Shame on EA, Publishers, and In-Game Advertisers

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One of GameSpot.com’s “Best Games of 2007 Dubious Honors” awards is the “Most Despicable Use of In-Game Advertising.” An honor executives from Microsoft’s Live and Massive teams once confided to me they work all year to avoid being nominated for. This years nominees include “Guitar Hero III” (Xbox 360, PS3, PS3, Wii), “Need for Speed ProStreet” (Xbox 360), “Skate” (Xbox 360), (All-Pro Football 2K” (Xbox 360, PS3). The reader’s choice, with 56 percent of votes, was “Guitar Hero III,” a game that sold every pixel to product integration and ad placements.

The top honor from the GameSpot editors goes to EA’s “Need for Speed ProStreet” for the ads appearing everywhere including the Xbox Live achievement points. The $25 instant skill boost doesn’t help the game’s status, and players found the constant downloading of dynamic ads a problem throughout the game’s connected lifespan. Let’s go to the video.

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