A perfect example of this frustration came up early this month, when Sony was forced to pull in-game ads from its exclusive futuristic racing title "Wipeout HD." Gamers were outraged that the embedded video ads were lengthening load times during game play.
Sony move swiftly to curb the gamer ire, which was directed both at them as the publisher, and also at Double Fusion, which was serving the ads through their platform.
Given the amount of anger directed at the two companies, once might think players were waiting interminably for their games to load -- but the increase in load time totaled to about 9 seconds (to 19 seconds in all). One player posted a video illustrating the difference, garnering thousands of views.
While the difference might seem trivial, gamers are extremely wary of any sort of ad that disrupts the play experience, even in the most minor of ways.
But the bottom line is that in-game ads are here to stay. Few advertisers are going to pay a premium for a 9-second ad during a load time. My question for the veterans of this industry is this: Do you think players can be acclimated to longer load times to make room for these sorts of video ads? Or is making room for advertising in these environments, over the objections of the target audience, only asking for trouble?