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Destroyer of Wallets

Penny Arcade Report on ad-blocking, breasticles

Apr 18 // Niero Desu
[embed]251936:48205:0[/embed] A ghastly technical portrait of the online advertising ecosystem Replacing third-party flash ads for static ads media buyers have to self-load, self-serve, self-audit, and self-bill is like throwing a warehouse party in the middle of nowhere with no liquor. Nobody will come except your very few best friends, primarily because they feel bad that you're a gimp. The logistics of the business are mind-numbingly frustrating: The most annoying ad units we all hate perform the best, so buyers ask for those first. Third party javascript that bogs your system down is what keep the numbers honest -- its the auditing that helps count views, make sure ads aren't shown in 1x1 pixel hacks, or aren't resold and displayed on a different unsavory site. None of the above is pro-consumer. The speed of your browsing and whether or not an ad accidentally expands without your consent isn't exactly at the top of an advertising executives' conversations. I know this first-hand: I used to work as an ad agency for four years prior to starting Destructoid. I know the trenches too well. It is not realistic, without chopping staff, for most web content publishers to reject animated ads. Not many media buyers will take the time to produce static ads to load without javascript specifically for a site our size. May you also never learn the laziness of many corporate media buyers, quick to scribble contracts against Comscore numbers and hope they only have to write one check and reconcile one report. To be fair, I'm sure they have better things to do than buy tiny bits of polite advertising proven to be less-effective than rich media ads.  The real-world ad revenue split is lower than any online CPM calculator will tell you Kuchera mentions that $5 CPM is a starting point (that's dollars earned for every 1,000 ad views) but in my experience that number is much, much lower. Even a $5 CPM is the advertised price, that is not a $5 CPM earned to the web publisher. It is standard, when working with a company like Federated (which I have), that they take 50% commission. At a certain scale you can probably get a better term, but that $2.50 is the real jumping point unless you have ad sales in-house (in which case you're paying half to your ad sales team and then what remains goes to your creative team anyway).The other thing to take into account thats crucial is "fill rate". Nobody sells 100% of their inventory across all markets. That's very rare. Even if you sell 100% of our ads in the US most advertisers don't want to pay a $5 for ads being shown in Brazil where they can't ship product, so you end up not serving your true 1000 views. This is where third-party ad networks, ad quality control, and all that crazy javascript come in if you break even on bandwidth bills going out of the country.What is more likely is earning less than 0.50 CPM on international traffic, and depending on domestic fill rate and international performance you're praying for a take-home the "true blended CPM" which is closer to $1.25 from $5.00. Next, you'll be wishing that a AAA-domestic title will want to offset that with a $$$ ridiculous campaign when those games come around, and you better let them get a refund when your reviews editor shits on the game or (a) they'll never buy from you again (b) you let them influence your review and your site is a piece of garbage unworthy of existing. That's the business, in a nutshell.Now, divide all of the above by your ad-block rate and that's your take home, 60-120 days later, when the client pays the advertising agency who then pays you who are trying to feed your super awesome bloggers.On the bright side, surviving and rising up against this absurd level of adversity is incredibly satisfying if you can keep the lights on. Otherwise everyone would be blogging videogames for a living. It takes a crazy person, or an investment group who will sell your life's work to the highest bidder in a few years. TLDR: I miss old EGM. Ad-block rates may continue to soar, so we're marching ahead It's not the readers' problem that the business model I'm currently working on is on shaky ground. Still, sites like mine will inevitably have to move away from online advertising to some degree, and having an honest and transparent conversation is in my mind respectful of the readers. The opposite of that is waking up one morning to find out that 1UP was inexplicably sold three times then shut down, which makes me want to chew foil.  It's refreshing that more publishers are coming forward to talk about this concept of sustainability. Whether its ads, hat sales, venture capital, letting eFax buy you, or whatever -- we're just trying to keep our videogames sites online, because we love our damn jobs.  A writer in the games journalism group pointed to Gruber's SXSW talk, citing a famous quote by Walt Disney: “We don’t make movies to make money; we make money to make more movies.” That's the thing. You could argue that Disney is a little different these days but there's a lesson there too -- don't die (or sell your company) to defend your manifestos.   My role at Destructoid is changing again. I'm scouting new ideas, crowdsourcing I was your first blogger, then webmaster, then publisher to a host of this crazy cast of Associate Editors and Contributors. Now a hopeful CEO looking for ways to navigate us away from dumb ideas like pay-walling content and steer us into better waters, like crowd-funding the production of stuff we can't afford under the boiler that is advertising. For starters, would you like to see more Holmes, Jim, Dale, Conrad, Hamza, Allistair, Spencer and others on camera? As their publisher I'm their #1 fan, so I sure would, and it's on me to figure out how. Look for shiny new changes you've voted on around here this summer when you'll soon get your chance to become the new boss of us. A more intimate Destructoid, perhaps. The NPR radio host chuckled at my solution: "That sounds like more work." Truth of the matter is, if I don't come out of this by soon offering readers a plan for a better Destructoid then I don't deserve my job or a penny from them. Please don't pity my position; the challenge to rise above this and see it through is incredibly fulfilling because I care about it so much. Surviving the Ad-Blocker battle peacefully with those who will forever use them has become a fantastic real-time strategy game. We're going to work damn hard for our pylons. [Header photo credit: Ad Week. Also, cute animal photos rank as the next best thing to breast traffic.]
Ad-blocking photo
More gaming sites are speaking up about the elephant in the browser
[Minor update: I moved my CPM real-world stats from the comments to the post so that its more visible] Whether you're an aspiring writer, an established games critic, or a hopeful webmaster building your first gaming site it ...

