Midnight Club LA Videogame Festooned With Ads

I like in-game advertising about as much as I like dealer-pimping license plate holders and badges. In the same way I'm happy to advertise my car dealer if he's wiling to fork over some cash for my personal automotive real estate, I'm all for in-game ads if the electronic entertainment's free, or at least heavily discounted. But no. While Grand Theft Auto keeps it real (by keeping product placements unreal), Midnight Club LA reveals that Rockstar is a complete whore, ready to sell my eyeballs to corporate America and charge me full whack for the privilege. OK, the extra money [allegedly] helps the game's designers make a better product. And I don't have to buy Midnight Club LA if I don't want to. Yada X 3. But I'm pissed that I can't prise the ads from the videogame or swap it out for a revenue neutral version. And I figured you might want a heads-up that DUB, TIS Modular (Wheels), Pizza Hut, Zaxby's (more fast food), The Coffee Bean, Pioneer, Quiksilver and BVLGARI are all supporting Rockstar's unconscionable advocacy of anti-social behavior. And that's just in this clip. And yes, that last bit was a head fake. It's all in good fun! Until someone puts an e-eye out.

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  • Puppyknuckles Puppyknuckles on Aug 04, 2008

    Matthew Danda wrote: "No driving games have matched the perfection of the circa-2000 release of “Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed”." Absolutely, that was a great game. Much more a game than a simulator, like the entire Need for Speed series. The last EA game I would ever spend so much time playing. In the case of Midnight Club, I think Rockstar is using the right opportunity to use in-game advertising. The Midnight Club series use an "open-world" environment in which a realistic atmosphere is key to feeling immersed while cruising the streets, discovering races and other gameplay elements. For me, a realistic Los Angeles without realistic advertising would seem strange. Conversely, Rockstar did an amazing job with all the faux ads that you'll find in GTA IV, but the whole style of the game is based around that tongue-in-cheek humor. It probably costs a lot to hire writers, graphic designers, etc. to create compelling fake ads; maybe as much as to create real ones. It's when advertising shows up in a game where it doesn't belong, like on load screens for example, that it becomes annoying. It's a fine line, but I don't think Rockstar deserves to be singled out. At least they are still making great games with their money. (Looking at you, EA)

  • Alex Nigro Alex Nigro on Aug 04, 2008

    I would also like to take the time to say that Daytona USA 2 is the greatest racing game... no, the greatest GAME ever, period. If you see it in an arcade, try it and see why. I would also suggest that TTAC also do more articles on driving video games. The trademark snark could prove extremely useful when EA craps out another NFS game this fall. NFS ranks alongside Sonic the Hedgehog on the "game franchises that got run into the ground" scale. One more thing. The song in that trailer is called "Royal Gregory". The band name includes a four-letter word, so I'm not going to say it. It's on iTunes, though, so search for it there.

  • ZoomZoom ZoomZoom on Aug 04, 2008

    I can't imagine playing a driving game when I have a perfectly capable car in my garage!

  • Alex Nigro Alex Nigro on Aug 04, 2008

    ZoomZoom, there's the whole illegal part of street racing, and I have to ask if you have a Lamborghini in your garage...