Double Fusion just announced that they will be providing contextual advertising within the City of Heroes universe. The above photos are only samples, as no deals have been struck with individual advertisers yet.
Before your "DOOM Meter" shoots immediately into the red... take a deep breath and relax. First, the sky is not falling. Second, any advertising will be - say it with us now - optional. So really, there is no reason for anyone to go ballistic over this. However, this is the gaming industry. As such NCsoft anticipated an intense reaction. Brian Clayton, General Manager for the NorCal NCsoft studio, simultaneously released a very detailed and reassuring statement to the community regarding this very touchy subject.
This is not an off the cuff decision. In fact, it's something NCsoft has considered since the initial release of City of Heroes way back in 2004.
Here are what we feel are the more important highlights from Brian's address:
- They aren't forcing this on anyone. Every player can opt-out via the Options menu and not be affected one iota.
- NCsoft is fanatical about not wanting to break the game's immersion. As such, only contextually relevant ads will go into the game (there will be no "mature" ads of any kind).
- Ads will be limited to the same fictitious billboards already present in the game.
- They expect this to go live sometime in the summer.
Even with all the comforting words we're sure there will be players out there who will find something to gripe about. We want to hear them... as long as they're logical and well-written that is.