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Wipeout HD Loading Ads Scrapped After Uproar 119

Posted by Soulskill
from the vox-populi-vox-dei dept.
RobotsDinner writes "After Monday's story about intrusive, loading-screen ads being retroactively added to the PSN racing title Wipeout HD, the popular uproar has indeed succeeded in getting Sony to pull them. You can put your pitchforks down; your voice has been heard! A Sony spokesman said, 'The ad has been removed from Wipeout HD and we are investigating the situation to ensure that any in-game advertising does not affect gameplay.'"
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Wipeout HD Loading Ads Scrapped After Uproar

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  • Me=Fail (Score:3, Funny)

    by somecreepyoldguy (1255320) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @10:43AM (#28957439)
    Sadly all the uproar did was make me realize that I had missed out on the expansion that came out (I bought it) :( sorry internet.
    • Hey now, if there's anything to learn from this story, its that trolling works!
  • by grub (11606) * <slashdot@grub.net> on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @10:43AM (#28957447) Homepage Journal

    The ad has been removed from Wipeout HD and we are investigating the situation to ensure that any in-game advertising does not affect gameplay

    Read: "We are still committed to forcing ads on you and will find a less annoying way to do so."

    .
    • by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @10:46AM (#28957499) Homepage

      Correction: Read: "We are still committed to forcing ads on you and will wait for you to forget about this incident before trying again. If we keep cramming this stuff down your throats, eventually you'll swallow."

      • by hedwards (940851) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @10:51AM (#28957585)
        Good, so I'm not the only one that noticed that this isn't the first time that Sony had to pullback after being caught acting in such an egregious way. And I doubt it'll be the last. Which is a shame, because there are times when I'd like to buy one of their products, each time this sort of thing happens it reinforces my sense that I shouldn't be doing business with them.
        • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

          by tepples (727027)

          each time this sort of thing happens it reinforces my sense that I shouldn't be doing business with [Sony Computer Entertainment].

          Would you claim Microsoft and Nintendo are any better?

          • by poetmatt (793785)

            That's why many of us don't buy ps3, or a wii, or an xbox360. Some of us stick with ubuntu gaming, as wine works quite well lately.

            • Some of us stick with ubuntu gaming

              For people who like console-style games but dislike the consoles that they most often run on, can you recommend any PC games that support four players holding gamepads and looking at a 32" living room monitor? I have friends over often, and they don't always have a chance to bring PCs.

              • Some of us stick with ubuntu gaming

                For people who like console-style games but dislike the consoles that they most often run on, can you recommend any PC games that support four players holding gamepads and looking at a 32" living room monitor? I have friends over often, and they don't always have a chance to bring PCs.

                They don't exist. Never will.

                • by tepples (727027)

                  [Console-style games for PC] don't exist. Never will.

                  Care to explain why not, once HDTV reaches 51 percent of U.S. households and eliminates the last major hurdle to connecting PCs to a home theater?

                  • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                    by geminidomino (614729) *

                    [Console-style games for PC] don't exist. Never will.

                    Care to explain why not, once HDTV reaches 51 percent of U.S. households and eliminates the last major hurdle to connecting PCs to a home theater?

                    It's got nothing to do with HDTV. Connecting a PC to a TV is a solved problem. I've had a MythTV box connected to my TV via a $50 video card for 4 years (and I've only had an HDTV for less than two).

                    It's because the market for "Console-style games on a PC" is small. You're just not a profitable demographic.

              • by poetmatt (793785)

                emulation -> PS2, or Ps3, 4 controllers. USB controllers which are ~10$ each and shaped exactly like the legit console ones are available online.

                Thus, done. Just make sure you have a pretty serious PC which should by default have a HDMI output for your nice monitor.

                • by tepples (727027)

                  emulation

                  Where can I find lawfully made copies of ROMs for PC-based emulators, and how is emulation on a PC more useful than just buying the classic consoles and the cartridges?

                  USB controllers which are ~10$ each and shaped exactly like the legit console ones are available online.

