All Points Bulletin to Run Ads Through Voice Chat

By Brian Leahy, Jun 28, 2010 11:20am PDT Realtime Worlds' All Points Bulletin (APB) will be released tomorrow with pre-order customers already causing chaos in the crime-filled massively-multiplayer shooter and/or socializing game. The game has a unique payment structure, which allows players to buy blocks of hours to play in the game's 'Action Districts' -- where all the shooting happens -- or simply purchase a monthly subscription.

An early purchaser noticed an interesting option (via Massively) in their account settings: the option for "VOIP Premium", which "removes ads from the voip for 30, 90, and 180 days."

As the forums began to work themselves up into a rabid fury, a community manager for the game clarified the program. Vivox, the company that provides the voice chat technology for APB, will serve advertisements over the VOIP system. Ads will be played at least three hours apart and only upon entering districts so gameplay isn't interrupted.

In a recent telephone roundtable before E3, lead designer EJ Moreland initially said that the game would not carry microtransactions, but later clarified to Shacknews that Realtime Worlds "will be developing and offering a wide variety of [in-game] points-based services to expand and augment APB after release." The option to remove these ads is most certainly in exchange for real currency, although points earned through gameplay may be used as well.

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26 Threads | 63 Comments

  • When they originally embarked on this project it was probably under the guise of "Let's beat Rockstar to a GTA MMO".

    GTA was the hottest shit on the scene when Realtime went off on its own. Realtime probably said to themselves and others, "Millions of video gamers, and console gamers at that, love GTA more than anything else. Surely they would pay a monthly subscription for an online GTA experience plus our character customization and gameplay innovations."

    Only later, as time went on and the wave of MMO failures hit to provide an industry reality check for MMO ambitions, did it because apparent that there's shockingly little to do in a GTA MMO. They realized that a monthly sub wasn't going to fly in this market and now they are trying to survive by being more creative with their fee structure.

  • Hey, let's try something wild and crazy! Let's innovate in our games instead of innovating new ways to overcharge/annoy clients! This sounds too much like a dying business, where upper management is looking for new ways to charge the customer and make money off them, instead of attempting to improve service. Hint: If you provide quality service, you can charge a premium price. Stop wasting brainpower on how you're going to increase the profit off the clients and focus on getting/keeping clients to begin with.

    I very rarely moan about the profit side of the business of gaming, but this is one of those times. Just. Make. A. Good. Game.