This is pretty big news. NCSoft are introducing optional in-game ads for City of Heroes.
In-game advertising is something that we have carefully considered ever since the initial release of City of Heroes in 2004. From our perspective it always came down to a few fundamental questions: Will this technology make our game experience more immersive or less immersive? In other words, is City of Heroes an appropriate environment for it? In-game advertising in other MMOs has sometimes been received as an unwelcome addition, so could we actually find ways to make this a significant win for our customers? And with the plan of reinvesting all the revenue that we make from this, how much will this single (optional in-game advertising) initiative actually allow us to grow our development team?
Read more about this here. Also check out the press release below:
SAN FRANCISCO — Apr. 3, 2008— Leading independent game advertising provider Double Fusion has entered an agreement with NCsoft®, the leading developer and publisher of online computer games, to represent the successful comic-book inspired massively multiplayer online game, City of Heroes®. Double Fusion will provide the technology and sales force to bring brands into the popular online role-playing game which takes place in a modern urban setting, an ideal environment for unobtrusive in-game advertising.
Double Fusion and NCsoft are focused on providing value to the players through this advertising partnership. While real world ads will lend realism to the urban world of City of Heroes, NCsoft also plans on taking advantage of Double Fusion's technology to display player-created content within the game. The publisher will dedicate all advertising dollars it earns to fund further game development for the online title, yet still allow players to opt out of advertising in order to provide flexibility to community members.
“Our partnership with NCsoft is a clear showcase for two of our guiding philosophies: bringing value to the player through appropriate use of advertising spaces and bringing new business models to the marketplace by creating new revenue streams that can help fund game development and community support” said Jonathan Epstein, president and CEO, Double Fusion.