Electronic Arts announced last month that its upcoming multiplayer shooter Battlefield 2142 would feature dynamically-updated in-game pop-up ads. The full game is scheduled to come out tomorrow, but reports are emerging that the in-game pop-up ad system packs a few surprises.
These pop-ups, developed by Virtumondo, are a major step forward in advertising technology. Rather than traditional windows-based or dialog based advertisements, Virtumondo has developed pop-up product placement. Victor Carlos, lead designer for Virtumondo explains:
Many of these ads are subtle, and hardly noticeable, while others are obvious, and quite amusing. If Player A is using a medical pack, it will immediately be followed by the player consuming can of Pepsi for an extra 5 health. The extra “ahhh” after consumption was our only compromise with Pepsi, and it honestly adds to the game.
The response from gamers has been mixed. James F. Brown does not like the idea of pop-ups within his game. “So if I’m shooting or driving, sudden obstructions will appear which I may or may not have to drive around? Yeah, I’m not too excited. But I’ll buy and play the game anyway.”
Arnold Lipchitz, a long-time beta-tester, has grown accustomed to the pop-ups. He claims that they have improved his game: “I was playing for a couple of hours when I noticed a pair of Maytag washer and dryers. You know, the stackable kind. I ran up to, and used it to hide behind. I eventually found I could walk through this ad, so I disguised myself in the Maytags. I sat there and sniped myself to a 20-kill streak. I love these ads. Well, I did have a Titan that suddenly had the skin changed into a Nike cross-trainer. That one sorta sucked.”
While not enthused about the pop-up product placement, it is believed that most gamers will adapt to the new technology, and even appreciate it. While the majority of advertisers are traditional household brands, new players are expected to make their appearance. Defense Industry spokesman, Gerald Snow, stated in a press conference that General Dynamics, TRW, and Northrop Grumman are all interested to put their future designs into Battlefield 2142. “We need more kids excited about the Military-Industrial Complex. We need beta-testers as much as anyone.”
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