pirates still play these games, they just annoy legal buyers with them. I don't think the situation with ads will be any different...
+1 So, so true. :shadedshu
Posted on Reply
#15
jpierce55
cdawall said:
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.
I pretty much agree, some little advertisement on the screen doesn't matter. I don't care if it does not influence or slow down game play/load times.
Posted on Reply
#16
Mussels
Moderprator
jpierce55 said:
I pretty much agree, some little advertisement on the screen doesn't matter. I don't care if it does not influence or slow down game play/load times.
it sure does. what if the people who made the ad insist on a 5 second pause to let you view the ad - but you're on a system with SSD raid. most users take 10 seconds to load, you take two... so you get extra long load times just to see an ad you dont care about.


then even if you block/remove the ads, it may pause anyway because the game was coded that way.
Posted on Reply
#17
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
Mussels said:
it sure does. what if the people who made the ad insist on a 5 second pause to let you view the ad - but you're on a system with SSD raid. most users take 10 seconds to load, you take two... so you get extra long load times just to see an ad you dont care about.


then even if you block/remove the ads, it may pause anyway because the game was coded that way.
That would drive me nuts. :banghead:
Posted on Reply
#18
Mussels
Moderprator
and if its a new ad that you have to download, what if it pauses waiting on it to download? ad servers lagging or located in another country, and that results in long load times for heaps of users.


its just not a good idea.
Posted on Reply
#19
Ahhzz
Easy Rhino said:
... stfu.
there's a quality argument......
Posted on Reply
#20
GSquadron
I don't really think this has to do with hacking
Only cracking
Posted on Reply
#21
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
FordGT90Concept said:
I can name numerous cases where people have violated those "terms and conditions" publically and the publishers/developers did little/nothing to stop it beyond acknowledging it. "Terms and conditions" rarely hold water when challenged in court. It is little more than scare tactics.
They often hold water when challenged in court. It is just up to the developers to persue it and most of them don't care.

Mussels said:
and if its a new ad that you have to download, what if it pauses waiting on it to download? ad servers lagging or located in another country, and that results in long load times for heaps of users.


its just not a good idea.
I think people are over thinking the implementation of these ads, and also aren't giving the developers at least a shred of credit. I play games with ads on my cell phone all the time, a lot of the time sitting in a server room with barely a signal and no way a 3G signal. The game doesn't pause while it is waiting for the ad to download. In fact it downloads the ad in the background while I'm playing the game, then displays it when it is needed on loading screens. If it doesn't have any ads to show it doesn't just stop the gameplay and wait, developers aren't that stupid. It is also why systems like this are so easily broken just by blocking the ad servers in the host file.

People need to stop jumping to conclusions on how the ads work, and actually look at how they work already. They aren't stopping the game in the middle just to play a movie advertisement, they are sticking a little ad down in the corner on a loading screen that is already supposed to be there. They aren't artificially increasing load times so we have to see that ads. This isn't Youtube.
Posted on Reply
#22
Silverel
If they make a quality game that millions of people buy, they won't need ads to support them. In fact, they DID make a quality game that millions of people have bought, then went back and shoved some ads in there to take advantage of the huge playerbase. There's no cost savings here, it wasn't in the game at launch, they only took advantage of the cash grab AFTER they were successful with the game.

Corporate America says they should have the right to make money at every possible opportunity. I say they should stop being a bunch of scummy dickbags and have some GD respect for themselves. Want to make more money? Make another game, and make it just as good (if not better) than this one.
Posted on Reply
#23
Steevo
I won't buy it, if I had already bought a game that contained ads I would return it. If they refused to return it for a full refund of the price paid I would follow the chain of command.


If enough people say Average games with 100 milion lines of code (just a example) and a playtime for first round is 12 hours and averagely cost $65. Then this game of the same specifications will need to cost XX less to make up for the ad placements, if not, we need to have a CTJ meeting with the dev and some class action lawyers.

I agree with Mussels, I buy the game, then have to pay for a internet connection to download ads I will be forced to watch for X or XX number of seconds? There is a reason that you can skip or fast forward past the ads in movies, years ago when Betamax and VHS were new these same assholes tried to make them illegal, as you COULD fast forward past the ads. The supreme court ruled that was legal, and allowed under fair use. The same precedent applies (at least in the US) today. If you have PAID for something, you are legally allowed to skip past the parts of it you don't want.

This could also be likened to an ad in a magazine or book. You are not legally prevented from skipping them, tearing them out, or reading the last few pages and then the rest. You do not have the right to reproduce or sell copies you make, but you may make the changes you desire, with the only recourse is the originator does not have to support or warranty said product.
Posted on Reply
#24
D007
I had to keep reading thinking "ok there's no way this is what it sounds like" but omg it is exactly what it sounds like. Game makers putting advertisements into the games we paid good money for, wtf?! You think I pay 50-60 bucks to see your shitty adds?
Lameness has just entered a whole new level. pathetic..
Posted on Reply
#25
Moose
Easy Rhino said:
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.
People who make the games should do some reading, I buy games purely because I want to support the developer if they mess me about with ads, I'll get it for free, cracks aren't the only thing SKiDROW release.

One thing's for certain, say if I was at my internet usage limit and their little ad pushed me over it and cost me money? They haven't got the right to make my computer do what they want. I pay for the right to use the game code, how my computer chooses to execute it is entirely my buisness, they can't stop me from putting a piece of black cardboard over that area of the screen or editing the hosts file can they?
Posted on Reply
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