Animal Crossing: The Argument For Microtransactions

This piece was made in response to Pretty Good Gaming’s video on the new Animal Crossing. 

After it’s initial announcement in April 2016 and almost a year of delays, Nintendo has belatedly announced what is hopefully the final launch-window for their mobile Animal Crossing game.

Unlike what some believe to be its exorbitantly priced counterpart, Super Mario Run, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is coming to mobile devices, by the end of November, at no upfront cost to players.

Animal Crossing once caused an uproar for gating players by simply forcing them to wait; in New Leaf, if you wanted Cyrus to customize your furniture you’d have to wait 42 [real time] hours for it to be completed. Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp adds a frictionless way for impatient players to expedite the customization of their furniture while paying for the development of the application and its updates. Unlike other games, which have to mold game mechanics with microtransactions in mind, Animal Crossing took an organic gameplay feature and decided to monetize it.

Now some might not see the difference between this and other microtransactions. In free to play MMOs like Dauntless the money you pay, as part of a “Founders Pack” exponentially increases the loot you get from monsters, letting you spend more time in the city and less time repetitively battling the same bosses.  (Dauntless has removed microtransactions from their game and is considering a normal pay-to-play, one-time purchase model.) In Animal Crossing you’re having a timer removed: both give you the ability to make time inconsequential. But my argument is that the developers were not forced by their higher-ups to alter a major mechanic of the game just to institute a transaction – it was a part of the gameplay that has been integral since the beginning of the franchise – and they finally gave gamers an option to make that process frictionless; something that many impatient people would have been paying since’s Animal Crossing’s inception if given the opportunity.

This is the way that in-game purchases should be implemented. A company should make you want to throw money at them because you’re enjoying their game so much, and not make you feel like you need to pay them, out of fear that you’re missing out on portions of a game you’ve already paid for. There should be no badgering or constant reminders that other people are spending money on things that you don’t have, and gamers should not be pressured by subtle or overt signs that there is more content behind a paywall.

Those arguing the game should be like Nintendo’s Super Mario Run, should know that Nintendo felt it was a disappointment, with Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima saying that revenue “did not meet our expectations.” And that although, a month after its launch 90 million users had downloaded the game, only 3% of them purchased it. In the time Nintendo’s pay-to-play game earned $30 million in gross revenue, Pokemon Go’s free to play with in-app purchase model had earned Niantic $200 million. As someone who’d prefer to pay for an app one time than be nickeled and dimed to access its best features, I never thought I’d be arguing for in-app purchases. But after taking a look at the numbers, I can’t think of a studio that’s come up with a better compromise.

@WASDmeta

This is part one (and a draft) of a series I’m writing about consumerism in video games; both their price and the value they hold for us. 

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Why the Scorpio Alone Won’t Save Xbox

The launch of Scorpio was an attempt to regain [both mind and] market share. After months of people comparing resolutions and FPS of the launch-PS4 and Xbox One, Microsoft decided they needed to do something. With whispers of a PS4.5, they knew if they wanted to even walk into the shadow of PS4’s sales numbers they’d need to come out with better tech. And if the spec rumors are true, they will do just that this fall.

Unfortunately, for both Microsoft and the consumer, their engineering feat alone will not drive people to turn on their consoles. If Microsoft’s business team does not make deals with developers for second or third party exclusives, it doesn’t matter how good the games look on an Xbox One. Tech specs don’t matter if you don’t have beautiful games to showcase them.

Things were looking up for Microsoft when they announced their Universal Windows Platform (UMP) system. Players could now play a selection of games they’d purchased on the Xbox Live store on their Windows 10 PC. At first glance, it sounds like an amazing value proposition, finally you could buy your games in one place and play them across multiple devices, unfortunately for all involved, it was a great idea – that was only half-baked.

The problem that Microsoft created for themselves with the UWP system was: even with the release of the Scorpio Microsoft could no longer say that a game was “exclusively on Xbox.” Gamers have no reason to spend that much on a system, with the power equivalent to a Nvidia 7xx GPU, when their computer’s hardware made that GPU obsolete years ago. Players now had no explicit reason to buy an Xbox aside from brand loyalty and the fact that they might have friends on the same system.

But I did not write this piece to simply rain on Microsoft’s parade. They now have the strongest console on the market, and they’ve positioned themselves in a place of strength, they now need to take advantage of that position.

