Wednesday, October 4th 2017

PUBG Review-bombed Due to In-game Ads on Steam

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG) is a game that has been in the limelight mainly for the unexpected success it achieved in the Steam platform, passing unexpected milestones in the sales department (around 10 million copies sold) and in maximum concurrent players (1,645,460). However, the game has also seen its fair share of problems due to technical or balancing reasons. If there is one circumstance of public outcry that could have been avoided, though, it's the latest: Chinese players have review-bombed PUBG due to the addition of in-game ads. On which we had a more in-depth editorial sometime ago, if you want to take a look.

Review bombing isn't new, and started even before the latest high-profile event of the sort, around Campo Santo's Firewatch. The in-game ads are only present in loading screens, and point towards a third-party VPN service, which promises better internet connections to thousands of Chinese players when connecting to non-asian servers. For now, the ads seem to be limited to the Chinese crowd; there's a chance these ads could expand to other, non-China based players, although that is looking increasingly likely, considering the overall response from the affected portion of PUBG's player-base - the game now counts with more than 26 thousand negative reviews, with the vast majority of those hitting the game since September 29th (not exclusively due to the in-game ads, but those are the most pervasive argument in the reviews.)

Sources: Steam, TechSpot
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44 Comments on PUBG Review-bombed Due to In-game Ads on Steam

#1
Prima.Vera
I don't mind adds if they keep the game very low priced, and even for free.
This is doing miracles on mobile devices. I never understood why the PC/consoles are not following the trend??
Posted on Reply
#2
oxidized
Prima.Vera said:
I don't mind adds if they keep the game very low priced, and even for free.
This is doing miracles on mobile devices. I never understood why the PC/consoles are not following the trend??
Fair, but that game isn't very low priced, especially for what it offers, and keep in mind it's still a beta.
Posted on Reply
#3
cryohellinc
This is a very slippery slope leading only further downward.
Posted on Reply
#4
Ubersonic
Does it really count as review bombing when the devs make a change resulting in the quality of the game dropping and thus the score of reviews drops accordingly?

NB: It's rhetorical, it doesn't.
Posted on Reply
#5
TheLostSwede
oxidized said:
Fair, but that game isn't very low priced, especially for what it offers, and keep in mind it's still a beta.
Huh? How is PUBG not cheap? It's $25, whereas most games are $50-100. Sure, it's still in beta, but they will be adding more content, so at some point in time, it'll be a full game, kind of like BF, but they call it expansions...
Posted on Reply
#6
ZoneDymo
who in the hell still cares about steam reviews.... honestly
Posted on Reply
#7
ShurikN
TheLostSwede said:
Huh? How is PUBG not cheap? It's $25, whereas most games are $50-100.
That's a $25 multiplayer only game that has one map, one game mod and a game where developers prioritize loot boxes and microtransaction instead of adding more gameplay content.
Edit
Also in game ads... a thing I've seen only in mobile "free to play" cashgrabs...

Edit2
also it's $30
Posted on Reply
#8
lZKoce
There's a whole filed in marketing : in-game advertising. When Deus Ex was coming out, gaming magazines went full on, how the realistic world in the game had billboards and stuff.
Posted on Reply
#9
TheLostSwede
ShurikN said:
That's a $25 multiplayer only game that has one map, one game mod and a game where developers prioritize loot boxes and microtransaction instead of adding more gameplay content.
Edit
Also in game ads... a thing I've seen only in mobile "free to play" cashgrabs...

Edit2
also it's $30
And? As mentioned, it's still in Beta and if people enjoy playing it, what's the problem? No-one's forcing people to buy the other shit afaik, or where you forced to buy a flower blouse in the game?

And not, it's $25 where I am.
Posted on Reply
#10
Rich Knapp
Prima.Vera said:
I don't mind adds if they keep the game very low priced, and even for free.
This is doing miracles on mobile devices. I never understood why the PC/consoles are not following the trend??
But it gets over the top annoying. This would be just the beginning. This will lead to game pauses and even pop-ups during game play. They old cliche', give em an inch, they take a mile!
Posted on Reply
#11
ZoneDymo
TheLostSwede said:
And? As mentioned, it's still in Beta and if people enjoy playing it, what's the problem? No-one's forcing people to buy the other shit afaik, or where you forced to buy a flower blouse in the game?