                  I've tried several brands of USB game controllers, and all of their D-pads want to go diagonally much more easily than on standard Nintendo kit. So now, I use PS1 and N64 game controllers through USB adapters.

                  Just make sure you have a pretty serious PC which should by default have a HDMI output

                  I tried VGA output and it works. It's just I've gathered there aren't a sizable number of PC-native games for it.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Toonol (1057698)
            I would claim Nintendo is, primarily due to gaming being their only revenue source. They aren't quite as willing to screw up their only source of income in order to keep their media/music/home pc/movei/websearch/whatnot wings of their company happy.

            Nintendo is far from angelic, and has done nasty arrogant things in the past... but they're no Microsoft, and certainly no Sony.
          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by McGuirk (1189283)
            Hey, I'm genuinely unaware: What did Nintendo do that is akin to Microsoft or Sony's shenanigans? I don't buy Microsoft or Sony anymore, and I'd like to avoid adding Nintendo to that list.
            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by badasscat (563442)

              It depends on what type of shenanigans you're talking about. Some would argue that what they've done is worse than anything Sony or Microsoft has done, in that it not only has annoyed gamers, it has altered the entire video gaming industry to the detriment of gamers and their competition.

              Nintendo's biggest sin is that they are notoriously lawsuit-happy. They started suing just after the NES was launched and have basically never stopped. Along the way, they helped put Atari out of the video game business

            • What did Nintendo do that is akin to Microsoft or Sony's shenanigans?

              Nintendo was the first to introduce a "lockout chip" in a home video game console. From 1985 to 2007, if you wanted your game to be displayed on a monitor large enough for more than one person to see, you had to release your game on a system with some method of crypto designed to prevent "unlicensed" companies from publishing. The trouble was that the standard form-letter policies of console makers [warioworld.com] excluded students, hobbyists, and small businesses from getting a license. Instead, their games had to run on

          • by 7 digits (986730)

            Yes they are. I hate Microsoft with a passion (and boycott them too), but, at least, they never openly threaten their customer base. They just want to extract as much money as they can, killing the competition, using scare tactics and intimidation, but they have no other agenda than selling you the maximum amount of shitty product.

            I'd say Microsof is Lawful Evil (not in the sense that the respect the law, but in the sense that you can predict their evilness). Sony is Cahotic Evil. They can suddenly fuck you

        • by StikyPad (445176)

          Egregious?! It's not like they're printing game materials on baby vellum. Sure, I'd rather play a game without ads, and I'll probably try not to patronize games that include ads, but I'll wager that MOST people won't care, and as a result in-game ads will become the standard rather than the exception. Television gets away with advertising between segments, product placement during segments, segments "brought to you by...", showing billboard ads in stadiums, and on and on. All of this even on cable/satel

        • by 7 digits (986730)

          I stopped buying anything related to SONY since their CEO, a few years ago, announced that he would prevent his customers to copy music by intervening at the server level, at the ISP, and even in your own computer (I don't remember the exact quote, but it was long ago, even before the rootkit fiasco).

          Anyway, I thought "good for you, but you will never have any money from me to implement your plan".

    • by Sockatume (732728) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @11:06AM (#28957871)

      According to Edge "a less annoying way" was part of their terms with the agency from the outset. The ads were supposed to match the game aesthetic for a start. Guess the agency decided to cut corners, put up some random ad from their stock, and Sony weren't actually screening the ads for compliance.

      • This sort of thing has happened before with Sony. They ask some second party company to do something for them and then don't "double check" to see if they really got what they wanted in the first place and just implement the second party solution, probably because they're in a rush and don't have time to do it themselves which is why they asked the second party in the first place.

      • I think the summary is sensationalist; Sony's withdrawal of the ads seems to me to be a response to the fact that they didn't abide by the rules, and nothing at all to do with 'uproar' as the summary claims (without citation).

