In what will either be seen as an innovative piece of in-game monetization or a cynical cash cow that will inconvenience gamers, it has emerged that upcoming PC MMO shooter APB will feature ads played over the in-game voice chat channels.
In addition to the standard subscription and flexible playtime payments and the chance to buy in-game currency, the game’s registration page also allows users to sign up for the ‘VOIP Premium’ service that “removes adverts from APB's in-game voice chat for 30, 90 or 180 days” for a fee.
Upon further investigation, Massively has discovered that those who do not pay the fee will hear ads played in their headset.
The spots shouldn’t be too intrusive, however, as they will only play when users are entering a new district and have not heard an ad for the past three hours.
The game’s developer Realtime Worlds admitted in May that it hasn’t yet given up hope of porting the game onto consoles. It was estimated in February that APB has cost in the region of $50m to develop – a sum that would make it one of the ten most expensive games ever produced.
APB is due out on PC this Friday, July 2nd.