We’ve removed the ads from our game servers — here’s why

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By on April 30, 2013 at 3:14 pm

Recently, we took the step of implementing advertisements on some of our game servers in order to help cover the costs of providing you with Australia’s best gaming network. The response we received from you, our player base, was very clear: you did not like them at all.

We understand. Nobody likes advertisements, and we didn’t take the decision to implement them lightly — our number one priority was that having ads on our servers did not impact the user experience. After reviewing feedback, it became clear to us that these advertisements did not function as intended and were hurting your experience on our servers.

Today, we’re announcing that these advertisements have been pulled from all of our servers. Most of them have already gone, and others will soon follow suit.

Why did we remove the ads?

To put it simply, the application we were using to deliver the ads to you (Pinion) was buggy and not performing as intended. This resulted in poor performance of some game clients and therefore a negative experience for you as a player. Additionally, the 30-second lockout on some servers was adversely impacting gameplay, especially on our beloved Counter-Strike servers.

Ultimately though, it’s important to us that we value what our playerbase wants — and your response on this has been very clear.

Why am I still seeing Message of the Day ads for iiNet/Internode stuff?

We are running and will continue to run MOTD ads for our in-house products as a way of recouping costs. These ads will expand over the next few months, but the advertisements as you knew them are gone.

Will ads ever come back?

Never say never. We will confirm that we currently have no plan to reintroduce them in their previous form. But the costs of running a massive server network are real, and if we can find a way to cover some of those costs with server ads in a way that doesn’t make you want to hurl your computer out of the window in rage, then we’ll do that.

Please note that from time to time, some test servers may pop up with ads on them as we test new ways of delivering these to you. These will be clearly labelled as advertising servers so there won’t be any unpleasant surprises.

Why do you even run ads at all?

Unfortunately, there’s no two ways about it: running this massive server network across Australia costs a lot of money, and it’s important to try and cover the cost of that as we continually expand. In an ideal world we’d love to have completely ad-free servers, but until then we’ll have to keep doing what we can to provide the service you know and love.

But I already pay you money through my ISP fees!

We are currently looking into the possibility of implementing a system that will not display ads to users who are playing on iiNet group connections. This needs a lot of further development work before we can begin testing it, and it is NOT A GUARANTEE that we will ever be able to make it happen. But we hear what you are saying, and we think it’s worth looking into — so we’ll be doing that. Stay tuned for further updates on that front!

If you have any questions or concerns, please let us know! We’ve already rolled this out across most of our network, so let us know if you spot any errors by using the contact form and selecting ‘Report a problem with a game server’.

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21 comments (Leave your own)

Great to see you’re keeping on top of what players want.

Good chance to prompt people to whitelist games.on.net from adblock too though >.>

 

I think everyone can appreciate the need for MOTD ads, and will see them as a welcome replacement to the Pinion ones. A step in the right direction, good stuff :)

 

I don’t mind ads in games, the issue is making them much less noticeable than a 30 second lock out :)

Appreciate you guys taking on the feedback.

 
steve_rogers42

makena: Good chance to prompt people to whitelist games.on.net from adblock too though >.>

You could, but You might want to read this first…

 
charliebrownau

What users really enjoy ads ? Why do you guys think adblock for firefox is so popular.

Isnt some of the money from our iiNet and Internode plan going towards the server farm ?

Maybe you guys could block anyone not in Australia from accessing the servers instead of using another ad system to lower bandwidth cost.

Also if you could setup a ping filter so no one above 210 ping can join the server it would fix lag and overseas player

 

“We don’t want ads”….ISP fees go up….”Why have the fees gone up? I don’t understand”

ISPs (like most companies) are not charities. They’re there to make $$ for the shareholders. People sometimes forget that.

I’m not condoning it, hell no…however if it means watching an ad for 15 secs saves me $20/month…bring it on baby….

 
charliebrownau

Here is an idea maybe everytime a non internode or iinet ip connects. Say Bigpond Testra user for example you can advertise iiNet/Internode ISP package !

