Video game

I Am Not Accepting Ads In My Full-Price Video Games – TheGamer


  • Unreasonable monetization in video games is driven by corporations looking to extract more value from willing customers.
  • EA’s idea to insert ads in games is anti-consumer, as players already pay full price for the product.
  • Instead of offloading game production costs onto players, companies should find new strategies to make video game production more affordable.



Anybody who’s been paying attention to the video game industry for the last few years can tell you that monetisation has been getting out of control. The rise of live services has largely been because video game executives saw some early successes in the genre, realised that in-game, long-term monetisation meant a steadier income flow, and sprung cartoon dollar signs in their eyes. Many corporations are happy to sell in-game items at ridiculous prices in order to try and extract more value from customers who are willing to pay.

Unreasonably priced items are ridiculous and people are equally ridiculous for buying them, especially if the game isn’t pay-to-win and those items are cosmetic. But at least in that case, everybody involved in the purchase is consenting. Not so with EA’s latest cockamamie idea. EA CEO Andrew Wilson said in a recent earnings call in response to a question about “more dynamic ad insertion across more traditional triple-A games” that “we have teams internally in the company right now looking at how we do very thoughtful implementations inside of our game experiences”. Translation: EA wants to put advertisements in our games.

Why Start Putting Ads In Video Games?

Logically, if you’re a businessperson, it makes sense. Billions of collective hours are spent playing video games, and advertisements could get a lot of eyeballs on them if injected smartly into video games. That means a lot of profit if game studios tie in with big businesses looking for new places and audiences to cater to. It’s not like this is necessarily new, either, as there have long been real ads and products scattered across video games – just boot up any FIFA game.


I Know I Use The Steam Deck Wrong, But I Don’t Care

Don’t tell me how to use my console

People have been joking about this a lot online, making light of the idea that sensitive and climactic moments in a character’s arc might be interrupted by them doing schlocky product placement reads. It’s funny, but the actual implementation is likely to be far more understated. The reality is that a lot of times, these ads are unobtrusive – I’m the kind of person that won’t even notice an ad till it’s shoved in my face, and most product placements are subtle enough that I don’t even notice there’s a specific brand being used. Since sports games are EA’s biggest earners by far, it seems mostly likely that the ads will largely be directed there, and while that doesn’t affect me personally, we still shouldn’t so much as let the idea slide by unchallenged.

Then Why Are Ads A Problem?

Because I’ve already paid full price for this game, damn it. I have the same visceral, angry reaction to streaming services adding ads to existing subscriptions and raising the prices of ad-free tiers. If I’m paying for an ad-free product, companies should not get to come in, force me to look at ads, and then expect me to pay the same price for that product. If ads were to become a thing, they should be treated as they are in streaming services – optional, and in exchange for a discounted price. EA putting ads in video games to players’ detriment and for no tangible benefit in return is anti-consumer and yet another way of degrading products in return for profit.

Once again, a ridiculous idea from some gaming exec is highlighting the real issue: games are very expensive to make, and instead of finding a new strategy for video game production, they are offloading the costs onto the player by making the gaming experience worse. My suggestion to EA is, of course, to start focusing on games that aren’t quite so big and don’t take the better part of a decade to complete, but what do I know? I’m just a guy that doesn’t want to see ads while I’m playing games.


I Know I Use The Steam Deck Wrong, But I Don’t Care

Don’t tell me how to use my console


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