        Advertising in a loading screen isn't even unprecedented in the WipEout series; WipEout 2097 carried Red Bull sponsorship that would show up while the game booted, while races loaded and during the race as part of the track artwork. It fitted with the overall look and style of the gam

        • by badasscat (563442)

          The issue with the advertising in Wipeout HD is that it wasn't just incidental on the loading screen. You actually had to wait for the ad to run (and it's a regular video ad) before you could play the game. This is shown pretty clearly in this comparison video, with and without the ads: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kX4f9zts6JM [youtube.com]

          It's no different than those unskippable ads on DVD's, or whatever. You bought the game, you should be able to play it whenever you want, without being forced to sit through an a

    • Read: "We are still committed to forcing ads on you and will find a less annoying way to do so."

      How dare they?

    • There is a much less annoying way to show ads. Make the ads optional, and split the profits from the ads with those who agree to view them.

      There are a couple of ways to do this. One is to offer a discount on the game purchase in exchange for having ads in the game. If this is how it is presented, they should allow the users to change their minds later and pay to upgrade to the ad free version.

      The second way might make users very happy. Allow the users to turn on ads on a per-game or per-system basis. The ad

  • I may look into getting the game down the road when i have some pocket cash if they truly clean up their act.
  • Jet Moto (Score:2, Interesting)

    by rxan (1424721)
    Anyone remember Jet Moto for the PSX? They had Mountain Dew and Butterfinger ads plastered on billboards through all of the races. Even the teams of racers were sponsored by different products. But hey, back then I thought it was pretty cool.
    • Re:Jet Moto (Score:4, Informative)

      by Joehonkie (665142) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @10:49AM (#28957543) Homepage
      Wipeout XL was plastered in Red Bull ads. Nobody even knew what Red Bull was!
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by hedwards (940851)
      The difference is that the ads were in the game from the beginning and one typically expects for racing games to be plastered with ads. The difference is that rather than creating fake ads like many other games they used real games. I don't believe there was any impact on the speed of the game and people generally assume when they see the real trademark that money is changing hands.

      Not that it really makes it OK, if the money isn't going to lower the cost for the consumer.
      • by tepples (727027)

        The difference is that rather than creating fake ads like many other games they used real games.

        I assume that by "used real games" you meant "used real product names". But another alternative is to use fake products that one can buy in another of the company's game products. For instance, Mario Kart might have ads for KeroKeroCola, a power-up in Super Mario RPG.

        • The difference is that rather than creating fake ads like many other games they used real games.

          I assume that by "used real games" you meant "used real product names". But another alternative is to use fake products that one can buy in another of the company's game products. For instance, Mario Kart might have ads for KeroKeroCola, a power-up in Super Mario RPG.

          But but but... that only increases the players' immersion and doesn't make the company any money!

          Won't someone think of the bottom line!?

          • [Advertising for other games' in-game items] only increases the players' immersion and doesn't make the company any money!

            It gets the player asking: "WTF is a KeroKeroCola?" A couple Bings later, "Super Mario RPG" is firmly planted in the player's mind, and the player heads to the Virtual Console section of the Wii Shop Channel to download the game. (Conversion rates may vary, just as in real life.)

            • by 7 digits (986730)

              What does "a couple Bings later" means ?

              Are you getting paid by some guerrilla marketing firm to plant that expression in your post ?

              Thanks gods, I googled "bing", and the answer page gave me a direct link to its definition in the header:

              http://www.answers.com/bing [answers.com]

              (Now, I still have to try to understand what you meant)

              • It's a reference to Microsoft's current generation of search engine. They've been trying to drum up some enthusiasm for a while, but from what I can tell, it's not that different from previous iterations.
                • by 7 digits (986730)

                  So, my sarcasm wasn't obvious (the guerrilla marketing bit, the fact that I had to "*google* bing" and the totally irrelevant link from answer.com).

                  Anyway, thanks for taking the time to answer me. Have a nice day!

              • What does "a couple Bings later" means ?

