Update Regarding In-Game Advertising

Discussion in 'PlanetSide 2 Gameplay Discussion' started by Higby, Mar 28, 2014.

  1. Higby Developer

    Hey all -

    As you know, yesterday we released a new game update that included the first phase of the mission system, bug fixes and general updates. Part of this update included adjustments to the in-game nudge messaging system. We’ve heard your feedback on the additions, and I wanted to take a few minutes to explain what's going on with these and why.

    Before I get into the details, the frequency of yesterday’s 'pop-up' notifications was egregiously wrong and absolutely not what we had intended for the system. We're really sorry for how irritating these were.

    This system has been in the game for a while, sending offers for discounts on SC and Membership to specific players who qualified. What we've recently added is the ability to call out specific in-game events as they occur in order to bring further awareness. This weekend we have two events happening simultaneously, the Members Double XP weekend and the Spring Splurge sale, doubling up the possible notifications. Yesterday, we also had an issue with the servers restarting for several hours after the Game Update, which was resetting who should receive notifications, and subsequently causing players to receive them FAR more often than we'd ever want.

    In addition to the frequency, these nudges are interfering with gameplay in a way that we did not intend. We are making some adjustments to the notifications in order to reduce impact and prevent distraction from gameplay as much as possible. While we make these adjustments we have disabled the system so it no longer gets in the way of your game.

    PlanetSide 2 is not an inexpensive game to run. We have a large staff of full-time developers on the game team right now including artists, coders, designers, audio engineers, and producers; we also have an entirely separate team working full-time on the PlayStation 4 version of the game, as well as QA, CS, and operations teams that are integral to our development.

    As a free-to-play game, our servers are kept running by the support of a relatively small percentage of the player-base, and initiatives like this are critical to us being able to grow the percentage of players who are helping support the game. The alternatives are to either cut back on the development resources, or add more and more items for our existing supporters to purchase to make up the difference. Compared to those options, I think you'll agree that increasing awareness of our Membership and marketplace offerings, and expanding the percentage of players who support the game is preferable as it is what keeps development going.

    As always, we appreciate your feedback on these issues. Hopefully this helps explain what went awry with these notifications initially and why they're important for us going forward. As I said above, our intention was never to interrupt or compromise the quality of your gameplay with nudge messages. We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your patience as we work to make further modifications.

    Thank you for reading and continuing to support PlanetSide 2.

    Matthew Higby - @mhigby
    Creative Director - @Planetside2
    • Up x 38
  2. iPlague

    Glad it's fixed now, heard you got a rise in members after this though :rolleyes:

    Just don't botch up the April Balance Patch and everything will be K.
    Please buff TR Carbines... remove the .75 ads and give them decent recoil patterns instead of the current ****.
    Lynx 2014 plz!
    • Up x 2
  3. Cooper

    Membership is currently not worthwhile. You have an awful system that means any lapse in payment resets us to very few benefits and to get those benefits back we have to up-front pay for 6 months of wait 6 months to slowly 'level up' the membership again. This is a really nasty, exploitative system.

    Membership should mean membership. Whether it's one month or six.

    If you want to reward long-term members do it with other perks, do not do it by witholding membership bonuses from those who cannot or do not buy membership every month.
    • Up x 16
  4. disky00

    I still love you, Higby.
    • Up x 1
  5. Gustavo M

    Maybe it's just me, but I REALLY liked those random AD's popping every now and then.
    It made the game feel new and fresh.
    Oh, and while we are at it: 2000 RPM Carbine pls.
  6. Bruno Puntz Jones

    You're a company. You need to pay the bills. We get it.

    If you invite paying members to spend more money, some of us will. But you need to keep in mind that how you invite us to spend it matters. In the case of people who already are paying you, it matters even more.

    If you shove stupid pop-up ads in our faces in the middle of a firefight, you will lose the support of a substantial portion of that relatively small playerbase.

    As the overwhelming tone of the responses here and on reddit proves, your paying members are insulted and disgusted that you insist on doing this after we've already happily given you quite a bit of our money. Insulting and annoying your most loyal and biggest spending customers is not usually thought of as a good way to grow your top line and maintain customer loyalty.

    On the other hand, if you make fun things that are worth the money, we will buy them. Some of us will buy a lot of them. Make more of those things and we'll buy more of them. Also, if you keep making a good game, and focus on quality releases that improve rather than degrade performance and stability every time, then we'll keep paying you for our memberships.

