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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