 

charliebrownau: Here is an idea maybe everytime a non internode or iinet ip connects. Say Bigpond Testra user for example you can advertise iiNet/Internode ISP package !

That’s brilliant. “You are now playing on Internode / iiNet hosted servers. Switch today to Australia’s most awarded ISP with blah blah best in class service for only $XX per month”

Then they’ll have to sign up to games.on.net to complain if they don’t like the ads =P

 

steve_rogers42,

Bit confused, he says do exactly what I said, whitelist your favourite websites.

 

I don’t get some ad placement (not being specific to games on net here in any way (just a little rant)).

Eg. YouTube ads that come up before you can watch something. Don’t they understand that makes me like their product less? How do they think this is a good idea?

Now that’s out of the way I am glad you decided to remove the ads for now.

 

makena,

I found an interesting point in the comments for that article.

The other challenge with blessing certain sites is all of the content is not sourced from that site and it would be a logistical nightmare to unravel that Gordian Knot. I have had malware delivered through the ad network on Dilbert.com and had my machine crash because of malformed flash ads. You reach a point where you get exhausted with the bullshit and you either resort to blockers or abandon the site.

I can’t link directly to comments there. However, it’s in the first comment by Madlyb when using the default sorting (10th from the top).

 

thepharoah:
ISPs (like most companies) are not charities. They’re there to make $$ for the shareholders. People sometimes forget that.

The whole reason I signed up with node (and many others) is because their attitude was directed towards quality for the end user. If I wanted to sign up to a company that cares more about the quality of the shareholder report then the service I should be receiving, I’d have gone with Telstra.
I pay for a service and I expect such service to be delivered.

 

We are currently looking into the possibility of implementing a system that will not display ads to users who are playing on iiNet group connections.

Speaking along these lines is there any updates to getting Xbox Live unmetered for Internode customers?

 

I miss Node, but community and support ever…. But having a 100mbps line is just too good to give up :/

 

kendrite,

The ratio of “potential customers who refuse to buy a product because of a youtube ad” and “people who become interested in a product because of a youtube ad” probably leans very strongly toward the latter category.

 

exe3,

Only stuff that can be hosted by Internode themselves is able to be unmetred, afaik. I doubt Microsoft would let anyone rehost their content.

 

hobomaster:
exe3,

Only stuff that can be hosted by Internode themselves is able to be unmetred, afaik. I doubt Microsoft would let anyone rehost their content.

Microsoft and Limelight had been delivering the traffic to iiNet in a specific way which would allow them to freezone it, it has changed and they are working to have it fixed.

“The last update is that we’ve provided what information we can to Microsoft and the Content Host and Microsoft were trying to arrange to have it delivered though our Freezone links.”

There’s a thread on whirlpool here – http://whrl.pl/RdyPdI

 

I’ve seen some websites actually distribute Viruses/Maleware via adverts. So guess what? Adblock stays on even if a website is trust worthy, besides, the only time I click on them is when it’s by accident.

That and… Internode was far smaller than the “iiBorg” group and they managed to run Games.on.net and it’s servers just fine, combining 3fl with Games.on.net should have brought with it more scale of economy, no?
Or is it the typical “shareholder” squeeze? :3

 

I think i shouldn’t have advertisements as a internode user and therefore my money does go to the servers as part of my sub. But I do believe non internode and friends isp users should have ad’s to help the cost of their use. A Filter would be good, we dont want to block non isp people since we want them to populate our servers for us to kill.

 
jerichosainte

matty: The whole reason I signed up with node (and many others) is because their attitude was directed towards quality for the end user. If I wanted to sign up to a company that cares more about the quality of the shareholder report then the service I should be receiving, I’d have gone with Telstra.I pay for a service and I expect such service to be delivered.

Exactly, the dollar starts with the consumer. The provider needs to deliver a quality service to the consumer to return a positive result for their shareholders.

 
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