Despite PC’s becoming the ultimate powerhouses, some still find it a stretch to achieve 4K on two individual lenses on a VR device. If out of the box the Xbox Scorpio can provide players with a VR opportunity that they can’t get on their PC or their Playstation 4 (regular or Pro) they may have a winner on their hands. Now, Xbox CEO Phil Spencer has already said that the Xbox “Scorpio” will offer a VR experience, although he hasn’t delved into whether that will be software or hardware driven. He’s also brought up that he does not want Scorpio exclusives, and that he dislikes the “closed” ecosystem of the VR hardware developers, both of these comments – together in the same interview – gave me one idea, and that’s that with the strongest console platform on the market, having the ability to offer gaming experiences on both Windows and Xbox – Microsoft would win E3 in one swift movement if they provided consumers with a machine that lets them experience VR regardless of the platform. At this point,  people are investing in VR sets in a way reminiscent of the war between Betamax and VHS; people didn’t know where to put their money on such a split market. If Microsoft gives people, of all VR camps, with a platform that they can use, despite who comes out on top 5 years from now, they’d have won more than E3, they’d have created a tectonic shift in the industry.

If you haven’t purchased an Xbox yet, what would Microsoft have to announce at E3 to win you over? And if watching this after E3: did any of their announcements excite, surprise, or – even for a moment – make you want to consider purchasing either of their consoles?

tl;dr
– Creating the strongest dedicated gaming machine on the market was an attempt to regain mind (and by proxy) market share. 

– Unfortunately, for old and new Xbox owners alike, the graphic fidelity of your games is irrelevant if you only use the console to watch Netflix. 
– Xbox CEO promised the console will be VR compatible and would not have “Scorpio exclusive” games – locking out Legacy Xbox One owners from new titles. 
– To regain the position in the industry they held last console generation, Microsoft would have to call armistice in the VR war by allowing the Scorpio to run any V game, as if it were platform agnostic. 

 

@WASDmeta

Does Zelda’s Paid DLC Betray Iwata’s Promise? [DRAFT]

One of the many staples of Nintendo, when compared to the other “big three” was its insistence on being a provider of offline systems. They never really suffered for this decision, because they knew their audience. With children and families being their primary market, at least in the West, parents didn’t mind that their kids didn’t have access to other people on the internet – and why becomes clear the second you get on voice chat with either a Playstation or an Xbox. With no need for online play, and in a time where post-release patches weren’t possible with the console’s current infrastructure, Nintendo had no pressure to be online. But as consoles became more broadly connected to the internet, and kids sought to play with their friends sans voice chat, Nintendo had to adapt.

Skip ahead a few years. Nintendo, with their first fully Internet-capable device in hand, was suddenly bombarded with questions as to whether they would conform to the new Paid DLC paradigm. Having to answer not only to inquiring customers and game journalists but, Nintendo’s shareholders, Nintendo President and CEO Satoru Iwata finally opened up.

In a Third Quarter Conference call (2012) Iwata explained “we cannot, and should not, ask our consumers to embrace the situation where they are required to make excessive payments. Doing such things might be good for short-term profit, but it will not serve our mid-term and long-term business developments.” He then went on to say, in an interview with Kotaku that they would not be a company that released an unfinished game to later add the completed content in DLC. That “when the player has exhausted what’s in an existing piece of software when there are no more challenges, and there is nothing more they can do…” then that is when Nintendo can offer up something, simply as further motivation to come back and enjoy the game world they loved so much. Satoru Iwata was clear that only AFTER a game was entirely complete, would they even consider adding something to their game. Adding, again, that they as a company would never “create a full game and then say, ‘let’s hold this back for DLC.'”

Almost a year after that 2012 conference call with investors Fire Emblem: Awakening was released, and six months after that it was the first Nintendo game to ever have Paid DLC. It was a move that Nintendo made tactfully and with full cognizance of what they were doing. Nintendo knows what they’re good at, and one of the leading things being their first party offerings. No one could claim that their first party franchises sold consoles as well as Nintendo’s did, and Nintendo knew their audience well enough to surmise that they could sell them nostalgia in a bottle. (Un)fortunately, nothing evoked those feelings and the memories that came with them like playing the character all over again as if for the first time.

By selling characters (along with other things) as DLC President Iwata was not going against his own words, and Nintendo continued with that legacy well after his passing. But some might say that that legacy ended yesterday; well this is what all of my pontificating has led up to.

