Street Fighter V, in a recent update, introduced sponsored advertisements during loading screens and in the background of stages, and character skins themselves. Of course, the move was controversial for a lot of people, who expressed disdain or criticized it. Capcom has recently responded to the feedback in a tweet.
— Street Fighter (@StreetFighter) December 17, 2018
Why are there ads in Street Fighter V though? Two major reasons. One being the Capcom Pro Series. Another reason, which is the more long-term reason, is extra-content. Street Fighter V is among the modern games that introduce in-game content that can be bought with real currency.
Microtransactions basically but, the Street Fighter ads, if watched by players, grant them in-game currency. Essentially, the ads are a bypass to paying more real money to unlock more content.
Sort of like how it works on websites, videos or even mobile games. Those who haven’t purchased or utilized a premium pass, have to watch sponsored ads to compensate. Since the developers of the product, they’re using needs to make money somehow.
However, these products that have used ads in the past are free to use. Examples being most mobile applications or Youtube videos. A major reason for the controversy associated with the Street Fighter V ads is the fact that the product isn’t free.
Street Fighter V is a Capcom published video game which is a full priced purchase. Yet it still runs ads. In Capcom’s defense, there are yet another couple of points.
The first point is that the ads CAN be turned off. Unlike free products where ads are a necessity unless you purchase them. Capcom has given the Street Fighter V ads a toggle option. Which players can turn off in the options menu, hence why a lot of the criticism can be seen as misplaced.
Another reason for why it’s justified that Street Fighter V can use ads is that it bypasses microtransactions. Microtransactions are one the most hated things by non-mobile gamers that pay for a full production of a video game. Only to be bombarded with more in-game costs.
While they deal with it in most games fairly well, some games like Battlefront 2 had a backlash for microtransactions that was so intense, EA had to remove them from the game.
So it’s safe to say that gamers really hate microtransactions. Therefore, if Capcom is giving them an option with sponsored ads instead of in-game payments, isn’t that a good alternative?
Again, it’s still controversial, given that a game already sells at full price. And developers should be able to profit from those sales alone, as well as DLC. But here’s a better perspective on why Sponsored content may be a better alternative to microtransactions.