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Square Enix talks in-game ads, patching.

Ross Miller
It looks like Square Enix is taking a page from the book fo PC game development. Speaking at a gathering of third-party executives yesterday, Square Enix president Yoichi Wada discussed the bonuses, from a business perspective, of consoles always being online. Here are the three main points he mentioned:
  • Trial chapters: This is a feature that will actually benefit gamers. Wada mentioned a system where gamers could download the first chapter of a game and pay for later installments, a la episodic content.
  • In-game advertising: Wada discussed how ads could now be placed in games that aren't online-centric. While you may think Square Enix would never put real-life product placement in Final Fantasy XIII, keep in mind that Cloud Strife used a very real cell phone in Advent Children (the image above, partially, is from a magazine advertisement).
  • Software updates: While Wada, who is not a native English speaker, did not use the word "patch" explicitly, he did discuss how developers can now cut back on time spent debugging and just patch a game later. Patching is a slippery slope and initial release bugs, such as the many found in Oblivion, can really destroy a gaming experience. Especially if we are already paying $60 or more for the title.
Let's hope Square Enix does not get too hell-bent on in-game ads and patching. I do not want to wait a few months because my Toyota Chocobo got stuck halfway through a wall and now I can't continue my game.

[via PS3 Fanboy]