                A couple of uses of MSN.com's search engine later. Unless you install a new web browser or change your home page (and a lot of people don't), Bing is your default search engine.

                Are you getting paid by some guerrilla marketing firm to plant that expression in your post ?

                No. Nor am I paid to say "a couple Googles later".

                Now, I still have to try to understand what you meant

                Read it this way: "a couple uses of a popular World Wide Web search engine later".

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by MogNuts (97512)

        Ur exactly right. That's what everyone doesn't realize. Ads won't lower the cost one cent. Not *one* game will be made cheaper, even if they are making more money via delivering ads.

        The answer is simple. No more complaining & then just keep on buying like normal, just do one or all of the following 3 things:

        1) NEVER buy games with in-game ads. If they are added retroactively, then:
        a) No longer purchase games from the developer/publisher (whoever is at fault)
        b) Buy a *used* copy of the game you want--nev

    • Re:Jet Moto (Score:5, Insightful)

      by The Moof (859402) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @11:07AM (#28957891)
      Except this particular ad was during a loading screen. And after the loading was finished, you were still stuck watching another 10 seconds of an advertisement video before it would let you play. In game advertising that adds some realism is nice, but this type of advertising is abusive. Especially since you paid for the game, and it's interfering with your ability to play it.
      • by rxan (1424721)
        True. Reminds me of waiting for the advertisements on RottenTomatoes.com to load before the actual content appears.
  • I think ads will ruin my immersion. Every product placement I've seen has always led to something I didn't like about the game:

    Monkey Ball Series - DOLE IS EVERYWHERE in the games, and it gets kind of annoying.
    Most racing simulator games - Can't show damage on branded vehicles

    Those are the two I can think of off the top of my head.

    • by thisnamestoolong (1584383) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @10:53AM (#28957657)

      Most racing simulator games - Can't show damage on branded vehicles

      This one is the WORST. They put countless thousands of man hours into perfecting the driving mechanics, but then can't show any damage on the vehicle. I am not sure how it is in the latest iteration, but this pulled me right out of the game in Gran Turismo, they are trying to get me to buy the fact that I am driving a real car on a real track, yet I can smash into a wall at 200+ mph with no consequences. That goes above and beyond being irritating, it is downright shameful. They would be better off using fictional cars at that point -- if the automakers don't want the free publicity they can go screw.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by CelticWhisper (601755)

        Worse than that, I don't even understand why. I mean, is it an ego thing? Really? Really truly? What would lead car company executives to be so full of themselves as to believe that their cars never, ever see so much as a scratch? Hello, it's a fucking Toyota, or Chevy, or Subaru, or Nissan. It's not a goddamned Abrams tank, it's going to get scuffed up especially when it's going 150-200MPH. The Abrams tank would get scuffed up going 150-200MPH. I mean, I love my Subie - it's very reliable and has b

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Twanfox (185252)

          A lot of corporate image is about making sure that the logo is portrayed with just the right shading of colors, just the right dimensions, etc etc. I had worked for a company at one point where we had put the company logo into our signatures. We were told we had to take them out because when the logos were printed or when they were viewed on the screen, they failed to comply with corporate governance over how the logo should be seen.

          With a bashed up car, you'll get the Ford/Chevy/Honda/whatever logo all f'd

        • by badasscat (563442)

          Worse than that, I don't even understand why. I mean, is it an ego thing? Really? Really truly? What would lead car company executives to be so full of themselves as to believe that their cars never, ever see so much as a scratch?

          I think it's more that they don't want their cars damaged unrealistically, because that could hurt their brand image... especially if the game is otherwise very realistic (ie. Gran Turismo, which has never had damage).

