WTF?! Ubisoft is reportedly injecting pop-up ads into the middle of video games, interrupting gameplay and enraging players who are taking to social media and message boards to vent their disapproval. It's not clear if this is a temporary experiment from the company or if it will become part and parcel of future Ubisoft titles.
According to posts on online forums, ads have made their way into real-time gameplay in Assassin's Creed Odyssey. One gamer who reported the problem was Redditor triddel24, who says an ad came up when they tried to go to the map to check their location. The complaint was posted on the Xbox One subreddit, suggesting they were playing the game on an Xbox console.
As shown on a post on X, the pop-up seems to advertise a 20 percent Black Friday discount on Ubisoft's new title, Assassin's Creed Mirage. By the looks of it, players have to manually close the ad by clicking on the 'Close' button in the bottom-left corner before they can continue with the game. It's not clear if there's any way to escape these ads, but disruptive practices like these could set up game studios for unseemly confrontations with their customers.
Il semble qu'Ubisoft expérimente la publicité en jeu chez certains utilisateurs (Xbox et PS).– Fab âÂ¨ (@Fab_XS_) November 23, 2023
Vous êtes au milieu de votre jeu, accédez à la pause ou à la Map et vous avez pendant 3sec. une pub pour un autre jeu qui s'affiche. Suffisant pour désinstaller ? ï¿½... pic.twitter.com/m5S4rEXas5
Is it possible Ubisoft is planning to expand this new 'feature' into other titles? That's hard to say for now, but it is already facing a massive backlash from the gaming community, with many blaming the company for ruining their gameplay experience with the experiment.
Most gamers appear to agree that promos about new games and other such content is slightly more tolerable on the main menu before the game starts, but there's no good reason for studios to insert ads in the middle of gameplay.
It is worth noting that in-game ads are very common in mobile games, but triple-A titles on consoles and PC have so far remained largely immune to this annoying phenomenon. Ads for new games and DLC are typically displayed in the main menus in console and PC titles, something that most gamers have come to begrudgingly accept.
However, going by gamers reaction on social media, it's unlikely that they will take this type of disruptive advertising lying down, so it remains to be seen whether Ubisoft will move forward with a new ad policy at the risk of alienating its customers, or if it will backtrack and apologize for the ill-advised strategy.