WipEout HD Gets Loading Screen Ads, Adds User Fury

In-game advertiser Double Fusion announced today that it was bringing "dynamic video advertisements" to WipEout HD, ads that owners of the PlayStation Network racer have been experiencing (and grumbling about) over the past week.

Those video ads began appearing during WipEout HD's loading screens, presenting players with a video spot that, in some cases, appears to be pitching State Farm Insurance. That advertising looks to be limited to U.S. based owners of WipEout HD for now, a new addition that may have been introduced during the game's recent software update.

While the annoyance of in-game ads may be written off as nothing more than virtual visual blight, justifiably bothersome are accusations that the new ads increase loading times between races. Double Fusion boasts that the ads "contextually match the game's sleek futuristic design" and "complement the WipEout HD world seamlessly," but some players disagree. One YouTube video of WipEout HD's ads shows this in action, a surprising difference that we've yet to verify for ourselves.

Advertising in the WipEout series isn't exactly new, with entries as far back as WipEout 2097 sporting a noticeable presence for energy drink Red Bull, not to mention the design houses that were responsible for the games' visual style.

We have contacted Sony Computer Entertainment America to see what's up with WipEout HD's new ads.

Thanks to Caleb and Gabriel for the heads up.

Kotaku AU Note: Anyone seen these ads in Australia yet?


Comments

    I downloaded the update, and the first time i started a race i had an advert for the upgrade Wipeout Fusion... but its the only time i saw it and since then i haven't seen it again... or any other adverts for that matter!

    I think advertising in games if done right can be effective, such as ipods and regain drinks in Metal gear solid.... but just shoving an advert video into the loading screen is a bit to much in your face, and unless the game is free and using the advertising to make it so, then you feel a bit cheated to pay for adverts!

    Stick to product placement like they do in movies... they have been doing it for years and no one complains about that, heck, when done right its even cool!

      I agree with you there mate, well put!

    I don't agree with overt adverts in paid products. Subtle product placement is fine (billboards, etc) to an extent, but having to watch an ad prior to playing is intrusive.

      Right on. I've paid for a particular product. and there isn't an obvious option to not include this update. I pay $30 for a DVD I don't then expect ads during the middle of the film.

      Worst part, is there is no form or survey to ask if this is your preferred option. Of course the answer is NO.
      I don't pay for advertisements, I pay for product.

        Product placement in films has been around for ages, and while more often than not it's subtle, sometimes it can be blatant (Pepsi promos in Back To The Future a classic example) It's one of those things that seem to be accepted to some degree by the movie industry as a way of covering costs. As production costs for video games rise, I wouldn't be surprised if in-game advertising like this becomes even more prevalent, and perhaps even necessary for some developers.

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