My Beef with Valve Ads

I’m sure this has been expounded on time and time again, and that other people have re-iterated some or all of these points. However, I’d like to get them out of my system regardless.

I speak of everyone on the AlliedModders team when I say that we do not like the advertisements Valve is adding to Counter-Strike 1.6.

1. They’re intrusive and not realistic. In-game ads in other games have been known to fit into scenery well, or be more subliminal than annoying. This isn’t the case with Valve’s ads. For example, the massive advertisement in the de_dust2 CT spawn, which you’re forced to glare at when your POV is locked during freezetime.

The spectator advertisements don’t really matter, but the scoreboard one is ridiculous. The majority of screenshots for Counter-Strike are of the scoreboard, and the scoreboard is a very frequently used VGUI panel. Every scoreboard screenshot will have ads in it unless otherwise altered.

2. Users did not ask for ads. Many people bought Counter-Strike retail as opposed to downloading it for free. Now, they’ve got ads in a game they paid for, and they’re not getting anything value-added back.

3. Server owners have no control or compensation. Valve has continually told server owners they can’t put ads in-game. Now Valve has turned around, not only forced server operators to have their clients see ads, but the ads are not targetable nor do server owners receive any compensation for providing the arena for displaying said ads.

4. The community feels “betrayed.” Valve is usually very slow with updates. Features are randomly denied, products are delayed over and over (for example, EP2 and TF2), and update (and release!) quality itself is usually extremely poor. The notion here is that Valve doesn’t have time to address critical issues or feature requests, and are in fact bogged down with all these cool projects. However, they do in fact have time to negotiate potentially massively profitable, intrusive, in-game advertising that offers nothing back to the user; for a game that they no longer support or update, and which has been unchanged for years. For a game that was originally very much a community game (not owned by Valve), this is awful.

5. Admission of Source’s slow adoption. By putting advertisements into Counter-Strike 1.6, Valve is, at the very least, admitting that they are not concerned with Counter-Strike 1.6 anymore. As a corollary, it is a subtle admission that Source is not as popular as 1.6, despite how much they’ve pushed it. You can attach all sorts of conspiracy theories to this. Valve might be trying to milk CS 1.6 to kill it off, or they could be planning to put advertisements into all free mods (maybe even 3rd-party mods, if they found a way). Regardless, the motivation is highly suspect, when there are other ways to benefit the community. And with CS 1.6 not receiving updates, putting ads in Counter-Strike:Source would be a much less hated tactic than modifying an old, stable game.

That’s about all I can think of. As a conclusion, I think that the majority of Counter-Strike players will simply accept the change as they have with the other unliked or really bad additions (DWP, Tactical Shield, et cetera). It’s Valve’s product, and they can do what they want. However, this is one of the most disappointing lows Valve has reached over their short history. Their interests can definitively be pointed as not being with the community anymore, and there’s no telling what they’ll do next.

As a Counter-Strike enthusiast and developer since the beta periods, it’s disappointing to see how the game has been modified under Valve, and how Valve’s treatment of the community and its concerns has changed.

One Response to “My Beef with Valve Ads”

  1. wandering_raver says:

    Hey

    I completely agree. It is shameful the way
    that certain ways of thinking get in the way of
    people enjoying the very thing that they themselves
    contributed to, were a part of, built or simply enjoyed.

    And that some fat f*** somewhere who must have
    completely forgotten why they got into this industry
    in the first place, might use their financial force
    to take away, alter and otherwise vandalise something good.

    Would there not be a way of coding an ‘ad free’ ‘addition’
    to the executable- ;like a script of some kind?

    I’m still a newbie to all this, I’m not even certain how servers
    interact with the master server… although I’ve heard many negative
    views expressed about ‘steam’ from many sources for more than
    4 years!

    I am now in central asia and finding it difficult to log into
    a local game… not for want of them, but because it
    is unlikely that the cafe I use is using ‘original ware’
    therefore, I as a customer of the cafe, have to suffer because
    they [literally] cannot afford to work any differently…

    When did shooting stuff ever get so complicated??!

    regards

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