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The last thing anyone expected when booting up Street Fighter V was to be met with textured in-game ads appearing across the characters' bodies and in the background of certain stages. However, this is how Capcom is approaching the in-game monetization for the eSports-heavy fighting game.
VG 24/7 is reporting that the in-game ads have finally rolled out. Capcom previously announced that there would be in-game ads added to the game with the roll out of the latest patch. The ads only appear on certain costumes and only during certain parts of the game. For instance, when you select your character you'll see ads appear on certain areas of the characters, such as their legs, arms, or on belts -- or in the case of Guile, an ad replacing his iconic American flag tattoo.
Once inside the game, the ads are no longer visible, so you don't have to worry about being distracted with logos of certain sponsored products being plastered all over the characters in Street Fighter V. So that's a bit of a relief.
The ads, however, will also appear on some of the stages. In the background, for instance, the one Capcom tournament stage has a giant titantron and sponsored content appears on the back in the screen. Is it distracting? Well, it depends on how often you pay attention to the backgrounds.
Now, according to the article, the in-game ads only appear on the default costumes for the characters. The ads do not appear on the DLC costumes for the Street Fighter V characters, nor the alternate costumes.
And the ads only appear in three stages; all of the stages are the sports stages designed around the Capcom Pro Tour eSports events. The ads in those stages are no different than when Street Fighter is featured at EVO Championship Series and the EVO logos appear in the game.
Now you don't have to turn the ads on. You can actually go into the settings and turn the ads off. Yes, the in-game advertising is optional. There is, however, a benefit to keeping the ads on: you earn Fight Money.
The Fight Money is used to purchase new characters and costumes, and other add-ons, and by turning on the ads you'll earn around 12 Fight Money per match. Although, it should be noted that items like costume colors cost around 20,000 Fight Money, as noted by VG 24/7, so you'll have to play close to 1,700 matches before you have enough to buy a new color.
The ads only appear in the online multiplayer battles. So if you want to stockpile Fight Money in the game to purchase items from the cash shop, you won't be able to grind out free Fight Money through the ads in the single-player mode. You'll have to pay your dues against other players online.
The new feature has been seen as controversial within the fighting game community. Some believe it's a better way for Capcom to monetize Street Fighter V, others see it as a scummy cash-grab. Capcom has had difficulty moving copies of the game, especially in comparison to other top-selling fighters like Dragon Ball FighterZ and Injustice 2, but it doesn't seem like in-game ads will be popular enough to compensate for the sluggish sales.