And not, it's $25 where I am.
The point is that you cannot blindly state that 25 dollars is cheap because you cannot compare this in its current form to any of those 50/100 dollar games you referred to.
Posted on Reply
#12
PHaS3
ShurikN said:
That's a $25 multiplayer only game that has one map, one game mod and a game where developers prioritize loot boxes and microtransaction instead of adding more gameplay content.
Edit
Also in game ads... a thing I've seen only in mobile "free to play" cashgrabs...

Edit2
also it's $30
Indeed.

Also...... The game runs like thick turd on a steep gradient, and uses 1 entire CPU thread for everything, after they specifically released a patch to "support 6+ cores". It's great. I know its early access... but how about making the game WORK properly before adding in micro-transactions and BS ads.

Come on, now. Come on.

How I see this is: "lets make it early access! then $ starts to flow in!" Then suddenly "why bother we are already making cash so whatever throw in some adds and sh!t."

Disclaimer - I do play and enjoy this game. I also simultaneously think its optimization and mechanics are BS. Hows some real jump mechanics there. Thanks that one map is great though. Pity about the PS1 textures though.

and... /rant
Posted on Reply
#13
ZoneDymo
Rich Knapp said:
But it gets over the top annoying. This would be just the beginning. This will lead to game pauses and even pop-ups during game play. They old cliche', give em and inch, they take a mile!
Well no, gotta watch out with that mentality, it is/was often used to stop progress from happening, like gay marriage.
"what? a man marrying a man? what madness is this, whats next? a man marrying a chicken or a table? thats just crazy so lets so no to gay marriage"

People are free to dislike what they want, but dont dislike something because you only see what bad stuff MIGHT come.
Dislike it when that bad stuff is here and voice concern about that in forums etc.
Posted on Reply
#14
HTC
I think we already get way way more then enough adds without this.

Over here, i've experienced a "short" 30 minute commercial break in a TV movie (not cable channel). Movies on TV usually have 3 to 4 commercial breaks (depending on duration of the movie) and that's OK: it becomes a serious problem IMO when the break is as long if not longer then the movie part they showed. It's the reason i like cable TV more: commercial breaks last around 5 to 6 minutes @ most and often don't last 3 minutes.

Rich Knapp said:
But it gets over the top annoying. This would be just the beginning. This will lead to game pauses and even pop-ups during game play. They old cliche', give em and inch, they take a mile!
It only takes a precedence: once "accepted" in one game, it then becomes accepted for every game.
Posted on Reply
#15
Octopuss
No matter the rest of the context, ingame ads are the next level of advertising cancer. I'd uninstall ANY game if this happened to it. This is way past my bullshit tolerance level.
Posted on Reply
#16
deu
Its not bombing if people disagree with their practice... Democracy is bombing then; voting for a candicate is bombing the opposition... To be honest; I payed 30 euros for a beta game buggy as F**'; I did not say yes to them making more money of off advertisement in retrospective. People will then say; "well you joined the beta so you knew this could become a part of the "final" product'. Well and the answer to that is to display your disagreement with their decision because they sure as hell arnt going to refund half of the game to fit the model of a advertisementdriven game. So IMO people should wirte what they feel and if they feel that the advertisement ingame is too much they should use the rating system and the social media to do so. I havent seen the advertisement yet but if it annoys me enough; sure Ill utter my oppinion!
Posted on Reply
#17
trog100
adds are becoming more and more invasive with every passing day..

they are like a cancer that keeps spreading.. i know they help pay for things but at the same time they are f-cking annoying and getting more so..

i have also recently read they dont actually work.. he he..

trog
Posted on Reply
#18
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
HTC said:
I think we already get way way more then enough adds without this.

Over here, i've experienced a "short" 30 minute commercial break in a TV movie (not cable channel). Movies on TV usually have 3 to 4 commercial breaks (depending on duration of the movie) and that's OK: it becomes a serious problem IMO when the break is as long if not longer then the movie part they showed. It's the reason i like cable TV more: commercial breaks last around 5 to 6 minutes @ most and often don't last 3 minutes.



