Last weekend, as Syncaine reported, Elder Scrolls decided to start spamming players with advertisements in game — in the middle of their screens randomly while they are playing, I guess “just” once per day.
I just now uninstalled ESO, and I’m going to re-install Guild Wars 2 at some point. It’s so ironic that at launch Zenimax made a big deal about the minimal, non-intrusive interface in Elder Scrolls: Online. They were showing it off in videos.
Now they are plastering ads onto that beautiful, smooth game world they created. (The image has a UI mod…) The only real problem with the ESO UI for me is that you can’t tell who is who, or who is an NPC or monster.
In my last play session in ESO, I was fighting up some stairs in an area at night, attacked the next group of monsters, and oops – they were guards. No clue. Now I’m a wanted murderess with a bounty and/or fine to pay.
So. Unexpected bright flashing ads in the middle of my screen while I’m playing is far past the line in the sand. Neverwinter did the same thing in the beta, and I never played the game after that.
Please, game developers. Find a way and go the extra step people are asking for – offer paying customers the option of not having to see ads. This is what we expect in entertainment, just like Netflix/Cable subcription vs. free rabbit ears.
In other news, NVIDIA dropped hard today despite the market rising, after AMD posted weak results. I spooked, sold for a small profit halfway through the drop, and switched that money over to Blizzard.
(This is the problem with being an MMO player and also a clueless kitty. Oh look – that one is shinier! Meanwhile, each stock trade is $10.)
Anyway, I think Blizzard, like Zenimax/Bethesda apparently, is still in the early stages of following Electronic Moriarty on the dark path of exploitation of innocent pixies, so we’ll see if they can catch a wave this year.
They also still have the World of Warcraft movie coming, in addition to Heroes of the Storm launching June 2 (the date was announced today).
I wonder if Blizzard will cannabalize players by using the same game lore again and again, or the lore serve as leverage and conversion of new players? I love the idea of creating strong NPC characterization through repetition, but it seems concerning to keep attaching more big games onto their old creaky old cash cow.