    Just confine the ads to idle moments like login, loading, and death screens. Do not shove them in our faces while we're enjoying the game that we've already paid you (in some cases quite generously) to play. Problem solved.
    • Up x 13
  7. shaql

    how about the Loadout button? will this get scaled down, moved and changed colors, to be less intrusive?
    • Up x 10
  8. IamDH

    But why not the loading screen? Wouldnt that be much more appropriate, seen by ALL and less intrusive? I still dont see the reasoning behind this. Did someone have trouble finding where to subscribe?...i just dont get it
    • Up x 16
  9. RealityWarrior

    I don't mind Ad's or Nudges.

    They can't interfere with action. Pop ups in combat simply will not work. Make pop ups happen in non-combat situation and there isn't really an issue.
    • Up x 3
  10. UberBonisseur

    Have you considered the possibility that "UPGRADE NOW!" could give new players the impression of a P2W model ?

    When a new players joins and get killed, he'll see tons of exotic weapons in the death screen, and might put the blame on those weapons. Throw in this big orange button with UPGRADE on it, and it will implicitly say "get better with cash".

    While I think the game is far from P2W (aside from the resource boost), that UPGRADE NOW button hints towards it.

    Many players dislike the fact that it's not subtle. Of course it's not subtle, it's meant to be noticed. But for paying customers that prefer microtransactions over subscription, this sticks out like a sore thumb.

    We would really appreciate if you toned down the "IN YOUR FACEness", for lack of a better term, of this button.
    • Up x 14
  11. IamDH

    Agreed. It doesnt even give any information about the member benefits its just a big yellow upgrade now button. Not really sure how UPGRADE NOW is supposed to get more people to subscribe.
    • Up x 5
  12. ShureShot

    I understand it's an expensive game to develop, and therefor you choose to combine both a subscription system and micro-transactions. I spent about 3 times the price of a AAA title on SC, and with well over 100 days of playtime, I am quite aware there is also a subscription system. I just choose to not subscribe, and no amount of 'reminders' is going to change that. Intrusive advertising will only have negative effects on me, my perception of the game and my willingness to spend more money.

    Just remember that the players who purchase SC are also paying customers, not freeloaders. Give them a reason to keep purchasing, instead of trying to push them into a formula they are not interested in.

    But it is certainly not up to the PC players to pay for the development of the game on a non-compatible platform, with no option to transfer/share accounts or purchases.
    • Up x 8
  13. Nitrobudyn

    Remove the ads and make players start at depot screen instead of map screen.
    • Up x 11
  14. Wezdor

    God damn it this is not how you use the PSA tag. Why wont people lea- oh wait it's Higby. Thnx Higby :D
    • Up x 2
  15. DeadAlive99

    I support ads in every place where it doesn't interfere with the gameplay. Too many people are actually anti-advertisement....something to do with the new generation. They just don't like ads.

    Put them on the login screen, death screen, do that note pop up once in awhile, add it to the menu screens, etc. Get those signups rolling in so we can get some more bug fixes and feature improvements!
    • Up x 4
  16. BCKrogoth

    I actually kind of like this idea. I usually check the depot as my first order of business to see what's on sale anyway. Could give a boost to sales - example:

    I log in, see the skyguard is on sale. My thoughts "eh, I don't really need it, there's usually a lot of AA, so I'll save my SmedCash."
    30 minutes later my squad gets decimated by a murder of scythes. I remember the skyguard is on sale, flip to the depot, buy it, spec it out quick and pull my shiny new skyguard. Air pwnage is initiated and the day is saved.

    A simple example, but you get the picture.

    While I agree with you 100% on that front, think about after PS4 release. The cash flows from BOTH games will go into development of features for both versions. More cash = more features = more fun.
    • Up x 5
  17. DJPenguin

    Those of us who already put money into the game don't benefit from the increased awareness, though. And all it ends up doing is ticking us off. I do want to further support the game but these adverts and the gamebreaking bugs being unleashed after literally every update makes me lose confidence in further investments.
    • Up x 3
  18. MrJoske

    Good thing you pissed off that exact player-base as well with notifications... Make it so that sub don't get ANY annoying pop-ups.
    Still think that using the loading screen is a better non intrusive way of doing it (like you did to announce double xp weekend).

    Anyway thanks for the response and for temporary disabling it so we can actually enjoy double xp without getting pissed off.
    • Up x 3
  19. Wezdor

    Also, why not make actual in game adds? like the little screen things you see in bases, have them display the ads from the Depo so people see what is currently on sale, doesn't really bother anyone too much and people will look at it more when they are waiting for a base cap.
    • Up x 8
  20. Accuser

    And yet, as a Premium Member (with a 1 year subscription no less) I keep seeing these ads all over the game. I would understand dealing with a bunch of "buy stuff" spam if I'd put zero dollars into the game but come on.

    Also, very much this.
    • Up x 6