Earlier this week, news of Electronic Arts (EA) signing a deal with Simulmedia made the rounds, sparking rumors that the publisher was looking into injecting 15- or 30-second television-style ads into their video games. Naturally, just about everyone was against this.
But with no real details surrounding the agreement, it was mostly speculation. People looked at Simulmedia’s technology, playerWON — which is able to run TV ads within video games — and ran with the notion that it would be used in EA’s video games, particularly its sports titles. Ads in free-to-play video games, especially on mobile, are accepted (although generally not well-received). But ads in console games with premium price tags? Forget about it.
However, EA has now officially responded to this report, straight-up calling it incorrect. Here’s the official statement:
"“Following incorrect reports suggesting that we are looking to introduce ‘TV-style’ commercials into our games, we wanted to clarify that in-game advertising for console games is not something we’re currently looking at, or have signed any agreements to implement. Creating the best possible player experience remains our priority focus.”"
So a few things to take note of here. EA specifically states they are not looking into in-game advertising for consoles, or have signed any agreements for to eventually implement. But the publisher doesn’t rule out mobile games or PC. So it’s possible that this deal with Simulmedia could simply be for mobile games.
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EA has a ton of games in its mobile library from Madden and FIFA to Plants vs Zombies to The Sims Mobile. Just about all of their mobile games are free-to-play, so naturally in-game advertising would be a revenue source to complement any sort of microtransactions. Again, if this were to be the main reasoning behind the deal, I think it’d be more understandable.
It’s also interesting to note that EA made no mention of PC games. Most of EA’s console games are also brought to PC as well. Does this mean the PC versions could have some sort of ads? I think that’d be just as bad as trying to put ads on console games, so I’ll just go ahead and rule that out as well.
Either way, it’s good to see EA isn’t seriously considering the idea of putting TV-style commercials inside of their console games. This would’ve been a nightmare for the publisher, especially after what we experienced with UFC 4.
We’ve accepted loot boxes. We don’t like it but we’ve accepted it. I don’t think anyone will ever be on board with advertisements inside of a $60-$70 game.