Dying in a video game pisses people off. In-games advertising pisses people off. Independent free-to-play browser-based online game developer Artix figures it might as well kill two angry birds with one annoying stone, merging death with in-game ads. Isn’t it just perfect?
In-game advertising is a way for game developers to recoup a little of their development dollar or help maintain the servers needed to keep an online game online. Generally developers and publishers have attempted to make these ads as unobtrusive as possible, placing them on billboards on in frames around their product that don’t interfere with gameplay.
Artix has a different idea of how in-game advertising should work. When you die in AdventureQuest Worlds, you’re going to be marketed to.
“For years our players scoffed at how there was no real punishment for dying in AQWorlds,” said Adam Bohn, CEO/Founder of Artix Entertainment, LLC. “So we added a fate worse than death… ads!”
The tone of the announcement is tongue-in-cheek, but it really is a brilliant idea. When a player buys the farm, they’re treated to a nine second long advertisement, after which they are allowed to respawn as per normal. Players that opt to subscribe to the game for a monthly fee can skip the ads altogether. Either Artix gets subscription money, or they get advertising revenue. Either way they win, and players are only marginally more frustrated than they would have been by simply dying.
AdventureQuest Worlds is a relatively small game, but I could see the mechanic working on a much larger scale as well. Imagine having your World of Warcraft raid wipe being brought to you by Mountain Dew. You’d never forget the day Ragnaros suggested you run out and grab a Code Red before trying again.
It would even work well in games like Call of Duty. You’ve already been humiliated. Might as well have Axe tell you that you have body odor as well.
And if you don’t want the ads? Well then quit dying, noob.