EA has removed long-form ads that appeared in UFC 4 after fan revolt.
Once again, EA has stepped in it. EA Sports UFC 4 released as a full price, AAA game last August, and then two weeks later the game’s publisher decided to turn on in-game advertising.
Reddit user Ydino posted a video that shows the ads in action. The most obvious (and ostentatious) full-page ads appear during the end-of-round replay section of UFC 4, with Amazon Prime letting everyone know that a new season of The Boys is available to stream.
And if those ads ruining the instant replays weren’t bad enough, smaller pop-up ads appear at the bottom of the screen during the actual gameplay. It’s basically the dystopian future of gaming that we all fear, and fans were having none of it.
The backlash on Reddit was swift and severe. Although most agreed this was “typical EA” behavior, others used far more colorful language to express their displeasure at the sometimes-villainous games publisher.
Many even speculated that the update which added in-game ads was pushed two weeks after the game’s initial release so that reviewers couldn’t comment on it.
But the outcry actually worked this time around. EA has since rolled back the in-game ads and issued an apology to fans for the trouble.
“It is abundantly clear from your feedback that integrating ads into the Replay and overlay experience is not welcome,” reads a statement published by Eurogamer. “The advertisements have been disabled by the team and we apologize for any disruption to gameplay that players may have experienced.
“We realize that this should have been communicated with players ahead of time and that’s on us. We want to make sure our players have the best possible experience playing EA Sports UFC 4, so ad integration in the Replay and overlay experience will not be reappearing in the future. Thank you for your continued feedback on EA Sports UFC 4.”
While the statement seems like a victory, the whole situation reeks. EA tried to get away with something they knew would be unpopular, they got called out for it, and then they walked it back with a token apology. There’s nothing in this statement that says they won’t try again next year–only that they’ll roll it back if the fans yell loudly enough.
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