Report: Obama Ads in Burnout Paradise

October 9, 2008 -

We've only gotten one report of this, which seems a bit odd, but an Xbox Live gamer who goes by Dragunov765 has posted photos of what appear to be in-game ads for Barack Obama.

Dragunov (we know his real name, too) says he came across the ads while playing Burnout Paradise earlier this week and posted them on his Rooster Teeth journal page. We were tipped to the pix by a GP reader who vouches for the guy. In turn we contacted Dragonuv, who commented on the ads:

Here's the photos I took while playing Burnout: Paradise on the XBox 360.  I don't know how often they rotate the in-game advertising, but I imagine they are still up.

 

I gotta give [Obama] credit for covering all the bases.  I also think this is an interesting endorsement for adults as gamers (or maybe he's planting the seeds for a re-election bid in 4 years...)
 

The ads mention that early voting has begun and reference voteforchange.com. That site says that it is "Paid for by Obama for America" and helps voters find early voting locations in states that permit the practice (which has indeed begun).

EA reps did not respond to several attempts by GamePolitics to verify the ads.

GP: Bottom line? If the ad pix are Photoshopped, ya got me, Dragonuv. But I don't think they are. Dragonuv is no kid and my gut tells me he's on the level. 

And in any case, why couldn't - why shouldn't - a candidate make use of in-game ads? After all, it's the new, new thing, and Obama has been courting the youth vote all along.

The concept of in-game political ads does raise some issues, however. Does the campaign get to choose the games in which their ads appear? We have to think they do. Having one's campaign ad appear in GTA IV, for example, might hand an opposing candidate an opportunity to sling mud. 


Comments

Re: Report: Obama Ads in Burnout Paradise

Im gonna comment on this in retrospect past politics. Now ya know the radio they have advertising for the  canidates a lot, same with the TV. Now we have ads for our canidates in video games. Give us 8 or 12 years and well see them all over the place in gaming(i can imagine Halo with elites holding up signs lol)  . On the other hand, video game bring a whole lot more of interactivity so i understand why it may be creepy. Either way im still voting for mccain. from shobidoo

Shobidoo, the hardcore gamer

Re: Report: Obama Ads in Burnout Paradise

Re: Report: Obama Ads in Burnout Paradise

When asked if he would be willing to do the same, McCain simply replied, "What is an Xbox?"

Re: Report: Obama Ads in Burnout Paradise

So, under the so called "Fairness" Doctrine, don't they have to make sure McCain gets equal rotation?

~~All Knowledge is Worth Having~~

~~All Knowledge is Worth Having~~

Re: Report: Obama Ads in Burnout Paradise

We're going to get lots of in-game ads. That is not likely to change, because it's practically free money. With that in mind, the Burnout ads are well done as they mimic real billboards in an urban environment. The only reason it stands out and breaks us from the game is that we're not quite used to seeing them yet.

Re: Report: Obama Ads in Burnout Paradise

Actually, I'd be more than happy to have ads in video games if they don't interrupt the flow of the actual game or disrupt gameplay and they lower the cost of the games since they should be making a small fortune off of putting ads in their games. It'd be nice if they took some of the burden off of the fans, but I doubt that'll happen.

Re: Report: Obama Ads in Burnout Paradise

I find this ad... creepy. I don't think it's just me though.

Re: Report: Obama Ads in Burnout Paradise

Thanks for taking an interest in it.  I can understand your skepticism (especially since they changed out all the billboards again in the game) and I appreciate your candor on its validity being suspect.  The best answer I can give you is that I'm not that good with Photoshop and I'm too lazy to commit any time to a political campaign.

The photos were taken Oct. 6th, 2008 in my living room with an Olympus 550UZ.  The .jpg images should still be tagged with all the camera data (shutter speed, ISO-whatever, etc).  I downsized them because Photobucket won't handle any images over 1Mb and I generally shoot in super HQ (ends up around 2.1-2.4Mb per photo).  Beyond reducing the file size for posting to the internet, no other adjustments were made to the images.  I would have taken more, but I didn't even have the memory stick in there because I'd just completed downloading some other photos and hadn't put it back in.

The funny thing is that I had already played through 97% of the game months ago and it was collecting dust on the shelf.  I had only tossed it in because we just bought the new TV and one of my daughter's friends wanted to see the motorcycles in action.  We'd been buzzing around the city in various vehicles at high speed for about half an hour before I happened to crash right in front of one of the billboards (Burnout's in-game camera induces vertigo if you try to manipulate it so you normally have to get a car airborne before you can actually read any of the signs close up).  It was a genuine "WTF?" moment. 

Personally, I figure that EA put the billboards in there specifically for this purpose - anyone who has the money is welcome to buy the ad space...just like in the real world (which the game is supposed to emulate).  Considering the cost of game development, why wouldn't a company work to bring in some extra cash?

On Obama's side, it's getting a lot of bang for his buck because there is no way he could have put up that many billboards across the country in such a short amount of time.

Granted, I'm still not voting for him (or McCain, for that matter), but I'm forced to respect the attempt.

Re: Report: Obama Ads in Burnout Paradise

Oh man, they finally put the motocycles in?  Time to get this back off the shelf....

Re: Report: Obama Ads in Burnout Paradise

Hey, Mr. D - bottom line is, you're a believable guy! I never would have posted the story if I thought otherwise.

Well done!

 

Re: Report: Obama Ads in Burnout Paradise

Political ads in video games, do not want!  Actually any ads in video games, do not want!

