Artix Experiments with 'Death Ads' in MMO

August 29, 2011 -

MMO developer Artix has been experimenting with ads that players only see when they die in the online game AdventureQuest Worlds. The practice is getting some interesting reactions from players, according to CEO Adam Bohn, who spoke at length with [a]list Daily in a recent interview. The ads are what are commonly called "house ads," or ads promoting the company's own products and services such as other game titles and the company's store:

"We took on the idea of the death ads; we started it with just our stuff and we have a lot of stuff to promote," said Bohn. "We run six of our own games and have Heromart with plenty of cheeky products to sell and we have mini-games on our site. We recently released a card game at Toys R Us and this holiday season were releasing two expansions, and we're going to release a Death Ads card in one of the expansions. It's a trap card that can send an armor or pet to graveyard."

"When we first released it, [players] laughed and then they died and for those who died saw it and said, 'How come we see the ads if we pay?'" he continued. "I put in a toggle switch; it's not automatically turned off because some people were like, 'What if I want to see it?'"

Since players have to wait for a timer to run out, serving up an ad is a smart way to take advantage of a captive audience, particularly when a game is free-to-play.

Source: Industry Gamers


Comments

Re: Artix Experiments with 'Death Ads' in MMO

Advertisements when you die? This truly is hell!

Re: Artix Experiments with 'Death Ads' in MMO

Hopefully it works better for these guys than it did when Shadowbane tried it.

Re: Artix Experiments with 'Death Ads' in MMO

Sounds like a good idea. If it was me I'd add some way to track how frequently the player dies and if they hit a set threshold (say more than 3 times in one hour) have a cheeky ad for the store come up "You wouldn't be here if...".

Re: Artix Experiments with 'Death Ads' in MMO

That's actually a brilliant move for a FtP type game. So long as it isn't abused (now with 5 minute death timer!) and the ads remain reasonably topical, tasteful and tailored to stay within the flavor and feel of the game itself ("New! Improved Depends Absorbent Undergarments! For all your high level raiding needs!" Is probably not an ad any of us would want to see while waiting to rez).

Re: Artix Experiments with 'Death Ads' in MMO

I think it is a smart thing to do. Since the ads aren't visible during regular gaming time, you offend the fewest possible number of people.

Other areas that I consider fair for ad placement are menus such as title screen and options menus as well as loading screens. But I do not want them in the actual gameplay portions.

Re: Artix Experiments with 'Death Ads' in MMO

I agree.  I think it would be beneficial if they included an option to choose what types of ads you want to see during these breaks.  I honestly wouldn't mind a commercial now and then (as long as it really did make a game more affordable to us as it is supposed to have for so many before it) but only if it was in something I actually cared about.  

I could see this go into some of the FPS games that traditionally have spawn waits between deaths. (Team Fortress ,Call of Duty, Halo, and Gears of War for example).  They could help to pay for more/better servers for said games.  

A game wouldn't be cheaper to start, but could help waive some of the upkeep costs for developers so they can concentrate more on expanding and growing a games community without having to have a massive immediate uptake of a title.  Not all games that are good have everyone flooding to them like Call of Duty or Battlefield.

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Andrew EisenWhen I write about these massacres, I don't use the shooter's name or picture. I'm not saying everyone has to play it that way but that's how I prefer to do it.10/25/2014 - 12:44am
Andrew EisenYep, it's why the news media stopped spotlighting numbnuts who run out on the field during sporting events.10/25/2014 - 12:01am
Matthew Wilsonin media research its called the copycat effect. it simply says that if the news covers one mass shooting shooter, it increases the likelihood of another person going on a mass shooting.10/25/2014 - 12:00am
Andrew EisenAgreed. It bugs me that I know the names, faces and personal histories of a bunch of mass shooters but I couldn't tell you the name of or recognize a photo of a single one of their victims.10/24/2014 - 11:51pm
AvalongodAgree with Quiknkold. @Mecha...if that worked we would have figured out how to prevent these long ago.10/24/2014 - 11:32pm
MechaCrashUnfortunately, you have to focus on the perpetrator to figure out the whys so you can try to prevent it from happening again.10/24/2014 - 10:55pm
quiknkoldpoor girl. poor victims. rather focus on them then the shooter. giving too much thought to the monster takes away from the victims.10/24/2014 - 10:15pm
Andrew EisenFor what it's worth, early reports are painting the motive as "he was pissed that a particular girl wouldn't date him."10/24/2014 - 10:12pm
quiknkoldwell then I suck as a man cause I ask for help when necessary :P10/24/2014 - 10:07pm
Technogeek(That said, mostly I was making the smartass evopsych comment because your post seemed like the kind of just-so story that has come to dominate 99% of its usage.)10/24/2014 - 10:04pm
TechnogeekHell, Liam Neeson built his modern career around it. Cultural factors likely play a far greater role than you appear willing to admit.10/24/2014 - 10:03pm
TechnogeekSeriously, though, the idea of "because women are protectors and that's why they never commit school shootings" is, at best, grossly overreductive. There's nothing inherently feminine about being willing to kill in order to protect one's offspring.10/24/2014 - 10:03pm
MechaCrashThe "toxic masculinity" thing refers to how you have to SUCK IT UP AND BE A MAN because seeking help is seen as weakness, which means you suck at manliness, so it builds and builds and builds until something finally snaps.10/24/2014 - 10:01pm
quiknkoldthere, I'm done. And thats what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown10/24/2014 - 9:54pm
quiknkoldand I am not spouting Evopsych, technogeek. tbh I never heard the phrase till you said it. I'm going off my observations.10/24/2014 - 9:54pm
quiknkoldmoreover, the guy who did this isnt even white. He was native american according to the news report I read. Also that he went for a specific target. That's a much different picture than a certain Sandy Hook guy who will not be named10/24/2014 - 9:53pm
quiknkoldbut I am also certain nobody in their right mind is committing these shootings singing the Machoman song. these are sick individuals who have given up on life10/24/2014 - 9:51pm
Technogeekevopsych lol10/24/2014 - 9:49pm
quiknkoldWhen you suffer from mental illness, youre more likely to go by instinct. yes. I came off as sexist.10/24/2014 - 9:46pm
quiknkoldmore on somthing they are fixated on. Post Partum Depression is an example. This is why a woman is less likely to go off on a rampage.10/24/2014 - 9:44pm
 

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