You see advertisements everywhere and they’re becoming increasingly visible on everything we use, oftentimes we’re promised that paying for something will get us reduced or no ads at all. This creates a problem for gamers, as they’re expecting to get exactly what they paid for, meaning they feel they don’t deserve to see advertisements in their game.
However, advertisements aren’t even a necessary evil; they’re the opposite. Ads are vital to almost all business, and gaming is a business. Not only do they help thousands of smaller groups, websites and organisations stay afloat, but, usually, they’re helping out two or three different companies at once (the host of the ad, the product the ad is for and the place the ad is being displayed). What’s even more baffling about when gamers complain about ads is that, usually, these ads are in no way a hindrance or in the way of your gaming experience, oftentimes they’re placed in loading screens when you wouldn’t be doing anything anyway, sometimes they’re placed on the walls of an arena in a sports game or the billboards of a sandbox game.
These ads shouldn’t be combated, in fact they need to be welcomed. Michael Pachter, financial analyst and games journalist, said (paraphrasing) “If anything, advertisements won’t make games cost less, but it may prevent them from getting more expensive for a while.” Yes, we pay for something, but that doesn’t mean that they’re obligated to not show us advertisements. You pay for movies, television, satellite radio and magazines yet you are still shown ads. Free-to-play games have plenty of advertisements usually, and you often end up paying the same amount as a full-priced game from micro-transactions.
So what makes games any different? It’s not very clear, but it’s likely that gamers are very entitled people, more so than people who pay for other services such as movies. They feel that they’re the ones in control (or should be) and, while somewhat true, this is still taken out of context or far too seriously. As consumers we do have control, but it’s limited. Another issue is that very few gamers, likely due to their age, don’t have a solid understanding of business sense and why making money is important. This means that they don’t understand the ‘why’ behind all sorts of decisions such as going Free-to-Play or implementing in-game advertisements. If we could educate people on these ‘whys’ then perhaps we would see things in gaming become a lot more welcome.Filed under Gaming, General