Both the press release and the linked video, by Eiji Aonuma, have one central theme: them guaranteeing the DLC was created solely to add more activities to an incredibly expansive world. With players quickly engaging with and finishing, the central quests in this new playground, they wanted to give players more things to do. And they made sure to reiterate it to get the point across. The first paragraph of the press release reads:

While the main game offers players an engrossing quest that will keep them entertained for hours, as well as the freedom to explore the vast Hyrule at their own pace, the game world provides a rich canvas that offers the opportunity for additional adventures. As a result, the first-ever downloadable content for the main-line Legend of Zelda series is in development…

The second and consequential paragraph goes on to talk about the things that will be included in the DLC. They then finish off the press release by jumping back to the topic of the first paragraph: punctuating the claim “rich canvas + additional content” with Nintendo developer Eiji Aonuma saying:

The world of Hyrule, which we created for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, is so large and vibrant that we wanted to offer more for players to experience within it…With this new Expansion Pass, we hope that fans will play, explore and enjoy the game even more.

With two people vehemently telling us the same thing, its hard to ascertain if what they’re trying to communicate is sincere. Its as if this DLC was something they genuinely wanted to do, while also showing continued respect towards the late President and CEO Satoru Iwata. It just so happens that they did it in a way that seemed more awkward than a genuine assurance.

When reading the press release again, through the eyes of an excited Zelda fan, I finally saw what the true fans did. When you are excited about a new release, whether or not you have to spend money is – at the moment – besides the point, you are happy there is more of the game to be played, you want to know what’s so special about it and why it’s worth your $20. But as I read with that feeling of excitement it was instantly apparent that the tone of the press release did not match the level of energy I was experiencing. A game that I’ve always enjoyed playing, that I regret to see the credits roll – has just announced that their game will not only be bigger than any game before it, but they’re expanding it even further. But the two gentlemen making the announcement are speaking to me as if they’re reading the weather. There is no excitement in their voice; there is no flare in the presentation. THM (can I use your full name?) said it was as if they’d just come up with the idea, and were presenting it for their shareholders, and not their fans.

The second paragraph of the press release lists the things in the Expansion Pass as if it’s the outline of a paper that you’ve yet to do the research for. The information is there, but it’s stripped bare bones, there is no emotion or not hint at what it might be. A company has decided to tell me that I should pay $20 extra before I can even get my hands on the initial game, but they have yet to say why I should spend that money, or why I should be interested. I am not saying that the ones announcing this Expansion Pass should be cheerleaders, but if one is going to persuade me to spend my money, they can at least try and convince me it’s going to be a worthwhile experience.

tl;dr
– Iwata said they would never be the company that chose not to complete a game upon shipping simply so they could later release the finished product as downloadable content ‘DLC.’ 
– Tuesday’s announcement had many fans upset that Nintendo had strayed far from one of their tenets and was suddenly reaching into EA’s textbook and borrowing a lesson or two on “milking your audience for max cash.”
– By selling the characters as DLC instead of narrative content, they’ve managed to keep their principles along the lines of Iwata’s promise.
– Said they were only adding additional content to an already huge game. “The world is so large and vibrant that we wanted to offer more for players to experience within it… we hope fans will play, explore, and enjoy even more.”
Audience’s response to the press release: The announcement lacked any and all emotion, interest in the announcement itself, or any pertinent information about the Expansion Pass other than the date and the dollar amount. “Were they trying to pitch it to their players, or their shareholders?”

screenshot_20170214-132043

Satoru Iwata on Paid DLC referenced Stephen Totilo @ Kotaku’s piece Nintendo Chief: Mario Is Part Of Gamers’ DNA

I also owe a thank you to hamptonthemonkey for aiding me with some fact checking and Rocky1138 for reminding me why I have a few more grammar classes to take before they hand me my degree.


UPDATE: On last week’s episode of IGN’s Nintendo Podcast Nintendo’s Senior Product Marketing Manager Bill Trinen weighed in on the public’s response to the announced Zelda DLC:

It was tough, because we actually had a lot of debate in terms of do we announce it, how do we announce it. I think one of the things that’s unique about the way Nintendo develops games is when we’re working on a game, and certainly just knowing the history of Nintendo games, you guys know that it’s essentially we use every last minute to make the game as good as we possibly can, and really what that means is that the dev team was working on the main game, finished the main game, and as they’re starting to get to the very end and wrap it up, really they said, ‘You know we’ve made this massive world of Hyrule, we’ve spent a long time building it. It would be a waste to just make one game and have that be it.’ We want people to be able to enjoy exploring this world, and so they started thinking about, ‘Well, if we were going to do DLC, what would we do, how would we do it?’ And you can see that in the fact that it’s not… the DLC is not launching the day after the game or the week after. It’s coming out several months later in the form of the first pack and then several months after that in the form of the second pack. And that’s because the content is in development.

