So you just dropped $400 on a brand new console. You just dropped $60 on a brand new game. You just dropped $40 extra on Premium content (a 100KB download by the way). You boot up the game. You play the game. You pause the game. BAM! You just got hit with an in-game ad. Seriously? Seriously.
I was really thinking that EA was going to avoid that three-peat for the Worst Company in America for 2014 but I don't know, it feels like they've moved right out of the shadows and into the fast lane for destruction as if they have a need... a need for speed. Oh wait, no, they don't have a need for speed... apparently, you do!
6aming (and I don't know where they pick these names from, but let's just go with it) picked up the news from a Reddit thread that kind of exploded. As we all know, Reddit likes exploding with pitchforks and torches... especially the /r/gaming section. It's like a bowling alley of nerd-ragers where some guy runs in at random times and yells “Someone dun f**ked up y'all!” and every penciled-neck, Slim-Jim-biceped college student with a bit of time on their hands and a lot of rage in their heart head out to curb stomp the latest atrocity taking place in the gaming industry.
On the upside, at least Reddit (the gaming section anyway) has their priorities straight.
But anyway, what in a red-anthill under a picnic basket on a bright Sunday afternoon did EA think coming up with the idea to put ads into a premium game? During the actual game?!
Now for those of who you may be a little late, a little slow, a little hungover from that drunken orgy at your granddad’s house: this is not an in-game billboard with a movie ad of Need for Speed. No, it's this kind of ad, courtesy of Reddit user alphareich:
As you can see, it's not as if the guy is lounging in the game in front of a virtual TV screen playing a fuzzy FMV ad as some sort of meta-reference where he can laugh it off with his friends and say “Ahahah, oh good lads, do you see this dandy ad playing here on the tele in this broken down Radio Shack, right here in the game? It's an ad for another EA game playing on a tele in the game! Is that not a cheeky thing or what?”
Nope, instead this guy got caught with an ad like a group of truckers get stall-shocked when a dad and his son walk into a rest stop and find out that not all hairy-armed, tattoo-sporting, beard-wearing truckers keep their manhole's covered when things are trying to get in, instead of only trying to get out.
One Reddit user, going by the courageous name of LoneLyon, stated that...
"They are testing the waters with in game ads. After paying 60 dollars for a game, you should not be getting ads in your game. That's like paying for a Netflix and having to watch ads ."
My brother, you've got heart.
It's not bad enough that they sell you a broken game out of the box for a premium price, they're also selling you ads on top of it.
Nevertheless, this is the new reality of today's triple-A business. It's no longer a soft sport of paying for a product and getting the “full” thing. In fact, what is the “full” thing these days? It appears to be a four-hour long campaign, a handful of maps and a few modes that id Software and 3D Realms thought were boring back in 1994. Don't worry, you have to pay a little extra to experience that kind of nostalgia these days.
Anyway, 6aming notes that the ads appear in-game and during loading screens. I've kind of given up on twitch shooters because they've become rampant cesspools for corporate greed mongering. But, if you've happened upon any of these filthy infiltrations of your $60 purchase (on top of the $40 you paid for Premium) feel free to attach some screenshots and show us.
I'm curious if EA has an explanation... or is this their retaliation for shutting down the Online Pass program?
But I don't want to leave on a sour note: take heed, those of you who steel your wallet with the resolve to keep it shut when its mouth drips wet with the pleasure of the latest EA-made triple-A promo video, and hold fast to that resolve. For everyone else, at least consider the words of Andrew Gaspar...
"To those who are offended: Please stop buying EA games if you don't like the practice. EA doesn't give two shits about your "outrage" if you continue to buy their games. If it doesn't affect their bottom line, then they aren't going to bother addressing the feedback. That's just how it is - I can't spell it out any more plainly."
Neither can I.