EA has removed the in-game advertisements from UFC 4, following a backlash from players.
A month following the release of the title, players began to notice in-game advertisements appearing during gameplay. One instance, that was posted on Reddit and was widely shared, shows an advert for Amazon Prime Video series The Boys appearing on screen during a replay.
The viral post prompted a swift backlash against EA, including allegations that the adverts had been patched in after the game’s launch in order to prevent this from affecting the game’s reviews.
In response, EA’s community team posted on Reddit to announce that the mid-replay adverts had been removed.
“Earlier this week, the team turned on ad placements in EA SPORTS UFC 4 that appeared during the “Replay” moments in gameplay. 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. Thank you for your continued feedback on EA SPORTS UFC 4.”
Of course, in-game advertisements are nothing new. Indeed, at the start of the COVID-19 lockdown, game publishers worked with the UK government to feature the ‘stay home, save lives’ messaging in their games.