Electronic Arts (EA) responded to reports that they will be launching in-game ads like what you see on TV for all of its console games. Luckily, they say that the reports are false.
Good Guy EA, Finally
Electronic Arts, publishers of successful triple AAA franchises such as Battlefield, Mass Effect, and Fifa, says that the reports are "incorrect." A spokesperson contacted PC Gamer saying, "Following incorrect reports suggesting that we are looking to introduce 'TV-style' commercials into our games, we wanted to clarify that in-game advertising for console games is not something we're currently looking at, or have signed any agreements to implement,"
EA ended the statement by saying that they are focusing on the best possible player experience for all of their consumers. The statement was released after Axios said that Simulmedia signed a deal with EA for in-game ads. Simulmedia is the creator of an in-game ad platform called PlayerWON.
EA, however, does have a history with in-game ads for its console game. The ads were introduced in UFC 4 to promote the up-and-coming Amazon's The Boys. However, the company quickly changed its tune after the massive backlash. EA has been working with marketing giants and in-game ads since 2006.
In-Game Ads Might Be The Future
PlayerWON was created as a means to reward players who prefer playing free-to-play to get in-game items and currency. The catch is to watch ads to attain the rewards.
Test Run on PlayerWON is already featured in Smite. Based on the report, players in the pilot were "much more likely" to continue playing the game and spend money on it if they had the potential to get perks by simply watching ads.
The report suggests that the idea can work. Players could get in-game currency by availing 15 to 30-second ads instead of using real currency, thus creating free-to-play games as viable marketing platforms for ads.
Who's Being Targeted?
The tech wants to target an audience of 18-34 years of age. The selected demographics are that they said they are the most difficult to reach by using traditional video marketing. Simulmedia has done their research and claims that people are willing to watch up to 10 videos a day just to get the rewards.
Dave Madden, Simulmedia's head honcho, has said that over 77 percent of free-to-play players never purchase in-game items. With PlayerWON now in the scene, it would help the majority get in-game items and currency without spending.
The plan for Simulmedia is to implement said ads in a dozen or so games by the end of this year. PlayerWON will be available for both PC and console gamers and is fully player-controlled and only an opt-in-only feature.
It means that people who choose not to avail of the service will be worried about various ads playing. Even if players do choose to opt-in, they can choose to skip the ads entirely if they don't want to watch them at all.