          I think I read somewhere that the developers of GT could have mo

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by spun (1352)

        Not all car manufacturers have this restriction. In fact, only a minority do. Usually it is the brands like Porsche that are know for high performance. They don't want to ruin their image by showing the real consequences of driving like the stuntmen do in their commercials. Therefore, it would be less realistic to have the majority of branded cars show damage while a few didn't, and if the developers just left out the manufacturers who demanded 'no damage,' then they would be leaving out some of the best ca

      • by raculot (1143839)
        In recent years, this restriction has been relaxed. The Forza Motorsport series in particular has been putting a lot of pressure on companies to allow realistic damage modelling. In Forza Motorsport 2, one could turn on simulation damage to the vehicles that modeled performance problems that would be created by, say, bumping into a wall, even though the visual damage was limited.

        In Forza 3, they're also introducing rollover for the cars, which was previously prohibited by licensors, and are introducing e
        • by badasscat (563442)

          That's nice for Forza, but it is certainly not the first racing game to allow rollovers... the excellent Colin McRae Rally series has had them since day 1, IIRC. That game also has one of the most realistic damage models anywhere, as all the major parts of the car are individually modeled and any one or all of them can break. Nothing like trying to make it across the finish line with a busted windshield (which really affects visibility) and a blown engine...

          This video has no sound, but it's a pretty cool

      • They put countless thousands of man hours into perfecting the driving mechanics, but then can't show any damage on the vehicle. I am not sure how it is in the latest iteration, but this pulled me right out of the game in Gran Turismo, they are trying to get me to buy the fact that I am driving a real car on a real track, yet I can smash into a wall at 200+ mph with no consequences.

        Keep in mind the series has it's origins on the PS1. They put an incredible amount of effort into everything else in all the GT games. I'm sure modeling the cars such that they could have had realistic damage would have exponentially increased the effort required, and that wasn't the focus of the games: to make it as realistic a -racing- simulator as possible. It never intended to be a crash simulator.

        Granted, it did make some of the races cheap. Doing the endurance races at laguna seca, occasionally I

      • by gmezero (4448) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @02:28PM (#28960973) Homepage

        Free publicity nothing. The publisher had to pay licensing to all of those auto manufactures in order to get the cars into the game. This was why they were hamstrung over the damage issue. If it was a case where the auto company was begging for inclusion to the publisher then the publisher would have leverage to approve damage.

        What's ridiculous about this is BMW shocked everyone a few years ago when they ran that series of ads where their cars are in chases and get totally trashed and they played it for all it's worth on how much of a beating their cars can take and still kick ass. BMW actually got positive viewer reaction out of those ads for their product proving that this notion that you can't show your car dinged is extra special ridiculous.

      • by iainl (136759)

        Polyphony's argument that the companies won't let them break cars seems rather spurious, however, when most of them are fully wreckable in both the Project Gotham and Forza Motorsport series. Even on the PS3 there's GRID with full car deformation.

    • It's already ruined movies ("I-robot" was a string of commercials interrupted by what they claimed was a plot), music videos (looking at you "Black Eyed Peas") and now finally games. Hopefully it'll be a while before they reach books.
      • "I-robot" was a string of commercials interrupted by what they claimed was a plot

        I haven't seen the film, but if your description is accurate, that would make it no different from any movie shown on basic cable TV.

        • by GizmoToy (450886)

          I have seen it, and all I can recall is that Audi created an impressive prototype to be used in the movie, and that Will Smith's character purchased a pair of Converse All-Stars. There have been far worse examples than I Robot.

          • This guy [theshiznit.co.uk] says it better than I could : "I can barely remember anything from the movie aside from the heinous product placement; the experience was equivalent to bending over and getting roughly bummed by Mr. Corporation, and being charged £7 for the privilege." ("Top 10 Worst Movies For Product Placement" - iRobot unsurprisingly taking the top spot)
            • by GizmoToy (450886)

              I do remember the FedEx delivery now, but I went back and re-watched the bedroom scenes and didn't see JVC on the radio anywhere. I guess maybe if you knew it was a JVC by its design?

              The worst one I was thinking of was Blade: Trinity, which I see is on that list. The Island is on there too, which would have been my #2. Those were far worse than I, Robot, IMO.

