In order to monitor gaming activities and determine the effectiveness of their ads, companies use analysis software for their studies. This generates enthusiasm in some players by pushing publishers to continue their work.
For example, the Red Shell game software is embedded in over 50 games including Civilization VI and The Elder Scrolls Online. The idea is that tracking in-game activity can make for more effective advertising, this may be true but the growing backlash that is occurring is causing publishers to abandon their software.
Here’s Nathan Grayson, writing for Kotaku: According to Red Shell’s website, thanks to their software game companies can measure the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns based on information obtained from in-game tracking.”
Basically, it’s installed alongside games and tracks information about your devices (IP address, browser version number, operating system, etc.) to check how effective advertising is for a certain game. In compliance with the privacy rules, the company ensures that it does not collect personal information.
This doesn’t sound different from the kind of tracking that happens every time you use the web, and this kind of tracking has been standard in mobile gaming for a long time. But I understand the backlash, because it’s yet another place where we’re being watched, and it’s taking up system resources from performance-obsessed gamers.
It will be interesting to see how long the backlash lasts. In the short term The Elder Scrolls Online is dropping RedShell in a future update, as are a few other games. All the same, I bet software like this becomes standard in the next couple of years.