While practically nothing has been revealed in regards to Blizzard's forthcoming follow-up to World of Warcraft, code-named Titan, some details here and there have popped up that suggest it is going to be a completely different experience than WoW. Among those details is the most recent, which suggests Titan will be supporting in-game ads.
This rumor comes by way of a job posting on Blizzard's site for someone who can work with brands to "facilitate product placement and licensing within the world of Blizzard Entertainment's next-gen MMO that enhances the gameplay experience." So, it might not necessarily be in-game ads of the sort gamers are used to nowadays, but there's definitely going to be some sort of advertising while gamers venture through the world of Titan.
Obviously, in order to achieve a certain level of financial stability, Blizzard is looking towards product placement to keep things running as long as World of Warcraft has. But even more interesting is the rumblings that these in-game ads could allow for Titan to be free-to-play. If in-game ads help generate revenue the old-fashioned way then perhaps Blizzard wouldn't need to charge a subscription fee.
Though that does sound highly unlikely, especially given the success of premium MMOs like WoW and Star Wars: The Old Republic, it definitely seems like a viable option given the plethora of free-to-play MMOs that exist.
But then there is the mention of the "enhancing the gameplay experience," which seems to suggest that these product placements will seamlessly blend with the world that's on display. Previously, Blizzard has always dealt in a rich fantasy world, but for products from today to feel natural, and enhance gameplay, maybe they are looking at developing an MMO that exists in a modern context. It does feel like a stretch, but that's really the only way for product placement not to feel forced — in a fantasy world it would seem completely out of place.
There's still plenty more to be revealed about Titan (if that is to be the official name), but the same could be said for many of Blizzard's other titles that are closer to release.
How would you like to see Blizzard incorporate in-game ads into Titan that would enhance the gameplay experience? Will Blizzard ever leave the fantasy milieu?