A Sony Computer Entertainment patent application has been discovered for interrupting gameplay to display advertisements.
Recently a user at the NeoGAF forums spotted this patent filed in July 2011.
The patent explains that a warning message could be displayed to the player before suspending gameplay, displaying an advertisement, and then “rewinding” a portion of the game before resuming.
An excerpt from the patent application uses the example: “Best Brand Soda! You’ve got to try it!”
This method could be a way for Sony to fund free-to-play games on PlayStation platforms such as DC Universe Online or Dust 514.
A patent doesn’t always get used, this may just be Sony’s step in covering all their bases for what is becoming an increasingly chaotic patent war.
Advertising in video games doesn’t have to be intrusive. There are better avenues for product placement in online games, from virtual billboards, TVs and loading screens.
Is this an acceptable way for advertising to find itself into games? What alternatives seem reasonable in todays market? Let us know in the comments below.