              • I don't know. Maybe the most jarring thing was that I, Robot didn't just have a few lingering shots of a product name. It just incorporated the whole look and feel of a commercial. The inane banter that only serves to mention the product along with him putting the product (shoes) on the table, the athletic half naked guy who puts on his sound system (I don't actually remember if it mentions JVC explicitly now you mention it) and relaxes to the sounds, the car racing through tunnels lights flashing. They are
  • Static vs Video (Score:5, Informative)

    by odin84gk (1162545) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @10:48AM (#28957535)
    If they included static ads, such as an image, it may not have been a problem. However, they did video advertisements that increased the load time by 10 seconds. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kX4f9zts6JM [youtube.com]
    • by IBBoard (1128019)

      That depends on the static ads. Put static ads for Coke or whatever in to WoW or Warhammer Online or any other fantasy setting and you've ruined it. Put it in to some street racing game on billboards etc and it just looks like part of the scenery that makes it more real.

      At the end of the day, I'd object to just about any "delivered from the Net" advertising. If they really want to put in tactful product placement at development time and get paid for then that's fine, but getting paid per impression while I

      • by babywhiz (781786)
        Actually, I think it would be hecka fun to beat down an NPC that was touting a product. I always wanted to beat up those people "fresh bread for sale". Even better if you made it an achievement to beat down x amount of 'ad NPCs'...of course, turn-off-able....from the Interface menu. The rewards could vary...depending on what NPC spawned and what he dropped (like a free case of Dew, or a keychain, free month of WoW...) but only if they made it legit and cool, not like that survey crap in Second Life. I thin
    • Re:Static vs Video (Score:4, Insightful)

      by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @12:56PM (#28959637) Homepage

      Another thing that might have made it less of a problem: if the consumers were given an option and saw benefit from watching the ads.

      For example, if the publisher said from the outset, "Agree to have these ads placed in your game, and the game is now free to you, entirely ad supported," then that seems fine. Or even if there's a partial-credit, like you can get the ad-supported version of the game for 50% off.

      But paying full price for a game only to have ads pop up unexpectedly seems like an intrusion to me. Especially so if I've already bought a game, and it's not until a later update that ads get added in. Once I've bought the game, our transaction is complete. You don't get to modify the arrangement and continue making money by selling my eyeball time to advertisers.

  • by RedCard (302122) * on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @10:54AM (#28957661)

    The first time a company attempts shenanigans like this, there's an uproar. Then they wait a while, for some of the people to get used to the idea, or apathetic, or both, and then attempt it again.

    Too much hue and cry the second time results in a third repetition, with a slightly longer cycle. Process repeats until implementation.

    • by Sockatume (732728)

      I dunno, the idea that "ad-supported = cheap" is ingrained in our consciousness from experience of rentals and the web. A product with ads in it radiates cheapness, and so long as there are free services supported by ads, people will continue to make that association. It's not a positive one and I think it's going to be a wake-up call for these companies sooner or later. And frankly ads which piss people off are going to have low enough success rates that it'll teach them not to make them.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by sakdoctor (1087155)

        ad-supported = free

        Otherwise I'd rather pay for it. And yes, I defenestrated my TV years ago.

      • by tepples (727027)

        A product with ads in it radiates cheapness

        Does the public perceive basic cable TV as "cheap" even though it has ads and the monthly fee rises over the years? If not, what is the fundamental difference?

        • by Sockatume (732728)

          TV's a medium where ads are the norm already. If you get a version of something that normally comes without ads, and it has ads plastered over it, it usually means it's something that's being given away. That's my experience, anyway. I may be a complete outlier.

          • by tepples (727027)

            TV's a medium where ads are the norm already.

            For one thing, consoles are designed to display on a TV. For another, how did ads come to be the norm on basic cable TV?

            • For one thing, consoles are designed to display on a TV. For another, how did ads come to be the norm on basic cable TV?

              Cable companies realized they could make even more money by not only charging people but also by accepting money from advertisers. No one seems to remember that when Cable TV was first introduced it was touted as ad-free, the explanation now is that ads pay for the content, shows, while your subscriber fee pays for access; of course it makes no sense since ads were not present originally, not to mention rates were lower.

