To prevent piracy, are ad-sponsored PC games the way of the future?
They might be, and FileFront is one of many file hosting sites that are testing the waters by offering popular PC titles to download and play for free. While ad-sponsored gaming is nothing new, the latest fiasco surrounding Electronic Art’s recent release of Spore and its usage of SecuRom may force PC gamers to find alternate methods to calm the addiction.
Then again, offering older games with ad-support could be just another way to keep those popular titles out on the street and earning revenue. Last year Ubisoft was one of the first publishers to offer its games for free including Far Cry, Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, Rayman Raving Rabbids and Ghost Recon. But does this advertising scheme actually work?
According to Massive Inc., a dynamic advertising network embedded in many games bought today, the company believes that the system actually does work (story). In a test conducted by Nielson entertainment, the average purchase considerations - based on ad campaigns that ran on the Massive network - increased by 41 percent. Additionally, the average ad recall increased by 41 percent whereas average brand familiarity increased by 64 percent. The study included over 600 gamers playing Need for Speed: Carbon on the Xbox 360 and PC.
A few new ad-sponsored games have appeared online since last week including Full Spectrum Warrior, Area 51, The Suffering and Beyond Good & Evil. While there’s no complaint filed here in terms of downloading free games, one has to wonder how these will effect the overall gameplay. For some, this won’t matter as long as the hard-earned cash remains tucked away in the wallet. For others, the cost of actually purchasing the game online or through offline retail outlets may justify the game’s pricetag.