Ars Follows Subway’s Money

There’s been a fair amount of press associated with the apparently illegal Subway ads that showed up in Valve software’s “Counter-Strike: Source” online videogame. If I recall correctly, I first heard about it over on Clickable Culture who now has an entry (Link) directing readers to an Ars Technica story on the affair (Link) (as do a number of sites actually – it’s excellent reading; comments included). Here’s one small clip from the report:

Though the description of the process is technically true in this case, Townsend’s words suggest that IGA technology has been included in the game itself with the cooperation of the developer. For Counter-Strike, the code was “included within the game” by means of a special mod developed by IGA that displayed ads at various places in particular maps—but it was never cleared with Valve, the game’s creator. Because Counter-Strike games are not hosted on a central server, individual server operators made the decision to include the advertising mod on their servers, and this is where the story grows a bit murky. Engage or IGA apparently recruited server operators to run the mod, though how this worked was unclear.

I point to that particular part because that’s not exactly the kind of mod I was thinking of when I previously posted something suggesting game modifications and total conversions were the way to go (Link). However, it really is the obvious thing to do if you’re an advertiser looking for a quick and easy way into the game (pun intended). This might hurt Subway’s PR (emphasis on “might”), but this has put both IGA and Engage firmly on the map.

2 thoughts on “Ars Follows Subway’s Money

  1. I love this quote:

    “Engage or IGA apparently recruited server operators to run the mod, though how this worked was unclear.”

    That has powerful implications for so many of us.

  2. That got a double-take out of me as well.

    (btw, thanks for posting on this thread. I’ve been wondering which post still had comments open and was attracting the spam!)

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