    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      The first time a company attempts shenanigans like this, there's an uproar. Then they wait a while, for some of the people to get used to the idea, or apathetic, or both, and then attempt it again.

      Too much hue and cry the second time results in a third repetition, with a slightly longer cycle. Process repeats until implementation.

      In-game ads have been around for ages. We just don't notice them because they don't tend to call out to themselves.

      I think the most amusing one I've run into was in the latest Tran

      • by koh (124962)

        Congratulations. The ad worked perfectly. It managed to catch your eye and intrigue you during a boss battle (which in itself is no small feat) and had you get back to the level to figure it out. Rogers is now forever associated with this game in your mind, and probably also in the mind of a fraction of readers of your post.

        Ads are social engineering. Ads work. It was money well-spent by Rogers. You're proof.

  • EA's Fight Night Round 4 recently updated and to my surprise, I was seeing the theatrical poster for GI Joe during load screens. I thought it was rather ingenious.

    In between rounds, the posters appeared again on each side of the screen. No problem, except for when the ring girl started walking around and the posters slightly obscured the view.

    NOBODY MESSES WITH MY PIXELATED BOOBIES!
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by MathiasRav (1210872)

      NOBODY MESSES WITH MY PIXELATED BOOBIES!

      Now that would release an outroar. Imagine The Sims 4 using product logos instead of pixelating sprites to cover That Which Is Not There^W^W^W^W^Wgenitalia.

    • by Reapy (688651)

      I actually really hate those ads. I don't mind the brand advertisement all over the game for the boxing gear you get, it is a boxing game afterall. But those sidebars of low res, horribly designed ads on the left and right of the screen between rounds floating in space is jarring and pulls you right out of the game immersion. It makes their UI look like a piece of shit instead of something designed by a professional. Hell the main EA website doesn't even show those kinds of shitty ads. Last night while I wa

  • by js3 (319268)

    If I understand correctly, you buy a game and then they force ads on you? My PS3 is still in the box until gow3 comes out

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Correct, one more reason to not do business with Sony... It's sad really, 15 or 20 yrs ago I would've bought just about anything that had Sony's name on it, now if it says Sony I immediately look elsewhere all because of Dumb Shit like this .....

  • Funny how it takes nothing short of an uproar to convince those marketing bozos to back down. Somehow, their morale is so crippled they cannot see on their own what is good and what is not. Time after time they try, trick after trick, to move the goal line as it benefits them. Darwin was right indeed - the environment you have to survive in (marketing dept. in this case) determines the kind of creature you are. When two groups are so segregated, that one sneaks in commercials in hope the trick will pass unc

    • by amn108 (1231606)

      > pass uncovered

      I meant 'unnoticed'. Dyslexia is getting worse...

      • > pass uncovered

        I meant 'unnoticed'. Dyslexia is getting worse...

        No, you were just thinking about the post above talking about "pixelated boobies" ;)

  • I don't care (Score:4, Insightful)

    by El_Muerte_TDS (592157) <elmuerte@dr u n k snipers.com> on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @11:56AM (#28958657) Homepage

    I'm not even going to consider buying Wipeout HD, and I'm giving a second thought when I'm buying anything else form the same developer/publisher.

  • Same old Sony (Score:4, Insightful)

    by WCMI92 (592436) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @11:59AM (#28958723) Homepage

    This company just can't help itself. They are just totally evil from top to bottom.

    It just never occurs to them in advance that their customers don't like having it suddenly shoved up the ass without lube, and can only "hear them" after they are already white hot angry.

    Since the Star Wars Galaxies NGE debacle, I've refused to buy anything with the Sony brand on it. I see that they are just as ethical as ever.

    • They're not only evil. To add insult to insure they're also completely incompetent [theonion.com]. As usual the Onion is spot on ("sony releases new stupid piece of shit that doesn't fucking work").
    • Re:Same old Sony (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Renraku (518261) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @01:30PM (#28960147) Homepage

      Sony isn't totally evil.

