EA has been heavily criticized by the display of ads in EA Sports UFC 4, the backlash took place on Reddit as players expressed their anger to be shown ads in a 60 USD game. The feedback has forced EA to remove some ads from the game.
As reported by GamesIndustry, Reddit user Ydino shares a good example of EA Sports UFC 4 promoting Amazon Prime’s The Boys showing up briefly in the middle of a replay. The logo of the TV show is also evident on the floor of the ring.
Yesterday, an EA spokesperson pointed out that the advertising strategy is not new in the EA Sports UFC franchise:
This type of advertising inventory is not new to the UFC franchise, though we have typically reserved displaying ads to specific main menu tiles or Octagon logo placement. It is abundantly clear from your feedback that integrating ads into the Replay and overlay experience is not welcome.
Advertising and videogames are not something new, particularly recurrent on sports games the practice helps developers to close the gap between a game and the real sport. Ads are usually well-received if the developer does not have a bad reputation like the one EA Sports has.
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.
Certainly, EA’s response might be a bit too cynical for the Reddit users who were angry to be shown ads after paying a premium price of 60 USD, the company removed the ads from replay but they will keep advertising everywhere else in the game.
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.