Wipeout HD In-game Ads Nearly Double Load Times (Updated)

By Nick Breckon and Chris Faylor, Aug 03, 2009 3:58pm PDT

Update: Sony has now pulled the most common video ad, a commercial for State Farm, and vowed to "ensure that any in-game advertising does not affect gameplay."

Original: In-game advertisements recently added to Wipeout HD are nearly doubling the load times of some races, Shacknews can confirm.

The video ads, served by advertising firm Double Fusion, occasionally play in a window as a race loads. Video evidence suggested that load times can last around twice as long when the ads are incorporated, a ratio that Shacknews can corroborate after independent testing.

After selecting a ship, it took us approximately 12 seconds to enter a race. With the ads playing, the race consistently loaded after around 20 seconds.

The advertisements were added several days ago in an update to the year-old game, but were not mentioned in the patch notes or by Sony. The first official word of the commercials came from a Double Fusion press release issued today.

"By introducing high-resolution dynamic video ads into Wipeout HD, Double Fusion is responding to advertiser demand and offering an engaging ad format while pushing in-game ad innovation to a new level," said Double Fusion CEO Jonathan Epstein.

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  • When the idea of in-game advertising was first introduced by the industry wasn't it actually supposed to be beneficial to games and gamers? Not to intrude upon our passtime with yet more unwanted advertising?

    How is the introduction of in-game ads beneficial to WipeOut HD or the gamers who play it?

    I could understand if the inclusion of ads resulted in a discount to the purchase price, if not resulting in the game being offered to download for free. But these ads have been added for the sole reason of providing Sony with advertising revenue, a depressingly cynical move in my view. :-(