APB has had another moment of controversy before release with the news that the game is to feature unavoidable audio advertising, via the Vivox voice chat. These adverts will appear when players enter zones, rather than randomly butting in, but the news has still created something of a fuss on various forums. Players are upset because as well as hearing the ads they will have also paid for the game, and subscribed for game time.
The exact details of this are explained by APB Community Officer ‘Toxico’ on the APB forum. It’s a tad confusing:
“You will receive a short audio ad once every 3 hours. HOWEVER ads will only be heard when first entering a district.
So for example:
1) You start up the game and enter the social district.
2) You will hear a short audio ad.
3 You stay in social for 2 hours and then switch to an action district.
4) Upon entering the action district you will NOT hear an ad.
5) You play in the action district for 5 hours and do not hear any ads.
6) You exit the game.
7) You start up the game at a later time and enter a district.
8) You will hear a short audio ad.”
It seems the gist is: you’ll only hear an ad when you go into a new zone, and that’s only once every three hours.
In-game advertising has been tried by a number of games a number of times. It’s yet to prove too effective. But the issue here comes on top of the previous concern over the payment system for the game. Rather than a monthly subscription on top of the £35 box price, players will need to buy access to the game’s Action Zone. Time in the Social Zone will be free, and it will be possible to buy unlimited 30 day passes to the rest of the game.