Opting Out of the Ad Game?

Recently I stumbled upon a feature on my iPhone that I found to be quite interesting:

Limit Ad Tracking on the iPhone

This feature that’s hidden deep in the iPhone’s “Settings” tab allows you to view exactly what information Apple is collecting from you in order to personalise your ads, in addition to giving you the option of turning off ad tracking on your phone all together!

So, by following the ‘View Ad Information’ button I arrived at this page:

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On this page I could see a whole bunch of information which represented the data that Apple had collected about me based on things I’ve searched for, looked at and the Apps I’m using. These were things to do with my interests, hobbies, sports teams, news channels, date of birth, location, gender and I’m sure so much more that I didn’t quite understand.

Now for most people, this would be quite horrifying to learn that their phone is recording all their activity, but the reasoning behind it is quite innocent, and actually exists to make our lives just that little bit better.

Companies like Apple and Google have been utilising these highly complicated ad tracking systems in order to provide its users with a more personalised and relevant experience. This assures that when you run into ads online while browsing, that they are somewhat relevant to you and your interests.

In this way, its really a mutual benefit for both the consumer and businesses. Businesses don’t have to waste precious resources advertising to the wrong people with zero interest in their brand, and consumers don’t have to waste their time looking at ads for things that aren’t relevant to their lives.

 

What are your thoughts on this feature to turn off ad tracking? Will you be opting out or do you not mind being given personalised and relevant ads?

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[Paid DLC] An Industry Destroyer?

I don’t know how many of you consider yourself gamers, but if you do, then the term DLC might trigger annoy you just as much as it annoys me.

For those non-gamers, DLC or ‘Downloadable Content’ is summarized pretty well in the following picture:

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How DLC Was Born – Dorkly

However, DLC is not a new concept. It stretches back as far as the early 2000’s, where dedicated gaming consoles were fairly new. DLC was made possible here by the introduction of internet connectivity.

With the internet, game developers could now update their game online and add, fix or remove content as they pleased. Here’s where the first signs of DLC could be seen in the form of story-extensions, new maps, new characters, cosmetic changes and so on.

In this early era of gaming, DLC was great. It was cheap (or completely free), it was new, it was good quality and it was really cheap.

Later, the wider integration of internet connectivity onto all gaming devices meant rapid changes for the gaming industry. Games were higher quality, they took longer to create and there was stiffer competition. As the industry continued to grow, prices only naturally went up.

But gamers were still happy to pay for DLC. They still got to play a full game, and had the option of paying a little extra for some more content.

But then it got serious!

Some game developers realised that it was totally unfair for them to have to release a FULL game and then have to work on DLC as well. So why not just make a game, split it into small segments, and release it gradually as paid DLC? Its less work and more profitable in the long run.

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DLC Then and Now

So that’s the approach that a number of large, successful game developers started taking. Developers make 1 game, split it a number of times, and release keep on releasing it with more paid extras.

Marketing changed as well. From, “what you see is what you get” to “what you see is still mostly 6 months and 3 $20 installments away”. Games were no longer released with the promise of quality and excitement, but instead with the promise of DLC to come soon.

Of course, this isn’t to say that the entire industry is doomed and every developer is guilty of this, but the rise of “DLC/Coming-Soon Marketing” has caused some serious backlash among gamers worldwide.

So what are your thoughts on DLC Marketing? Have you ever purchased DLC for a game and regretted it?