      They just have some serious issues with their marketing folks that they need to get under control. I don't know if you've ever worked for a major company, but a lot of them have the same issue. Marketing is really the only wing of the company that brings money in, as the higher-ups see it. Since most of them are from marketing themselves. Whatever they say is gold, and they run the show. They make promises, and the rest of the company is supposed to bend over backwards to make it happen, or make the marketing department look like fools.

      In this case, a lower-level in the marketing department probably decided it was a good idea to say, "Look, my ideas can make us some money too!" and went ahead and sent it to the technical team. No money, of course, was given for testing, since this wouldn't affect game play itself, but rather, loading screens. Oh yes, it worked, people noticed the ads. And they noticed them for longer-than-normal, because it was probably the way it was programmed.

      Now their marketing department looks like fools, minus one fool that just got transferred to the janitorial staff's bathroom division.

      It's a problem with all companies, really. The techs will design a beautiful system with excellent hardware for an affordable price, and the marketing department will fuck it up by telling them to do it even cheaper, and even better, even if they have to buy no-name chips from a Chinese manufacturer. Someone will design a beautiful and fun video game, only to have logos smeared everywhere by the marketing department, that can't be destroyed like everything else in said beautiful game world.

      Companies have a long history of this. Pretty much all of them. In America, the marketing department sits firmly above the heads of the rest of the company. I assure you, the technical department probably isn't evil. They're just guilty-by-association-by-force with the marketing department.

      • And this time it wasn't even one of their own tech teams that did it, they farmed it out (probably a rush job they didn't have time for themselves). Sony trusts their second parties to do a a good job a little too much.

  • I'm currently trying to get a refund for Wipeout HD.

    Surprise surprise, the support jockey claims no refunds and tells me to read the EULA.

    Sucks for them - I've got nothing better to do than to bitch endlessly about it.

    This shit easily classifies as consumer fraud.

    • by Khyber (864651)

      I suggest you call a lawyer. I did for the Spore DRM, and EA is having to back off and change the EULA. Get yourself a good lawyer that specializes in consumer fraud.

      Also, the EULA is likely null and void due to consumer protection laws in your state which specify that you are entitled to a refund within so many days of purchase. You might wish to bully the service rep with that information.

  • The question is could you possibly charge the company for using your bandwidth to download the ads. If this software was installed on a PC it would most likely have been tagged as ad-ware. I wonder when the first Ad-ware/Malware scanner for the PS3 will be coming out. -- A
  • Great, they removed it. But they shouldn't have done it in the first place, and there should be consequences.

  • I already bought Wipeout HD, but if I had heard of this happening prior, I wouldn't have. Now, I won't update my version and I'm not going on PSN anymore so my disc-based games can't try and grab ads themselves. I'm not buying any PSN games anymore. Games with ads is just something I don't want to experience.

    TV with ads is something I don't want to experience so I rip all my DVDs without trailers to a video jukebox, and I don't have cable or watch broadcast. Songs with ads is something I don't want to
  • Oh good, the monster wandered back to the castle. No more danger. Let's go back to the village.
    Oh good, the thugs stopped beating that poor man. We've been heard! Now let's get back to what we were doing.
    No! Keep those pitchforks raised, my friends. Call 911 or use your gun to defend that poor man. Otherwise, the danger will be lingering in the shadows.
  • Personally, I don't think the ads are the problem. The real problem is that I paid 20-whatever for this game and now they are forcing ads on me. If the game was free, I wouldn't mind whatever ads they add. Just quit double dipping with the customer who paid in full unless alienating your base is the plan.
  • when it comes it but thank you to SONY for slapping some sense back into me. After the rootkit fiasco I never bought a SONY product again but I was becoming weak and wanted to get some GTA4 action going on. I have smelled the smelling salts and have woken up again. SONY never gets another yen from me (still).

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