Greatest Link figure ever photo
Greatest Link figure ever

This is the greatest Link figurine of all time

You will sell a kidney to own Real Action Heroes Link
Mar 19
// Tony Ponce
That Link figma by Max Factory which went on sale last year? It is now garbage. Find the closest waste receptacle and chuck that sh*t in there with extreme prejudice. That Link on Epona statue by First 4 Figures? It doesn't e...

Who wants to buy every Japanese GBA game ever?

795 games for $5800
Dec 01
// Tony Ponce
There is something very awe-inspiring about seeing every game for a particular platform in one place, like looking out an airplane window while flying over a major city and feeling like a god who could reshape the land with b...

Tons of Mega Man music albums en route, no game in sight

No, Xover doesn't count
Oct 13
// Tony Ponce
You would think with the deluge of Mega Man merchandise in recent months that the franchise was celebrating some kind of anniversary or whatever. Bandai is poised to release Classic Mega Man in its D-Arts figurine line, an ex...

I must be nuts to want to buy the Rockcan OST collection

Aug 23
// Tony Ponce
This will be the third time we discuss this Mega Man soundtrack collection. There must be something wrong with me, because I already own pretty much all the music available in this collection. And by "own," I mean physically ...

Extra fancy: rare PowerFest 94 SNES cart sells for $12K

Jul 18
// Tony Ponce
[Header by Calvin Wong] Look, I've collected my fair share of uncommon videogames and trinkets. As someone who has parted with upwards of $300 on a single purchase, I understand the desire, the thrill of getting your hands on...

This massive Mega Man OST collection will be my undoing

Jun 21
// Tony Ponce
Ffffffuuu... there goes any chance of ever being financially secure again! God dammit, Capcom! It might have slipped your mind, what with Capcom trying its best to cancel any project with the Mega Man name attached, but this ...

Bloggers Wanted: Hype

May 14
// Aerox
[When we're looking for blogs on a specific topic, we'll put out a Bloggers Wanted call. Check out the blog prompt, write your own response in the Community Blogs and...

Metal Gear Ray figure looks great, even naked

Apr 28
// Tony Ponce
I wrote about those Portal 2 figurines earlier today, but I completely passed over this spectacular number that was included in the threeA photo batch as well. Remember that amazing Metal Gear Rex figure from a while back? Wh...

Metal Gear Rex figure will send you to the poor house

Nov 12
// Tony Ponce
Metal Gear Solid fans who want their own little bipedal robot tank to terrorize the bookshelf ought to look forward to threeA Toys's impressive model of Metal Gear Rex from the PS1 classic. The photos below show an unpainted ...

Once Upon a Pixel Season 1 DVD now on sale

Mar 27
// Jonathan Holmes
Once Upon a Pixel is my favorite gaming related video series on the internet. Unlike most shows about games and gamers, Once Upon a Pixel never goes for the cheap laugh or the unwarranted misappropriation of the source materi...

Dtoid server maintenance tonight

Feb 24
// Niero Desu
Why are you even reading this?  Go play Minecraft - I'll be doing some server maintenance tonight.  Your offbeat caffeine-powered comments are welcome during this dark time.   In other news, go play with the new Dtoid Forum skins (selectable at the bottom of the page).  They're purdy.  

