APB To Feature Audio Ads

By John Walker on June 24th, 2010 at 8:17 pm.

They're waiting for the ad to end so they can make plans, yesterday.

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.

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178 Comments »

  1. Silvarius says:

    What a shame.

  2. pupsikaso says:

    And I know who’s example they are following, too. Wasn’t Global Agenda using audio ads for people that were on trial and were using the in-game voice?

  3. MDP says:

    Well, since they announced that APB would not be for sale in Australia (due to ridiculous server costs), I have no further interest in this game.

    http://www.kotaku.com.au/2010/06/apb-will-not-be-released-in-australia/

    Bah!

  4. postx says:

    Radio is perfect for immersion. But I think they’re trying to make sure that every player listens to the ad whether the player is in location A or B, driving a car with radio on or off. That way they can boast the numbers to the clients, plus the number would be quite accurate.

    • postx says:

      @ Oranda

    • Kadayi says:

      The ad (which from what I’ve been told is a 10 second one) will only be heard when entering a district. And this will only happen every 3 hours. So basically, unless you are constantly changing districts you really aren’t likely to be bombarded by it. This is not something that you will hear in the game districts.

  5. Antares says:

    It boggles the mind that they’d go ahead with this “We’ll tell you juuuuuuust before release and hope you don’t read the gaming press / can’t cancel your preorder anymore” shit when the game itself is so flawed (I should know, I played the beta and it was awful) and after its payment model already sparked so much controversy.

    It’s like they’re actively trying to dissuade people from buying their stuff.

  6. Out Reach says:

    Hey guys we are making this MMO and it’s going to be free to play! – OMG AWESOME :D

    Hey Guys sorry about before, but nah… we’re gonna have subscriptions. – Wait wut?

    Oh One more thing there are also gonna be real world ads. – Erm… No.

    The devs have lied about the payment structure enough times, and TBH they appear to now be using every money spinner in the book. Is it just me or are developers purposely trying to create MMO’s that have the same cash flow as WoW does today, within the first month of release?

  7. Inferno says:

    This game just gets worse and worse. The beta was an utter disappointment (and I was greatly looking forward to it). There’s no skill involved in the shooting aspect of the game whatsoever. The higher cost guns are hilariously better than anything. The missions are far too repetitive to warrant a monthly fee. The matchmaking is awful and regularly matches you up against undefeatable odds. The game runs pathetically on a large number of systems and OSs.

    The dev team and marrketing has been pathetic too. They’ve claimed a number of things and then gone entirely back on themselves. Good luck if your’e on 32bit ecause thye aren’t fixing that anymore. No we wont’ do monthly fees, oh wait sorry yess we wil land they’ll be expensive for what you’re playing. Oh and you’ll have ads that don’t make the game cheaper for you! Yeah good luck APB team thi sgame is balls.

  8. GenuineEntropy says:

    FYI: There is a hard limit on how many custom or standard symbols/decals (as well as other bits and bobs) players can apply to a given object (car, pair of undies, thigh-skin, etc).

  9. GenuineEntropy says:

    Bah, my reponse was mean to be @Stromko and part of the custom textures and load times discussion.

    Silly, silly comments system.
    Silly, silly lack of edit or delete comment function.
    Silly, silly responding to an entire article instead of an individual post.
    Etc, etc

  10. Wisq says:

    What I don’t get is why they would even bother with these in the first place. Surely the revenue from one ad every three hours per player isn’t high enough to offset the insanely negative PR you’re going to generate by having any ads (and the resulting loss of players and paid subscriptions).

  11. Dude says:

    I have the feeling that it won’t change a lot, people using this as an excuse to not play the game wouldn’t have bought it anyway.
    You login, what are you going to do, look for a group, replenish ammo, spawn your car. Having ads during that time is really a big problem?
    I having the feeling that APB is on the wrong side of the fence for a lot of people since the whole review embargo story. It is not the only game with advert (prototype had advert, hell battlefield something also have advert)…..
    I play kttc and sure the first 2 hours or so were not that good, but once you start understanding the driving, have a good group, this game is really fun. Didn’t experience match making issue, some fight were really tight. Sure the game has issue but not as big as the press it is getting, I have the feeling a lot of people didn’t even bother playing more than 15min….

    I am not for those ads, but I can live with it, if it helps getting more content for the game faster. We will see…

  12. Anonymous says:

    Wow this guys killed their own game, forgetting about the price (retail+monthly), concentrating only on the game – THE GAME SUCK. I tested her and i need only 2 hours to realize, that this shit isn’t playable. I mean its heavy on system demands – unbelievably ugly graphics (with AA/AF turned on). And above the realism in it, is realistic and in touch with the world like in Super Mario. They should’ve hire more developers than marketing guys.

