EA are thinking about inserting adverts into games – but don’t worry, it’ll be “very thoughtful”

By admin May14,2024

The last few weeks I’ve been watching quite a few YouTube videos (thanks, Evo Japan), and noticing that adverts during videos a) seem to pop up every 30 seconds or so and b) then last for an unskippable 30 to 60 seconds. My frustration with being bombarded by YouTube ads in videos for which I pay nothing to watch – meaning that I understand the necessity for ads of some kind to support creators and pay server bills – came to mind as I read about EA’s plans to explore inserting advertising into games, which I pay up to £70 a pop to play.

As spotted by Eurogamer, EA head honcho Andrew Wilson revealed during the publisher’s latest financial report that they are thinking about how to turn “many, many billions of hours spent, both playing, creating, watching and connecting” into presumably billions of dollars, which Wilson corporately euphemised as “a meaningful driver of growth for us”.

While Wilson said that the idea of dynamically inserting adverts into triple-A games – the topic of the question during a Q&A – was “still early on that front”, he did confirm that internal teams were already exploring how to achieve “thoughtful implementations [of adverts] inside of our game experiences”.

“We’ll be very thoughtful as we move into that,” Wilson said, as the head of a company known for being Extremely Thoughtful Over the Years.

“[M]ore importantly, as we start to build community and harness the power of community beyond the bounds of our games, how do we think about advertising as a growth driver in those types of experiences?” Wilson added, adding nothing but reassurance that the idea of cramming adverts into games to drive growth would be sensitivity approached.

A screenshot showing Battlefield 2042's Liquidators, the focus of its next in-game event in Season 2.

Obviously, it’s hard to look at the idea of a game you might already be paying £70 for – given the specific mention of triple-A games here, rather than free-to-play titles – with anything other than disdain and cynicism. Squeezing more money out of games that have already risen to prices that even other developers consider unsustainable doesn’t exactly seem like the best solution to an industry already brought to its knees by corporate greed and knee-jerk efforts to maximise profits over finding ways to support the people actually making the games with a healthy, long-term view.

Shoving a bunch of adverts into games certainly doesn’t benefit games as an artform, but it’s hard to imagine it’s going to make players feel especially happy about continuing to cough up already ridiculous prices, either. Maybe it’ll end up being a Netflix-like approach, where £70 gets you the game ad-free or you can instead pay £50 but have to watch a 30-second trailer for a new offensive comedy special every time you squeeze off a headshot in the new Battlefield. Either way, I’m sure it’ll be “very thoughtful”, as per mega-corporations’ proven track record.

By admin

Related Post