Dtoid (the show) week 4 recap: I think my butt get big

Nov 08
// Jonathan Holmes
Last week was insane, especially yesterday. The Destructoid (the show) was pretty nuts as well. We started giving away a bunch of rare Super Meat Boy, Super Mario, and Bit.Trip stuff, we reviewed Kinect and its launch games, ...

PlayStation-branded junk is in our future

Jul 27
// Conrad Zimmerman
Sony has now launched an initiative they're calling the "PlayStation Logo Licensing Program." This means that you'll start seeing the PlayStation logo slapped across all manner of what the company is referring to as "lifestyl...

Atlus makes mad bank, Sony kicks themselves harder

Mar 16
// Josh Tolentino
Hey, remember last night, when Jim told us about Sony regretting not publishing Demon's Souls themselves? Well, they can cry some more, because Atlus has been reporting rather grand gains of late. Over the first half of this ...

All-white Sengoku Basara/Devil Kings Revoltechs available

Jan 23
// Joseph Leray
Perhaps in anticipation of the (upcoming?) release of Samurai Basara: Samurai Heroes, for the PlayStation 3 and, oddly enough the Wii, or Battle Heroes, a PSP game in the same vein, Kaiyodo is producing a Power Shop set of Re...

Look!: the Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker PSP bundle

Jan 21
// Joseph Leray
Yesterday, as the new issue of Weekly Famitsu hit Japanese news stands, details about two upcoming Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker PSP bundles began to leak out. Sony is selling a Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker Premium Package...

Rock Band DLC: Phoenix and a live Tom Petty track pack

Jan 16
// Joseph Leray
Another week, another bunch of Rock Band DLC. If had any ideals, I'd refuse to post about DLC since it's obviously just a ploy by the Man to squeeze you for your precious banana dollars; but, apparently, this game is popular...

So baller: Professor Layton Revoltech coming in March

Jan 15
// Joseph Leray
Ok, let's be perfectly honest here: this Professor Layton Revoltech figure is on-fire hot. If I had a saltier lexicon, one surely unbefitting of a gentleman like Professor Layton, I'd say it was sh*thot. At the very least, I ...

Desert Bus marathon raises over $132,000 for charity

Nov 30
// Jordan Devore
Isn't it crazy how a minigame from an unreleased Sega CD title has been so crucial in helping to raise money for charity? Don't get me wrong -- most of the credit goes to LoadingReadyRun, the group who uses said minigame for ...

E3 09: Bit.Trip interview with Gaijin games part two

Jun 15 // Jonathan Holmes
 Also-  E3 09: Bit.Trip interview with Gaijin Games part one E3 09: Gaming orgy of the damned caught on camera E3 09: Tatsunoko Vs Capcom video interview  E3 09: High Voltage interview part two: Gladiator A.D.   E3 09: High Voltage interview part one: The Grinder  E3 09: PS3/360 video recap part two- The final countdown E3 09: PS3/360 video recap part one (with PSP bonus levels) E3 09: Bona fide booth babes touching my face video recap  E3 09: Wii-cavalcade video recap  E3 09: Napoleon Dynamite and the Stay Puft taint video recap E3 09: Me and E3 video recap  

In this, the second of a three part series, we delve deep into what it takes to program the Bit.Trip games, the research behind the design of Commander Video (the series' main character) and how Bit.Trip Core's bosses will di...


Reasons why I am in lust with the special edition of Atlus' upcoming RPG Devil Summoner: Raidou Kuzunoha vs. King Abbadon:1. The game is set in Japan in the 1920s2. The game is going to be freaking incredible3. It comes with ...


Are pinball machines about to become extinct?

Nov 07
// Chad Concelmo
Let us all lower our heads. This is a very dark day. Rumor has it Stern Pinball, Inc., one of the last pinball makers left in the world (if not the only one), has laid off a handful of workers and several designers -- a move ...

Destructoid Discusses! The digital bargain bin and virtual shelf space

Sep 21
// Joseph Leray
If you pay attention, you'll notice that, for better or worse, the games industry is changing right in front of our eyes. While companies are getting bought up, shut down, and merged, publishers are desperately trying to find...

I would burn down a convent for this scrap metal Big Daddy sculpture

Aug 08
// Joseph Leray
I love BioShock. You love BioShock. Whether it's on the PS3 or the Xbox 360, we all love BioShock. The artists over at Metal Park seem to be aware of this, and they're making it really hard to not spend the hundreds of dollar...