And so I think from my perspective, obviously if we were able to share more details, that would have been easier, but I think if you look to the example of something like a Mario Kart-type of a DLC approach, really what the goal is is let’s give people the option to purchase it when they’re at the store buying the game and give them something to look forward to, and kind of let them know there’s more to come in this world. And if you’re a Zelda fan buying Nintendo Switch at launch and really you’re buying it for Zelda, I mean how happy are you to know that hey, I’m going to be able to play more Zelda in this world again later this year.

 

@WASDmeta

How Will “News” of a Nintendo Switch Hardware Update Affect Its Launch Day Sales?

When asked about the length of the Nintendo Switch’s life cycle when speaking to Time in an interview last week Shinya Takahashi, Nintendo’s General Manager of their Software Planning & Development Division said that they might “switch it up” with the Switch. Before expanding,

Certainly, we’ve designed Nintendo Switch in a way that it can be used by consumers in the way that best suits them. I think we may see that people who have bought a Nintendo home console in the past traditionally, they may treat Switch like a home console and buy it and use it for a long period of time.

Whereas people who have been traditionally Nintendo handheld gamers, they may buy Nintendo Switch and then for example, if a new version were to come out later, then maybe they would decide to upgrade to that. Or, for example, because you can take the Joy-Con off the system, then I guess that leaves open the possibility of something else that might get attached. There’s obviously a lot of different developments that we could look at from that perspective as well.

Although not explicitly saying anything, the Deputy GM of their Planning department is insinuating something. Nintendo has never been one to go for the latest and greatest tech, and with this newest announcement it was clear that they wanted to get it out of the door with the current generation chip it rather than wait for something like a customized Tegra X1, projected to come out within the next quarter. With what some people may see as the Nintendo Switch’s “modularity,” it is not beyond imagination that the screen itself could be replaced with one containing a more powerful chipset. Or, although it would tie them down as a home console, they could turn their dock into an eGPU with a desktop sized graphics card powerful enough to push their tech up to modern gaming standards.


For a company that holds things so close to the vest, I was astonished that someone in such a high position would ‘leak’ something of this magnitude. It might not seem like a big deal initially, but once you consider that companies usually stay silent following a console release and don’t utter a word about a “slim” variant until at least a year and a half has passed – this interview seems groundbreaking. 

This announcement is comparable to Sony telling their customers, before they release the Playstation 5, that they’re going to shrink it down 16 months later and sell it to them again for $100 less. Yes, this is a beneficial snafu for the consumer, and people knowledgeable about its project cycle might have seen it coming even without this remark, but with so many seemingly harmless questions customers want to be answered, why decide to respond to this one? What was gained out of revealing potential development plans; conceivably putting the sales of its initial release at risk?  Now anyone on the fence about purchasing it on release date might roll the dice and wait – albeit for a day that might never come – for this “upgraded version.” potentially costing Nintendo in the long run. 

How Valve Saved Steam From Its Crisis of Confidence

Valve created Steam Greenlight as a way for developers to present their product to the world in the easiest way possible. Indie (independent) developers, with usually low budgets, would pay a $100 “hosting” fee and then can share screenshots, videos, and snippets of their game for people to vote on. Valve’s algorithms along with the gaming public’s voting choices allowed some great studios to come to prominence and some excellent games were produced.  But at the same time Valve realized their system was under manipulation, and the outcry of defunct backings burned brighter on shopper’s minds than the praises of the good ones.  If a game met Valve’s application requirements the developer would post their game on the site, players would vote for it, or not, and eventually, it would be seen by one of Valve’s ten curators.  If the project was “Greenlit” the game would show up on Valve’s store, Steam, and players would be able to buy it.

With Steam Direct Valve is hoping to streamline this process. Steam Greenlight was Valve’s way of publishing through democracy, but with over 12 million concurrent players a day, it is impossible for Valve’s ten person team to vet all the games that have been voted on. With Steam Direct Valve would collect a litany of information:

We will ask new developers to complete a set of digital paperwork, personal or company verification, and tax documents similar to the process of applying for a bank account.

in order to verify they’re a real business before proceeding any further. Then devs or studios would pay a fee, which has yet to be decided upon, for each game they wanted to post to Steam. With that fee being recoupable once sales were made.

