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PlayStation (Games) Entertainment Games

Ads Retroactively Added To Wipeout HD, Soon Others 299

An anonymous reader writes "American users of Wipeout HD might have noticed that there's an advertisement showing up all of a sudden during loading, both during online and offline play. This, according to a poster on the well-known gaming forum NeoGAF, is being done covertly. The writer suspects that the display software was installed during update 2.01, and the ad-content is now being snuck in. Gamasutra has a story on the company responsible for the software to deliver these ads, Double Fusion, which said it plans to launch in-game advertising in 'another handful' of PS3 games by the end of the year. So, what's next? Can we look forward to fighting the Kool-Aid Man and zombified Mars bars in Uncharted, or is there anything that can be done to hinder companies from adding advertisements retroactively, without the customer's prior knowledge?"
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Ads Retroactively Added To Wipeout HD, Soon Others

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  • All of A sudden (Score:1, Informative)

    by gumpish ( 682245 ) on Monday August 03, 2009 @10:07PM (#28935647) Journal

    The expression is "all of a sudden".

    The people who say "all of the sudden" are the same people who say "could of" and "for all intensive purposes". You heard something that sounded to you like words you know but didn't apply the critical thinking part of your brain and ask "Does this expression make sense?".

  • Re:ESRB (Score:2, Informative)

    by angelus errare ( 984448 ) on Monday August 03, 2009 @10:20PM (#28935739)
    I don't have the DLC so I can't confirm anything, but posters on Kotaku have reported that the ads appear even if you aren't connected online. And I don't believe the description of the DLC warns people about this.
  • Re:Boycott (Score:5, Informative)

    by Kell Bengal ( 711123 ) on Monday August 03, 2009 @10:24PM (#28935761)
    But not buying their subsequent products, presumably? I refused to buy a single EMI product after I got burned by their disc copy protection - it wouldn't play on my PC, and they have not had a cent from me since.
  • Re:Boycott (Score:5, Informative)

    by neokushan ( 932374 ) on Monday August 03, 2009 @10:44PM (#28935923)

    Never underestimate the power of complaining. Not buying their product doesn't tell them much. In all likelihood, they'll employ some asshat sales analyst who will come to the conclusion that sales are dropping because the products aren't marketed in the right way, or that it is because of the recession or some other stupid excuse, rather than work out that the product is actually perfectly fine and that the company itself is to blame for its shortcomings due to pissing off consumers previously.

    Even if they do work it out, it'll take them 10 years to do it and by then the problem will be everywhere, so ingrained in that rather than fix it, they'll just re-brand themselves and target a newer, younger audience that's more tolerant of their bullshit.

    If just 2% of the people reading this article sent off a quick email to SCEE Liverpool explaining their distaste at the new advertising, there's a good chance that Sony will at least have a meeting with some executives to decide if the revenue it generates is worth the lost customers and, with a bit of luck, they'll accidentally pass a motion to remove it.

    But no matter what, always remember to stay positive, cynicism never got anyone anywhere!

  • by Sarusa ( 104047 ) on Monday August 03, 2009 @10:49PM (#28935973)

    According to ShackNews, this also increases the between race load times from 12 seconds to 20 seconds.

    Now that's 'meeting advertiser demand,' thanks Sony.


  • Re:Boycott (Score:3, Informative)

    by Goldberg's Pants ( 139800 ) on Monday August 03, 2009 @10:58PM (#28936041) Journal

    What do you mean "trying to make it"? EULA's have been that way for well over a decade now.

    Sadly I doubt 99% of people will bother raising a stink over this and Sony will rake in the money. As I said earlier, the money they make from whoring the game will be more than they'll lose from upset customers.

    Just another reason to add to the reasons I refuse to buy Sony anything.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 03, 2009 @11:13PM (#28936143)

    wipEout was one of the first major games to feature in-game advertising of real-world products

    No, Tapper and Pole Position were.

  • Re:Ad blocking (Score:5, Informative)

    by gmezero ( 4448 ) on Monday August 03, 2009 @11:20PM (#28936199) Homepage

    FWIW, I just fired up my PS3 and refused the 2.01 update (I never played the game online anyways) and no advertisements. I know the other site is saying that it may not be tied to the update but unless I start seeing them I'll conclude that it is.

    So, that settles that. I'm not buying the DLS or accepting the 2.01 update.

  • by effigiate ( 1057610 ) on Monday August 03, 2009 @11:23PM (#28936213)
    The load time seems dependent upon the length of the ad. The progress bar matches up to around 75% and then the ad infused run slows down only to complete just as the ad finishes.
  • Re:Redirect the DNS (Score:2, Informative)

    by Kenja ( 541830 ) on Monday August 03, 2009 @11:57PM (#28936425)
    Clearly you didn't look into the situation. The adds are showing up even when off line. They are not being loaded over the net but are built into the patch.
  • Re:ESRB (Score:4, Informative)

    by poetmatt ( 793785 ) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @12:20AM (#28936551) Journal

    They appear during online and offline play. However, that's a pretty bullshit disclaimer for them to use though. That is like the "your contract terms may change without notice" that got certain companies sued. [computerworld.com] Sorry, that's the easiest dig, but there are other examples.

    It's called the "you're fucked clause", and companies love it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @12:33AM (#28936629)

    Yeah, but I believe you have a limited time to request a chargeback don't you?

    Read your agreement with your card issuer...

    Depending on how long ago the transaction was, your bank/issuer may want additional information supporting your request.

    In my case, I paid for a part on back-order and was told it might take up to 4 weeks to get the part in. After 4 weeks of nothing, I checked up and they said there had been some delays in the shipment and it wouldn't be much longer until I had it. A few weeks later they went bankrupt and closed (it later turned out they had been taking new orders to pay for older orders and other dodgy business practices. the company had a fairly good reputation leading up to my order).

    I ended up successfully placing a chargeback on my card about 10 weeks after the payment, and after answering the bank's questions and providing them with my supporting documentation had the charge reversed about 3 months after the initial payment.

  • Re:Kneejerk reaction (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @01:13AM (#28936823)
    hey jackass, they added in ads to a game that previously had no ads, MONTHS after users bought the no-ads game. not only that, it nearly doubles the load time of the game since it forces you to look at the ad.
  • Re:Ad blocking (Score:3, Informative)

    by ikkonoishi ( 674762 ) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @07:53AM (#28938861) Journal

    Sony pulled the ads.
    http://www.n4g.com/News-371384.asp [n4g.com]

  • Re:Ad blocking (Score:4, Informative)

    by Sockatume ( 732728 ) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @08:10AM (#28939009)

    They pulled the ad when they found out it changed the load time [edge-online.com]. They had an agreement with the ad provider that any ads would match the game's aesthetic, too.

Someone is unenthusiastic about your work.