Money makes the world go ’round, even if that world happens to be a virtual one like EA’s much talked about new SimCity. And nothing brings the dollar dollar bills rolling in like advertising, which is why we’re completely unsurprised that the first bit of free downloadable content (known as DLC) offered up for SimCity boils down to an ad.
Players can now download a Nissan Leaf charging station for their city’s electric car drivers, notes PCGamer, and while it’s totally free for players, mayors will perhaps take a ding to the old pride for plopping an ad down in their cities.
So why an electric charging station? Over on an EA game forum a community manager explains:
“The charging station will be a new destination in player’s cities where their Sims will drive their Nissan Leaf cars in order to recharge them. Once they leave, the Sims will find themselves happier. Plopping down the station will add happiness to nearby buildings. It will not take power, water, or workers away from your city. Zoom in to the streets of cities, and players will start seeing a percentage of their Sims from all wealth classes driving the electric vehicles. The station produces no garbage or sewage, as well, making it pollution free.”
Sticking ads in video games is nothing new — way back in 2010 Madden NFL 2011 unveiled an entirely new statistical point named after Old Spice, the “swagger” stat. Shoehorning in ads might be a bit less offensive than just blasting them up on the screen but ads are always going to be ads.
One might think, however, after all the bad press EA got over SimCity, it might’ve offered up some bit of free DLC that wasn’t an ad to give back to all those disgruntled customers. One might think that, and one might be wrong. As long as there are products to be advertised, there will be video games ready to welcome them with open arms and virtual electric cars in need of charging.
Don’t forget — as if you could! — that EA is in Worst Company In America Quarterfinals, so keep an eye out for your chance to vote today.