Sony's Ad Patent
A patent by Sony (seen here: http://www.google.com/paten... ) has been found that shows that gameplay could be interrupted for an ad. Now on the face of it this idea sounds incredibly annoying. However, I am going to show that this feature is not only an evolution of what we already see but also it is not a bad idea.
Ads in games aren’t exactly new. Since this generation has started ads have been seeping their way in. A noticeable example is massive billboards in games such as Rainbow Six: Vegas advertising AXE but this type of advertising never really took off. A new form was needed and Sony has come up with a idea. I think Sony's idea is an evolution of what we are currently seeing on mobile gaming. On the app store/android market place some games are released for free. There is often a catch for getting something for free and this usually consists of having ads play through the game (either as a banner or as a pop up from time to time at the menu screen). Now there is always another option to buy the game that doesn’t have these ads. It is a win-win for the developers as they get two sources of income (companies buying ad space and people buying the game). I feel this is a much simpler version of what Sony is possibly trying to implement.
I severally doubt that when you buy a game (at full price) that Sony (or any company for that matter) will make you sit through some ads. It doesn’t make sense and would give their competitors the edge who can claim that they are truly thinking of the gamer. I think the direction Sony is going is to start selling games for free. Now we have seen that Sony has become very interested in free to play games and are making significant advances in these types of games. I think this interrupting ad is the next step in free to play.
I can see the consumer getting PSN titles for free but obviously at a cost. This cost would be ads. The more ads you watch the more gameplay time you have. I see this type of service happening in their bigger releases (either their big blockbusters or their bigger/more expensive PSN games) and not their smaller/cheaper PSN games. I think the latter games will have a system similar to what is happening on the mobile networks. I can see a free version with ads in the form of a banner or menu pop up with the availability to buy an ad free version of the game. It makes a logical step in the free to play genre.
On the face of it, forced ads in games are a bad idea except if you look at it more closely. No company is going to make you pay and then watch ads because no-one is going to like that and it would increase the competitors appeal. To me this patent suggest a much different approach. I think it suggests a free version with ads (with the possibility unlocking time by watching ads) or a full priced version without ads. It is not exactly a bad idea for us (the consumer) to have such a feature. If we really wanted to we could play games for free. There is of course a consequence to this but in the grand schemes of things it isn’t such a big deal as you are getting something for free.