CoX In-game Ads: Selective placement, self-promotion

DJ Shecky: Somebody posted this one up on the Cape forums. Obviously there's a limited amount of places that ads can be placed in the Rogue Isles, etcetera. Are you going to be adding in more billboards? For instance, one of our DJs actually mentioned in our private chat, and I saw mentioned it out on the board, Steel Canyon you can see with a lot more billboards put in it, whereas some place like Croatoa doesn't really have space for billboards, etcetera. Is there an idea to go ahead and make more ad space?

Positron: As we see how the revenues coming in from this, if we need to add more ad space, we will add billboard space, but we will only add it in logical places. It's not like you're going to be right in front of City Hall, on either side of the entrance door will be 90 foot high billboards. That's not going to happen. We may add billboards to the tram stations, because there currently is no real advertising space in the tram area, so if we're going to add stuff, it's going to be in a logical place, and it's not going to be obtrusive. The whole thing with the ads is immersive and unobtrusive.

DJ Templar: As far as the ad placement goes, are we going to see ads displayed during the loading and splash screen?

Brian: We have no plans to do that right now.

DJ Templar: Okay. And also, kind of along the lines of placement -- and this kind of dovetails into the immersion aspect, as well -- City of Villains, the Rogue Isles, is in some places, a very dilapidated, rather dingy, darker feel, and it was designed deliberately so, so it has more of a decay going on in the environment, and some people are wondering, "well, this is also supposed to be like a dictatorial zone, this isn't really a place of freedom and expression and that sort of thing." What kind of adjustments are going to be made as far as the placement of certain ads to retain that overall feel of the Rogue Isles?

Positron: So I know that Ken Morse, our Art Director, really has strong feelings on this, in that he wants the ads to match the zone that they're in. And if we need to dirty up an ad texture in order for it to match an area, that's something that we will bring to the advertiser and say, "you want to advertise, but we need to do this to your ad. Are you okay with that?" We don't want a nice big bright ad in run-down parts of Mercy. That breaks immersion, it becomes obtrusive, it goes outside the realm of what we're trying to do.

DJ Templar: This is kind of an aside, but are you going to allow currency sales and gold farming companies to advertise?

Positron: I have sign-off on the ads, as does Ken, as does Brian, and Ross, and I say no to any sort of real-money transaction companies right off the bat.

Brian: I agree.

DJ Templar: We'd asked some technical issues, and I believed it was Matt -- if I'm not mistaken -- who went to hunt down a programmer there to get some answers. And I think it was about some texture-related things, as well as how frequently or how often the ads would refresh. Were you able to get some answers on that?

Positron: Yeah. Basically, the answer to the texture question was correct that I gave. It does affect the ads, so if you lower your texture quality, you will see lower quality texture on the ads, so you don't need to worry about performance hit because of that. The other question was who sees what and when, and whether players will see different ads, different players. Since it's all client-side, yes ... depending on how we're serving the ads, it is possible that players will see different ads in the same ad space on different computers. It's all being served by the Double Fusion servers, and so they just basically make sure you're seeing a fresh ad, and getting you that. And we do load the ads on zone loads, so once an ad is an ad, it's an ad for the entire time that you're in the zone. But upon rezoning -- you know, going into the mission, exiting out, reloading the zone -- it may change.

Lighthouse: One thing to kind of add on that in talking with the tech guys earlier, we were talking about bandwidth issues and performance issues, anybody who's listening to what Matt was just saying might think "oh, I'm going to have to do more stuff when I'm loading in a zone." One thing to reiterate is that the textures of the ad are cached on your machine, so you're not going to have to reload them, per se, or use more bandwidth, or download them.

DJ Templar: I think you said that if people are opted out, then that download does not occur, period. Is that correct?

Positron: Correct.

Lighthouse: Yeah.

DJ Shecky: Okay. We actually got a question in here, and I'm going to paraphrase it so it makes a little bit more sense for the general public. We know that we've got a large user base, especially age-wise. Some of the older people might own their own business, etcetera. Would they be contacting you guys, or Double Fusion, if they wanted to actually opt-in their companies, their actual, physical companies, for marketing in-game.

Brian: Double Fusion handles all of that, and I believe that, in the press release, their contact info is right on that press release, so they can talk to them directly and see if they can work something out with them.

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