 The backstory: Destructoid turned two (or twenty), so we're putting babies in people in Cancun next week to celebrate and this year we wanted to fly Destructoid's biggest fanboy and a friend to join us. So who should th...

Destructoid Contest: Win a one-of-a-kind $4,999 Turning Point pc!

Mar 07 // Niero Desu
ICON Exotix – Custom SOF artwork w/ bulletholes ICON Standard Solid Silverstone 1000Watt Strider - Modular EVGA nVidia nForce 680I - SLI Intel Core 2 Duo E6850 3.0GHz Zalman CNPS7000B-ALCU LED 2GB Corsair Dominator 6400C4 2x nVidia GeForce 8800GT 512MB Creative Labs X-Fi Raid 0 - Requires 2 Identical Drives Seagate 500GB 16MB Cache SATA 2 Seagate 500GB 16MB Cache SATA 2 Lite-On 20X DVD+-RW W/Lightscribe Mitsumi Flash Media & Floppy Drive Windows Vista Home Premium - 32 Bit Logitech G-15 Gaming Keyboard Logitech MX-518 Gaming-Grade Opt. Mouse Viewsonic 22" - 1680x1050 Logitech X-240 2.1 Falcon Northwest T-Shirt (LG)Legal blah blahNo purchase necessary. Sponsor will only ship to North America and Canada. Obviously, we hate leaving our overseas friends out of all these contests so here's what we'll do: If you are overseas and win this we'll ship it to you as long as you agree to pay taxes and shipping on it, or we'll forfeit to another random contestant. Fair enough? Cool. Prize is valued at $4,999.99 and not a penny more (tax reasons, don't ask). Cheaters: Your IP address is logged so don't make duplicate accounts and photograph your aunt's ugly computer or post random systems from the internet or we will EAT YOUR FACE.  Have fun and good luck!

Destructoid 2 year anniversary madness continues! As we countdown 730 days of blogging in the good name of the robot we're running a couple of contests you won't want to miss: You have the chance to win a Playstation 3 with G...


DualShock 3 comes to US April 15th

Feb 26
// Colette Bennett
If the rising cost of living makes you grumpy, be prepared to stroke your beard and complain (or if you don't have one, get working on growing it out.) The Playstation DualShock 3 controller finally has a US release date of A...

Attention children in Texas: Please note a change to Destructoid's usage policy

Feb 18 // Niero Desu
Destructoid would also like to inform you that the likelihood of coming face to face anus-dwelling ice-cream selling rapists increases by 1400% when creating an account. These are very sick individuals and should be reported to the authorities upon medical removal from your sphincter. In the event that someone has already found their way inside your anus in the last two years and have been living in there without food or water, please bend over and ask their full legal names so that our attorneys can correctly address the welfare checks that your attorney general is so dutifully collecting on their behalf. We'll save him the trouble and shove them straight up your ass!  WHAT YOU CAN DO  Like I said, you should probably start stretching for the epic ass-pounding surely about to come your way any minute. Quick, unplug the computer and hide under your bed and wait for the attorney general's signal and pray, child! Pray hard! While you're down there bless the Cowboys, bless the oil industry that powers our vehicles towards the game retail centers, and write your congressman a letter about putting Dallas back on prime time TV. EXISTING MEMBERS Please observe the change in policy and note that Destructoid is now a site published strictly for the use of adult humans and teenage mountain goats with parental permission.  By using this site you consent to suffer suffer carpel-tunnel syndrome, declining grades, bad breath, an unhealthy affinity for pizza rolls, and a sharp disposition about what's really going in the video game industry. You might also spontaneously burst into flames.IT'S NOT TOO LATE TO REPENTSo heed my warning: unless you're ready to face FULL LIFE CONSEQUENCES, do not create an account on Destructoid. Or just ask your parents and make sure it's cool. They can contact me, your humble webmaster (whom is neither a pedophile, colon spelunker, or rapist ... yet), if they have any questions. Seriously though, there's some dark adult humor on this site. If they're not careful you're going to end up sounding like me and scare the shit out of your English teacher and aunties.   Also, eat your fucking vitamins before I also get sued for your Niacin deficiency.  

In light of recent litigation that has been brought to my attention, I felt that it is my role as the webmaster of this video game site to announce the following change in user policy for the safety of those impressionable mi...


Sony wakes up and smells the coffee, and we're one step closer to Nirvana

Nov 19
It has been said that necessity is the mother of all invention, and for all intended purposes that ranks as one of the truest phrases that you'll likely ever encounter. The remarkable thing about it all is that it has a tende...

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