It only takes a precedence: once "accepted" in one game, it then becomes accepted for every game.
People still watch TV?
Posted on Reply
#19
natr0n
The steam comments/reviews are bipolar...

I hate you, but I love you.
Posted on Reply
#20
bug
Prima.Vera said:
I don't mind adds if they keep the game very low priced, and even for free.
This is doing miracles on mobile devices. I never understood why the PC/consoles are not following the trend??
Eh, things brings up an old beef I have with how games are rented these days.

If it has adds, the client should be free.
If it has microtransactions, if should not have adds and preferably the client should still be free (see Path of Exile).
If it requires a monthly subscription, the client should also be free.
If you want to sell it for an upfront fee, it should not have either ads or microtransactions.

This is how games should be marketed if makers had any confidence in them. Otherwise, it's just milking users for as much as possible. And I won't touch it.
Posted on Reply
#21
Vayra86
TheLostSwede said:
And? As mentioned, it's still in Beta and if people enjoy playing it, what's the problem? No-one's forcing people to buy the other shit afaik, or where you forced to buy a flower blouse in the game?

And not, it's $25 where I am.
Its not a problem, but charging 25 bucks for this level of content at this quality, even with the promise of more, is still a ripoff by design. PUBG is built around the principle of a low amount of content that is endlessly replayed. I would say that is very easy to see...

So is the game (too) expensive for its content? YES. Realistically the price/content is lower than what you get in a Call of Duty map pack which is among the worst DLC packages in the world in terms of value. Compare this to for example: Divinity Original Sin 2...

Honestly the justification of ingame ads in a paid game, I get all cringy about that instantly. Mobile gaming is not comparable to console- or PC gaming. Evident by the lack of straight ports between these platforms, and the extreme difference in complexity. Different worlds, different business models.
Posted on Reply
#22
Liviu Cojocaru
I do not agree with in game ads either and I also think that the game is a bit on the expensive side for what it offers atm, I mean this game is still in early access and costs almost 30£
Posted on Reply
#23
oxidized
TheLostSwede said:
Huh? How is PUBG not cheap? It's $25, whereas most games are $50-100. Sure, it's still in beta, but they will be adding more content, so at some point in time, it'll be a full game, kind of like BF, but they call it expansions...
ShurikN said:
That's a $25 multiplayer only game that has one map, one game mod and a game where developers prioritize loot boxes and microtransaction instead of adding more gameplay content.
Edit
Also in game ads... a thing I've seen only in mobile "free to play" cashgrabs...

Edit2
also it's $30
ZoneDymo said:
The point is that you cannot blindly state that 25 dollars is cheap because you cannot compare this in its current form to any of those 50/100 dollar games you referred to.
Vayra86 said:
Its not a problem, but charging 25 bucks for this level of content at this quality, even with the promise of more, is still a ripoff by design. PUBG is built around the principle of a low amount of content that is endlessly replayed. I would say that is very easy to see...

So is the game (too) expensive for its content? YES. Realistically the price/content is lower than what you get in a Call of Duty map pack which is among the worst DLC packages in the world in terms of value. Compare this to for example: Divinity Original Sin 2...

Honestly the justification of ingame ads in a paid game, I get all cringy about that instantly. Mobile gaming is not comparable to console- or PC gaming. Evident by the lack of straight ports between these platforms, and the extreme difference in complexity. Different worlds, different business models.
Nothing else to add, that game could be considered cheap if it was like 10€ or so, a 30€ game with ingame ads is disgusting to say the least.
Posted on Reply
#24
jigar2speed
natr0n said:
The steam comments/reviews are bipolar...

I hate you, but I love you.
True, i have seen a lot of bad reviews by gamers that have spent more than 500 hours on that game. How do you hate a game and still play more than 500 hours. I loved Witcher 3 and have clocked 110 hours max.
Posted on Reply
#25
HTC
Frick said:
People still watch TV?
It was several years ago, but the point stands.
Posted on Reply
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