Bad implementation of adware can be counterproductive.
Introducing the free version of Chara-Maker v3 a promising piece of software which, through the use of a freely available sprite sheet, makes creating simple characters easy. Only one character is present but they are animated through a large variety of actions and hair styles and all colour areas of the character can easily be customised. Coloured sprite sheets can then be exported or even saved as animated .gifs to make using them in your game pain free. All in all it is a very useful program. Until that is, you use it.
The program has two small advertising banners built into the main screen – fair enough. But every 3 minutes a Commission Junction affiliate link is launched in a IE window. The adverts don’t make the program totally unusable – but they do destroy the image of a high-quality product.
Nowhere can I find something listing the differences between the free version and the $16 one on the probably-soon-to-close PCGamesNow. So I assume that the only difference is the lack of ads – if so, $16 is a ridiculous figure. The ads certainly aren’t generating 16 dollars per user. As someone who is crap at spriting I would happily pay for the full version of this software if it contained additional features and was at a more reasonable price. The over-use of adware tainted my experience of Chara-Maker 3 and in combination with the high ad-free pricing means I will not be supporting this program.
See also: Going Commercial article for MarkUp 7 which takes a look at different ways game creators can earn money from their projects – including the benefits and disadvantages of using adware and an interview with Natso whose adware supported game was downloaded more than 24,000 times.