Street Fighter 5 Introduces Ads, People Don’t Like It

[UPDATE] Right on schedule, Capcom updated Street Fighter V’s Arcade Edition today with ads. The advertisements on stages, character outfits, and loading screens, are switched on by default, but you can toggle them off in the Battle Settings menu.

As you probably might have guessed, the Street Fighter subreddit is awash with criticism of the newly launched ads. People are suggesting it’s a slippery slope, and creating mock-up images that show things like sponsored headgear from McDonald’s and Mtn Dew skins. Some people are speculating that the introduction of ads in Street Fighter V is actually a test for launching a free-to-play version of the game. This is only speculation, of course, but it’ll be interesting to see if Capcom responds to the feedback around ads in Street Fighter V. Keep checking back for the latest.

The original story is below.

Capcom is trying something new on the business side for Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition. The publisher announced that the game is adding optional “sponsored content” on December 11, and it will come in the form of advertisements to tell you about the Capcom Pro Tour competitive gaming event, content bundles for the game, and extra costumes you can buy.

The ads will show up in “several locations” throughout the game, including loading screens, tournament stages, and even on characters themselves. Specifically, characters will now have a new “Ad Style” option that will display sponsored content on clothing or the character model itself. The ads on stages, meanwhile, will display sponsored content in clear sight. And the loading screen ads are exactly what they sound like; Capcom clarified that the loading screen with ads enabled won’t be longer than when they’re disabled.

An example of Capcom Pro Tour ads in Street Fighter V
An example of Capcom Pro Tour ads in Street Fighter V

The important thing here is that these ads are entirely optional. If you do decide to view the ads, you’ll be rewarded with extra Fight Money (the game’s currency) when you play Ranked and Casual matches. There is an upper limit on the Fight Money payouts, however, though Capcom did not say what it is.

Capcom’s blog post suggests that the sponsored content functionality is switch on by default. It can be toggled off in the Battle Settings menu. You can choose to only see ads where you want them, too; so you could choose to only see the costume ads or the stage and loading screen ads. Go to Capcom’s blog post to learn more.

As Gamasutra reminds us, advertisements in games is nothing new, but what’s notable here is that Street Fighter V is not a free-to-play game. Still, it is not unprecedented for full price games to feature ads. EA’s FIFA franchise displays well-known global brands on the sidelines. Additionally, back in 2008, Barack Obama’s campaign spent money to buy ads in 18 different video games, and he eventually went on to win the Presidency that year.

An example of more ads in Street Fighter V stages
An example of more ads in Street Fighter V stages

Most major video game publishers are looking at ways to make more money from games in new ways, and in-game advertising is just one of those ways, alongside microtransactions.

Ads in Street Fighter V launch on December 11, and it will interesting to see how players react. We also don’t know yet what other gaming or non-gaming brands might sign up to put ads in Street Fighter V. Another question some may be asking is if Capcom is adding ads to Street Fighter V to make up for how it failed to reach Capcom’s sales targets.

The game was originally released in 2016 for PS4 and PC, while the better-received Arc

Keep checking back with GameSpot for more.

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