Valve wants to make sure Steam’s shoppers are not only happy with the products they’re offered but are secure about their purchase decision before they hit that “Purchase” button, and I think Steam Direct is the best way to do this.

Steam Direct’s initial screening process, requiring tax and business documentation would make it more difficult for anyone with nefarious plans to steal the backer’s money or promote a product that does not deliver what it promises. The cash up front / fee is just another layer of consumer protection. Yes, it would be harder for game developers to enter the pipeline, but that’s the point. Genuine developers and studios, with the knowledge that their game is real and will be completed, are assured they will get their money back when the game sells – and the store is not inundated with scam artists or people that never intend to finish their game as promised.

It puts both parties at ease by creating a place in which customers and producers feel confident that the store will publish only quality products and people’s time and money will not be taken. Devs will no longer be worried that no one will invest in them because they or the dev next door might be illegitimate. Or be concerned about having to fight past half-finished and poorly made games so people can easily find them. Customers will no longer have to go through the tedium of looking through thousands of games on Greenlight to vote on, wondering which games will ever see the light of day and which ones carry malware.

This might not be Valve’s final iteration of their indie digital distribution platform, but each step they take provides developers better opportunities to shine and gets us closer to that final platform. With VR on the horizon, Valve has a massive opportunity to disrupt the digital media space. And by keeping consumer confidence high and continuing to aid the growth of up-and-coming developers, they’re only positioning themselves to succeed.

tl;dr
– After a couple of missteps and five years of rollercoaster success, Steam Greenlight has been put to rest.
– Pointed to the nearly unregulated volume of submissions, a sub-optimized submission process, and customer dissatisfaction as key factors.
– Wanted to create a more secure connection between the two parties, making it easier for studios to publish directly, and a streamlined shopping experience for gamers.
– In Spring 2017 Steam Direct will replace Greenlight, implement a quicker but more thorough screening process for devs, and provide the gamers with a shopping environment that is easier to navigate.
– With these new changes, Steam is cutting dead weight and cleaning up the process of self-publishing. Let’s see how it turns out. 

Why Nintendo’s New Marketing Tactic Works 

The YouTube comment section on any video that mentions the Nintendo Wii U is filled with confusion and a litany of questions, but it wasn’t until I got a job at GameStop that I realized how badly Nintendo communicated the function of their new device to their customers. Kids knew they wanted it, but didn’t know how to explain to their parents what is was; only die-hard Nintendo fans that watched their “Nintendo Direct” press conferences understood the concept. The question I was greeted with the most was “How much does the Wii U cost?” with parent’s hands outstretched as if they were holding an invisible Etch A Sketch. Parents wanted the new tablet that synced with their Wii at home so their kids could play their games on the go. The most informed question I had was if they could buy an additional Wii U tablet [for the Wii U they already owned] because they knew their kids would end up fighting over who got to use the tablet and who was stuck with a regular controller.

The 2014-2015 release of the New Nintendo 3DS was evidence that Nintendo had not learned from their previous mistakes. Why anyone in Nintendo America’s marketing department thought adding the qualifier “new” to the name of ANY item is beyond me. “New” signifies nothing aside from the recent introduction or creation of something, it does not communicate to the buyer that it is a console upgrade – an entirely different system with additional processing power and access to a wider variety of games. People had no idea that the games made for this system would not work with the “Nintendo 3DS” and that the two were not interchangeable.

Kids asking for the “New Nintendo 3DS” would return to GameStop after Christmas with disappointment and disbelief strewn across their faces; all ultimately expressing the same thing: they’d asked for the New Nintendo 3DS, and as they unwrapped their present they were greeted with the old one. Because, when walking into a store parents didn’t know that “New” was part of the device’s title, so they left it off – returning home with a device that was released over 4 years prior. Even looking up the two devices on Google gives you the same results unless “Nintendo” is inserted between New and 3DS. If the world’s most prominent search engine can’t tell the difference unless you use the exact wording, how should they expect parents to?