Re: Report: Obama Ads in Burnout Paradise

I think it's creepy to have political ads in a game- politics is a more sensitive subject than the discounts on Wendy's and Subway's sandwiches. Aside from that, I don't mind the in-game advertisements in Burnout Paradise because Criterion has been raising the bar for free downloadable content in console gaming. The latest update was basically an expansion pack for the game.

Re: Report: Obama Ads in Burnout Paradise

Fucking ads...I am so fucking tired of this encroachment.

First we have ads in between shows. Not so bad, it gives a person the chance to take a piss or get something to eat.

Then we have comercial interuptions. Still not too bad, and it does allow for the mid show cliff-hanger...

NOW we have pop up comercials DURING the fucking show, combined with all the other shit, and NOW we are getting ads in our videogames...soon there'll be advertisements during every loading screen! Imagine playing HALO, and all of a sudden there's a fucking ad for Enzyte or some shit!

This madness must stop!

-Remember kids, personal responsibility is for losers!

Reality/////////////////////////////////////Fantasy. Seems like a pretty thick line to me...

Re: Report: Obama Ads in Burnout Paradise

I'm a little creeped out by advertisements in games, especially as the cost of games themselves have not been offset in the slightest bit.  That said, if there are going to be ads in games, may as well be political ones, too.

I was going to say that I don't want to be FORCED to watch ads (like in a pre-loader), but that's a statement that is as true of regular ads as it is of political ones.

Re: Report: Obama Ads in Burnout Paradise

Well more fans for Obama. Well he is handing the economic crisis quite well. He is performing well under the pressure. Great determination.

Re: Report: Obama Ads in Burnout Paradise

 Well the only problem with political ads is that they become dated very quickly. In one month the obama ad in burnout would be completely pointless as the ad will no longer have anything to advertise. The ads are only useful for as long as the election is going on; and by the time the next election comes around the game with the original ad will probably be dead.

Ads for stuff like coca cola, pepsi, beer and all that other stuff however will be around for years... as such the ads will always have something they can push and sell us. 

Re: Report: Obama Ads in Burnout Paradise

The in-game advertising "feature" in Burnout Paradise isn't permanent.  They rotate sponsors in and out according to however much ad space is purchased.  When I went back to play it today all of the billboards had shifted to Burger King ads...

Re: Report: Obama Ads in Burnout Paradise

Well, that's one way to reach out to the youth vote.

"Can We Burnout? YES WE CAN!" 

 
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IanCWhat Andrew Wilson said. PSN is the same when you make a purchase over a certain price (£5 in the UK)09/23/2014 - 2:02pm
Andrew EisenNeither eShop charges sales tax either. At least in California.09/23/2014 - 2:00pm
Andrew EisenBoth Wii U and 3DS eShops allow you to add funds in the exact amount of whatever's in your shopping cart. If your game is $39.99, you can add exactly $39.99.09/23/2014 - 1:57pm
Infophile@Matthew Wilson: As I understand it, any regulations to force tax online would also set up an easy database for these stores to use, minimizing overhead.09/23/2014 - 1:30pm
MonteReally, the eshop just does next to nothing to make buying digitally advantagous for the customer. Its nice to have the game on my 3DS, but i can get more for less buying a physical copy at retail. And that's not even counting buying used09/23/2014 - 1:18pm
MonteIanC, The Eshop wallet system only lets you add funds in set denominations and the tax makes sure you no longer have round numbers so you ALWAYS loose money. A $39.99 game for instance requires you to add $50 instead of just $4009/23/2014 - 1:13pm
Matthew Wilsonbut thats just it those sites, even the small ones, sell all over the country.09/23/2014 - 11:12am
Neenekoeither that or it would follow the car model of today. big ticket items are taxed according to your residence, not where you buy them.09/23/2014 - 11:07am
NeenekoI doubt it would be the retailer that handles the tax in the first place. If it goes through it would probably be folded in as a service on the processor end or via 'turbotax' style applications.09/23/2014 - 11:05am
Matthew Wilsonsimple there are over 10k tax areas in the us for sales tax. it would be impossible for small online retailers to handle that.09/23/2014 - 10:55am
IanCWhats wrong with charging tax in an online shop?09/23/2014 - 10:47am
E. Zachary KnightI don't see why it would be that difficult to maintain one. Especially for a news outlet with multiple people on the payroll.09/23/2014 - 9:37am
Matthew Wilsonthey can, but will they? more inportantly will the traditional sites be willing to do the extra work to maintain the list?09/23/2014 - 9:02am
E. Zachary KnightSo how will it reduce the power of the traditional games press? They can create curated stores too.09/23/2014 - 8:39am
Matthew WilsonI think its a good thing, but it does mean traditional games press will have less power than ever before. To be fair most of the gaming press were never big on pc gaming anyways.09/23/2014 - 8:33am
E. Zachary KnightMatthew, is that a bad or good thing?09/23/2014 - 7:43am
MechaTama31When you say "youtuber", I picture some sort of customizable potato...09/22/2014 - 10:48pm
Matthew Wilsonthis change will only give youtubers more power.09/22/2014 - 9:54pm
prh99Steam has added a curator system. You can follow your favorites and see their recommendations http://store.steampowered.com/curators/09/22/2014 - 9:07pm
MaskedPixelantePlus there's the whole "we don't use accounts" thing that means if you lose your 3DS and have to get a new one, you have to deal with Nintendo customer service to get your downloads back instead of, you know, logging in and downloading them.09/22/2014 - 8:39pm
 

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