Future EA games may have video ads shoehorned into them

Future EA games may have video ads shoehorned into them

Nobody likes ads in games, whether they're Battlefield billboards, or Uncharted 3's Subway product placements. They could be about to get a whole lot worse too. Alongside the plan to introduce static adverts in Oculus VR games, EA has just signed up to a company's scheme to ad video adverts to games, meaning we could start to see full blown TV-style ads in games in the not-to-distant future.

The SimulMedia platform is called playerWON — get it? — and will reward players with in-game items and currency for watching adverts. It'll be targeted at free to play games, where the players themselves are as much a product as the game itself. EA was one of the first companies to sign up, but it's not the only one, according to PCGamer. SMITE developer, Hi-Rez studios ran a pilot program of the technology and found that gamers were "much more likely" to play a game and spend money in it if they could earn some perks by watching a few ads as well. Essentially, those players were happy to give up their time rather than real money, to get stuff for "free."

That makes sense considering a major portion of any free to play player base is going to be children who don't have the funds to pay for in-game items. Monetising them through advertising could be a real boon to some developers.

But it's not a trend that everyone will be happy with. Games create a deep sense of immersion for many who play them, and if you're constantly being reminded of the real world with out of world adverts, that could be a deal breaker.

With over 90% of all free to play gamers never spending money on games though, it seems likely that this sort of trend will catch on very quickly among developers who want to further monetise their player bases.