    • WTFAMIREADING says:

      Well, the game is certainly better than your trainwreck of the English language.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah i’m proud of it, some kind of my own english implementation. Kapish?

  13. Rob says:

    I don’t get cable, and every once in a while watch it at a hotel or friends house and get bombarded with ads. Won’t bother getting it, not at what they want around here for it.

    The only ads at the movie theater I go to are for events at the theater or previews. The last time I went to another theater there was 33 minutes of ads, not counting preview. I don’t go there any more.

    I watch previews on DVD, anything else gets fast forwarded, and if that’s blocked, the TV goes off.

    Magazine? What’s that? Oh yah, those paper things I haven’t looked at in months at least.

    • WTFAMIREADING says:

      There are Ads on this site. You better turn off the internet.

    • Frankie The Patrician[PF] says:

      @ WTFAMIREADING
      Obvious troll is obvious.

  14. Frankie The Patrician[PF] says:

    Desperate. Your turn

  15. fartlancer says:

    I also like the idea of having them mixed into the game. But they should be NPCs with sandwich boards shouting about products or cars with bullhorns blaring jingles and slogans. NPCs that you can kill and cars that you can explode.

    • Frankie The Patrician[PF] says:

      And piss on them beforehand/afterwards…oh wait…wrong game, gotta wait for Postal III :)

  16. Jordan says:

    I have a problem paying for subscriptions to play a game I’ve bought in the first place. Hell I have a problem paying the cable company for content that is 1/3 commercial advertisement.

    I’ve never heard of this game but I will be cutting it down among my friends constantly for a few months now. This is an inane business model

  17. Sterm says:

    “Yes, please feed us more shit! We are mindless consumers! We will not tolerate anything bad said about the product. Do not voice any criticism!”

    Fuck off.

  18. Sterm says:

    I suspect most of the people defending the game here are people who work for EA, payed specifically to do this. Companies are known for doing this already.

    • Kadayi says:

      Most Def. They’re clearly all working for the evil corporate overlords, the craven dogs. Personally, I call for a riot, and maybe a few public hangings.

  19. Kurt Lennon says:

    At least EA are being open about who the target audience is for APB:

    Complete idiots.

    • Kadayi says:

      EA are only the publishers of the title. They aren’t the producers, nor did they provide the investment.

    • Interesting says:

      No, their target audience is players who can afford $10 per month and want dedicated servers, proper clan support, great clan customization and integrated VoIP. Not freeloaders with integrated graphics who are the whiners. They have plenty of Korean F2P games to keep them happy, we have APB.

  20. Clippit says:

    i fucking HAAAAAAAAAAATE ads. every time i see that word it’s like soap in my eyes. especially on TV (don’t watch much of that anyway), or the radio (only listen to non-commercial stations), where you can’t just skip past them. they’re less awful in magazines and on the internet, where you’re not forced to sit through a set period of irritating, repetitive drivel, but it’s still the same people peddling the same rubbish and it’s annoying. I don’t mind funny ads or otherwise interesting or creative ones, but most ads are just so BAD. compounding this, they always go way too far with them; half of a magazine like Vogue and 15 minutes of every hour of commercial TV. By the time I’ve seen every ad 25 times (in the same order) I just want them all to GET FUCKED.

    same goes for games, only more so.

    • GetOutOfHereStalker says:

      buy cola the only cola that contains no cola but instead contains some or all of the following: kerosene
      propylene glycol
      sulphuric acid
      artificial sweeteners
      red dye no2
      rum
      acetone
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      scumm
      axle grease
      pepperoni

      this ad brought to you by child labour

    • Kadayi says:

      Not really down with this profit & loss thing are you?

    • GetOutOfHereStalker says:

      you know kadayi it’s not too late to cancel your preorder, you don’t have to defend the game to the death (or atleast until you realize how bad it is) because you really want to feel like you didn’t waste your money. (that’s the only reason anyone ever played diakatana when it came out)

  21. me says:

    At least you cannot really criticise them for being inconsistent with their model. I mean, they have done everything possible to make their product one of the least appealing on the market, whilst apparently also using revolutionary top-notch MMO technology.

  22. Nalano says:

    Irony:

    I’m currently in the pre-release VIP three day head start.

    We’ve yet to see any ads at all. Now, I dunno if we’ve just failed to notice them or they haven’t yet been implemented, but it’s still just the SuicideGirls ad and a bunch of clans/guilds’ recruitment ads.

  23. Chris says:

    If the ads were intrusive in the slightest, you’d all have valid reasons to be offended or upset about it. Since they’re not, stop whining. Its a terrible game anyway.