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Games Entertainment

Wipeout HD Loading Ads Scrapped After Uproar 119

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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  • 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."

  • 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 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.
  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 sakdoctor ( 1087155 ) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @11:28AM (#28958277) Homepage

    ad-supported = free

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

  • Re:Overreaction (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @11:48AM (#28958577)

    Ads are just an added revenue stream at the cost of the consumer. Saying they keep the price low is nonsense. They are extra, bonus, on top of the retail price revenue some sneaky biz guy thought looked cool on a powerpoint slide. Especially when they get added in an update AFTER release.

    When you want me to pay for a game, you better keep ads out of it.

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

    by El_Muerte_TDS ( 592157 ) 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

Someday your prints will come. -- Kodak