May 16, 2022

EA removes in-game ads following fan backlash

Oh EA. First the loot boxes in Star Wars Battlefront 2 and now we’ve got in-game ads in UFC 4. Will you ever learn?

Uncovered during a replay in the newly released UFC 4, the clip quickly went viral on Reddit.

The video in question shows a full-screen advert for the Amazon Prime series: The Boys, appearing at the start and end of a replay, plus a banner and canvas advert during actual gameplay.

Whilst adverts in free to play games are nothing new, this is a first for adverts appearing in a full-priced game.

It’s a bit of a slap to the face for players, who have forked out £50+ to have their gaming experience interrupted by the ads. Especially since the ads were not featured in review copies of the game.

Fans after EA announce they’ll withdraw the ads

Prompting a huge, and frankly expected backlash from fans, EA quickly pulled the ads from the gaming, stating that:

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. 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.

Let’s just hope EA have learnt their lesson and won’t try it again. But if other publishers pick up on the idea of in-game ads, could this start a worrying trend?

UFC 4 is out now (Ad free!) on PS4 and Xbox One

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