With the Switch, it seems like Nintendo learned their lesson. Before it was even announced, Nintendo’s new device codenamed “NX”  was widely rumored as a console that could be used both at home on your couch and standalone away from a television. Speculated as a hybrid between the 3DS and the Wii U, news outlets and gamers had more than an implication of what the system would be. And this time, when Nintendo was ready to unveil their project, they used no words. Their initial trailer showed adults playing their system at home on their couches before picking it up and going outside. It showed them using the device on the train and in a park, even one woman toting it to a rooftop party before returning home, docking the device and continuing gameplay on her television. Without uttering a word, their cleared up any confusion and instantly provided their consumer base with the information they needed to understand that the Nintendo Switch was a brand new device with before unseen capabilities.

Who they hired to make this change, I don’t know – but it was worth the risk. Nintendo might be slipping into a niche market, but that should come as a result of the market, not due to their own missteps. Hopefully, this will keep them in the mainstream for a bit longer.

tldr; After Nintendo’s history of using confusing nomenclature to market their devices, they may have finally learned from their mistakes – welcome: the Nintendo Switch. 

RE: The Death of Advertising

What do companies do when their primary revenue stream, advertising, is interrupted by users’ desire to use adblocking software?
Are we unintentionally bringing about the end of a free internet and if we are, what other revenue streams are likely to replace traditional ads?

These were the questions I had sitting in a post at the top of my drafts for the last four days after watching a lecture by Scott Galloway, a professor of marketing and founder of L2

Last week’s Redcode Media podcast featured Joe Marchese, who became Fox Network Group’s (FMG) President of Advanced Advertising Products after FMG purchased his “engagement advertising” company in 2014. Known for making provocative statements about the future of the industry, Marchese was invited onto the podcast to provide further insight on his unusual views regarding the use of adblocking software and the disruption it creates in his industry.

Marchese surprised the host of the podcast, Peter Kafka, by repeatedly playing devil’s advocate and arguing for both sides. As president of FMG, the umbrella that houses 20th Century Fox, he’s cognizant of the fact that their business model does not live or die by the consumption of advertisements. The majority of their profit is through the production and airing of television shows and movies, unlike Google and Facebook where more than 90% of their revenue comes from ads. He can tell when consumers are using ad block software and decide whether or not he wants to give them access to the content but if Google or Facebook asked people whether or not they wanted to view ads, they would see an immediate decline in their profits. Some content providers make it so that an ad has to be watched at least partially before the show begins, while others allow it to be skipped entirely. While the most controlling companies believe that if they’re not gaining revenue from the consumer, the consumer should have no access to the content they came to see – telling them unless Adblock is disabled they will be unable to see the content. FMG can and has done that in the past, with episodes of Family Guy being unable to watch unless you whitelisted them in your Adblock settings.

Maybe Marchese’s view is this way because the eradication of ads would not heavily affect his company’s income, but Marchese feels that consumers should be given the decision. Pay for the content with their time by being forced to watch the advertisement or, come to an agreement on how else to pay for their entertainment. He believes for the future of advertising to work producers and consumers are going to have to work together to figure it out. Some companies are already turning to subscriptions. Hulu is trying something new by offering an ad-free experience alongside their regularly priced subscription plan. For $12 viewers can choose whether or not they want to see ads on their shows. That leaves it up to the customer to decide whether an ad free experience is worth $4 extra to them or not. (And at the time of this posting, the majority of viewers have decided that on Hulu an ad free experience is not worth their $4 and have stuck with the standard $8 plan.) In this case, viewers would rather pay with their time than their money.

This is only my first semester as a public relations / marketing student, so I will not even begin to make predictions, but I think Marchese is correct when he says that advertising has to become a compromise. People will avoid websites entirely if they can find their content ad-free somewhere else and companies will have to decide how important those viewers are to them. The question is, what are some of the alternatives? Should we resort to the old tried and true method of quiet product placement? An Apple computer in the corner of an office sitcom? Staffers on Scandal using Windows Surface Tablets as they walk through the halls instead of brandless tablets or laptops? Maybe Coke will have their products placed in your favorite VR game or layered over your coffee table in AR.

What are some of the options you think are available and how readily do you think companies will adjust to this changing field? Which companies will fall behind and which one will realize that consumers are no longer paying attention and decide to pivot to a new marketing device?

A lot of pontificating but I will do a rewrite once I learn more about this transforming / “transformative”  industry. 

tldr; Fox Network Group’s new president of advertising believes companies and content producers will have to work with customers and consumers to decide how, if not through advertising, the content they ingest will be paid for.