EA Sports apologizes after fans decry ads in UFC video game
While intrusive, unskippable advertisements can be common in free-to-play games, users pointed to UFC’s $60 price tag as reason enough they should not have their gameplay interrupted by ads, especially when there are already some present via in-game signage.
“That’s what makes it particularly insulting,” one Reddit user wrote. “They squeezed so many ads into the ring itself, and they could probably get away with that no problem because real life boxing rings have ads all over them. But they still felt the need to have ads pop up on the screen as well in a game people paid full price for.”
Their sentiments were echoed in thousands of comments on the initial Reddit post. By Saturday, EA Sports posted a statement in reply.
“Earlier this week, the team turned on ad placements in EA Sports ‘UFC 4’ that appeared during the ‘replay’ moments in gameplay,” a spokesperson posted on Reddit. “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.”
“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.”
Earlier this summer, the Wall Street Journal reported that Warner Media and the credit-reporting company Experian had been testing advertisements in “UFC 3,” an earlier iteration of the game.