We’ve all accepted that ads are a part of major sport games. I think for the most part we overlook their inclusion because in some way they’re a realistic depiction of actual sporting events and, for the most part, they’re left in the background of the game barely intruding on the actual experience of the game. Yet when they start cropping up right in front of your face in the middle of playing, then they’re just annoying and greedy from publishers looking to make some extra bucks. Such was the case with UFC 4 this weekend which in the spate of a couple hours managed to activate ads, make it to the front page of reddit, and then very quickly deactivate those same ads.
The problem with these nearly added adverts was that they didn’t really function as brand product-placement, they were genuine commercials popping up while you played the game. The clip on reddit shows an advert for Amazon’s The Boys TV series jumping onto the screen during a fight’s replay and that just feels… really scummy. Now, UFC games have often featured ads but once again those were either in-world or relegated to the occasional menu but having them inserted inside the fights themselves? That’s not a game anymore, that’s a tool for marketing.
One of EA’s community managers jumped into the fray and released a statement regarding the addition while also announcing that the system was being disabled. “It is abundantly clear from your feedback that integrating ads into the Replay and overlay experience is not welcome. 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,” reads the post.
It does seem highly questionable that the addition of overlay focused ads were added three weeks after launch and not mentioned in any official patch notes, almost like EA was trying to sneak it past reviewers. Now, that’s just conspiracy theory talk but, honestly, would anyone be surprised?
Last Updated: September 7, 2020