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Paid Advertising Arrives In The Sims 3 | Live Nation Sims 3 Merchandise

Updated on July 16, 2010
harbingers of doom
harbingers of doom

Paid ads in The Sims 3. Now here's a concept that makes me waver between throwing up a little in my mouth or throwing up a little over my keyboard. It's a tough decision, and I'll let you know when I've come to a conclusion. What's important here is that The Sims 3 now allows you to buy branded content for your sims, and when I say buy branded content for your sims, I mean that you now get to pay money in order for your sims to wear t-shirts and have posters on their wall of your 'favorite' bands and musicians.

So far favorite bands and musicians include KISS, Lil Wayne, Ozzy Osbourne and Shakira.

The End Is Nigh. (That's not a band, that's a premonition of doom for this franchise.)

Do I have a problem with branded content? No. Not particularly. If brands want to sponsor content in The Sims 3 and players want to use the content, thereby exposing themselves to constant advertising, then fine.

However that's not what EA is doing. What they're doing is slapping a simple graphic into the game, calling it a poster, and doing the same to a couple of meshes and then actually having the temerity to charge the user for the 'product'.

When it was announced that EA was thinking about putting ads in game, people were disgusted. After all, we pay for the game and we shouldn't see advertising in a product we already paid for. If EA wants to make The Sims 3 and its future expansion packs free and support it by shoving advertising in our faces, then more power to them, but what they're doing instead is having their cake and eating it too. They want us not only to buy the base game, expansion packs, stuff packs and store content, but they also want us to pay to be advertised to as well.

Insanity. Pure insanity. Especially when one considers that these ridiculous in game advertisements actually cost more per piece than valid content. For 300 sim points (that's about USD $3.00) you get the aforementioned three items, which consist of a single graphic pasted onto three existing meshes. You can buy a whole sim toilet for 75 sim points, and the sim toilet is actually useful on some level.

Will people buy this stuff? One can only hope not. If this works as an enterprise then I will be forced to admit that as a species, we are not as advanced as I previously thought. What's the point of launching petitions hundreds of pages in length against in game advertising if we willingly pay real money for it?

I know that EA is trying to draw some parallel between real world merchandise as purchased by fans and in game merchandise as purchased by fan players, but to me, paranoid gamer lady, it bodes ill for The Sims 3 franchise because it's not really merchandise at all. It's advertising, it's the invasion of our personal, paid for game space by corporates who want to manipulate us into spending money elsewhere.

EA is doing its damnedest to double, triple and quadruple dip. They're not content with selling us a game and making it good, they want to sell us music, merchandise, products too.

I have but one question for EA. When will the bleeding end?

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