UFC fans are infamous for jumping through a lot of hoops and putting up with endless advertisements to get their fight fix. But a recent stealth change to the new EA UFC 4 video game was a bridge too far even for us.
Gamers on Reddit recently went ham after EA added new ads into UFC 4. While there’s nary a moment where you aren’t looking at ads on the canvas during fights, the decision was made to also include overlay ads that take over most of the screen during replays. Not cool, dude.
Now I love The Boys as much as the next person, but yeah ... that’s pretty overt advertising, especially for a game people are paying Triple-A game prices for. It’s also something Electronic Arts apparently managed to slip into EA UFC 3 without anyone noticing. But this time the change elicited a whopping 90,000+ upvote thread on Reddit with over 3500 comments.
It’s not quite on the same scale as the EA Star Wars loot box debacle, but the backlash was still strong enough to force the company to remove the ads and issue an apology.
“Earlier this week, the team turned on ad placements in EA SPORTS UFC 4 that appeared during the ‘Replay’ moments in gameplay,” EA’s statement read. “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.”
Replay ‘ad integration’ is dead. Can’t wait for in-between round ad integration and other tomfoolery, coming to you whenever this hubbub dies down in a few months. Because with EA, if it’s in the sport, it’s in the game. And it’s not an authentic UFC experience if as many ads as possible aren’t crammed into something you just paid $65 bucks to enjoy.