EA disables in-game advertisements in UFC 4 following fan backlash

Humza

Posts: 711   +159
Staff member
What just happened? EA's money-grabbing tactics are no secret in the gaming industry, but the company sank to new lows recently after it decided to display full-screen ads during 'Replay' moments in the latest Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC 4) game. What made it worse was that EA decided to show these ads a month after the title's release, by which point many players had bought the $60 game based on initial impressions and reviews. Soon after complaints flooded the internet, EA apologized over the situation and has since removed the ads from the game.

EA seems to have figured out that putting full-on commercials in the middle of a $60 video game doesn't sit well with gamers. While licensing agreements with major sports brands like FIFA, Madden, and NBA have forced gamers to accept whatever comes their way, it looks like even EA realized it went too far after the company started showing ads for Amazon’s ‘The Boys’ during replays in UFC 4.

Released on August 14, 2020, UFC 4 didn't originally have in-game ads, save for placements in the main menu and the Octagon logo on stage, something which EA notes isn't new to the UFC franchise. This time, however, the company decided to show full-screen ads a month after the game's launch, essentially preventing the feature from being mentioned in reviews so that players could have been informed ahead of their purchase.

EA decided to add full-on commercials in the middle of gameplay in a $60 game a month after it's release so it wasn't talked about in reviews from r/assholedesign

The change, initially posted on Reddit in r/assholedesign had amassed over 90K upvotes, where it was joined by other users calling out EA for its cash-grabbing antics. Soon after the backlash, the company responded by permanently removing the ad from the game.

"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." EA also blamed itself for not communicating the change with players ahead of time and noted that ads in UFC 4's replay and overlays would not be reappearing in the future.

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ZackL04

Posts: 676   +437
Meh, a quick transition flash like that?

Better than EA’s choppy AF cuts in madden from after a play to sideline cam, then play selection. Some kind of broadcast like transition is welcome.
 

Uncle Al

Posts: 7,396   +5,836
Here's an obvious example of laws being needed in order to combat this kind of abuse of the end user. It's one thing to over charge for a game, it's another to hold the player hostage to relentless self promoting ads .... The lawyers should be lining up to go after EA on this one ....
 

BSim500

Posts: 693   +1,447
I'm actually passed the point of blaming EA for being EA. It's like blaming a snake for having venom. Hostile studio acquisition, gutting out & closure, bad treatment of employees (and SpouseGate), worst company in America several years in a row, "surprise mechanics", remakeitus and now forced ads. At this point, watching a bunch of people who keep throwing money at them expecting their behaviour to magically change for no reason acting surprised when it doesn't, is like some fascinating study of group Stockholm Syndrome...
 

m4a4

Posts: 1,948   +1,730
TechSpot Elite
Are people only going to complain about the split second ad in a transition? Or are they going to talk about the ads in the arena too? At least be consistent.

As someone who doesn't buy sports games (or watches much sports), I do find it kind of hilarious (as it would actually feel more like watching it on TV) lol
 

Puiu

Posts: 4,031   +2,563
Are people only going to complain about the split second ad in a transition? Or are they going to talk about the ads in the arena too? At least be consistent.

As someone who doesn't buy sports games (or watches much sports), I do find it kind of hilarious (as it would actually feel more like watching it on TV) lol
it was much more than a "split-second".
 

ExReey

Posts: 9   +8

Are people only going to complain about the split second ad in a transition? Or are they going to talk about the ads in the arena too? At least be consistent.

As someone who doesn't buy sports games (or watches much sports), I do find it kind of hilarious (as it would actually feel more like watching it on TV) lol
The point is not the ads, it's the fact that they changed their product after buyers gave their money for a *different* product.

It's clear that laws need to be updated for this kind of customer abuse. Either you always have the choice to keep the software product as you bought it, or they show an ingame screen where you can opt to 100% refund the game if you don't want the new changes.
 
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psycros

Posts: 3,187   +3,373
This is borderline subliminal advertising, which is illegal in many countries including America.
 

Scshadow

Posts: 613   +261
This is a good time for me to get on my soap box again and say, despite being a network engineer, always on Internet has been one of the worst things to happen to gaming. First it was the idea that a buggy game could be released and the developer could just fix it later if they felt like it, then it was shipping intentionally incomplete games so they can sell DLC, then it was give away a game for free... but make it so incredibly time consuming and difficult to enjoy without spending hundreds in microtransactions, and now its combine it altogether and see what you can get away with. Full priced games, with microtransactions, with ads, with bugs.
 
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kmo911

Posts: 233   +27
They could have a button like real time or not realtime like microsoft flight simulator 2020 has. you can be there virtual fighting when there are no one on fighting stage. ads on a game. thats somehow bad but good. if you pay 60£$ for a game and it shows ads in foreground and bacground. rembering system shock 2 thos beer tobackos you could pick up. many other had ads like this. deus ex too. and you could not remove them. patch that removes bad tings like alcohol tobacko. to ea if yeah try stunt like that please have a fix patch in foreground. some contryes bans smoking alochol. even blood and xxx scenes. but this is legal nude. no xxx parts shown. then nudepatches getting used. nexusmod to remove bad ads too. if you getting telled there are a xxx in a game should it not get a PEGI 16+ 18+ then. if you buy a game and getting ads should there not be a money back future. ??!!
 
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