madden-10-annoying-ad

I went to play some more of my Madden 2010 franchise this morning after not having played it since prior to writing the review up a few months ago. The PS3 flashes a notice that the game requires a 182 mb update, so I hit accept and start to watch the bar fill up. About a third of the way through, I grabbed my laptop to browse the web for some info on the update contents.

While reading up I saw a forum thread about the update listing gameplay related fixes (which sounded good), but it also featured a few comments stating that it added more in-game ads (which sounded bad). Unfortunately, before I could stop the download to read up some more, it had already completed. I pressed start thinking to myself … “how bad could it be?”

How bad could it be? It’s pull the hair from your head bad. It’s toss the game out your window bad. It’s “I’d rather have a buffalo take a diarrhea dump in my ear” bad.

The game now feature an advertisement for Madden Arcade that flashes on the screen — before every fucking snap!!! Are you fucking kidding me? Every snap? That’s just going too far. If you play with 15 minute quarters and the new accelerated clock feature, that adds up to well over 100 ad impressions each game.

It’s not even like the advertisement is subtle The damn thing is the equivalent of a white flag that pops out of a gag gun with the words “BANG!” on it. Got that visual? Good. Now picture someone standing in front of your TV pulling the damn trigger every 10 seconds. BANG! … BANG! … BANG! … MADDEN ARCADE AVAILABLE NOW! … BANG! … BANG!!

Surely if you already own the game the savvy folks at EA Sports would be kind enough to disable this ad right? Wrong. This poor soul, who owns both Madden 10 and Madden Arcade, finally reached his breaking point, issuing the following comment on the EA forums:

As of today before every snap in Madden 2010 Franchise Mode, a popup saying “Madden Arcade Available Now” appears. This is annoying for two reasons: First I already own the product, yet you are continuously trying to sell me this product. Second, the advertisement appears before every snap and stays on the screen until the ball is hiked. Your obnoxious advertisement pissed me off enough that I stopped playing to write this post. I’ve already given you [EA Sports] my money for Madden 2010 and Madden Arcade, why do I have to see any in-game advertisements?

Couldn’t agree with you more sir. Shame on you EA — you’ve taken in game advertising too far with this one and you deserve any and all bad press you get for it.

Update: I wanted to see if this ad filled update existed on the 360 version of the game, and sure enough, it does. The difference is that the 360 version pop-up ad promotes Microsoft’s new search engine “Bing”.

Also, I’ve reached out to EA regarding the update and their decision to implement the ad in this manner. I’ll update this post as soon as I hear something back.

Update #2: While I’ve yet to hear back from anyone at EA Sports/Tiburon, I recently powered up my PS3 to capture a video of the advertisement in action to better illustrate just how much of a distraction it was. To my surprise, it was gone. I’m not sure if the ad is time of day based or what but it isn’t showing up anymore. Could we have possibly got our point across to EA that quickly?

Update #3: Owen Good over at Kotaku let me know that the ad is still popping up in the 360 version of the game. So as of right now it seems that whatever change (if any) that was made only effects the PS3 version.

Please sound off in the comments section below if you are still seeing the ad or if it has vanished for you as well.

21 COMMENTS

  1. There should be some law that does not allow advertisements to be one things that you buy. If you give something away for free, sure, I understand, but if you pay, you should be allowed to play without an ad being thrown in front of your face. I am so sick of this.

    I never had a stupid Ad on m Atari, Nintendo, Sega, Dreamcast (awesome system).

    This latest trend really saddens and enrages me, as it is making me less likely to play games as I used to. I buy things I neeed, not be cause I see them in Ads.

    Someoen please write an AdBlock app for gaming consoles, you will be awesome!

  2. There should be some law that does not allow advertisements to be one things that you buy. If you give something away for free, sure, I understand, but if you pay, you should be allowed to play without an ad being thrown in front of your face. I am so sick of this.

    I never had a stupid Ad on m Atari, Nintendo, Sega, Dreamcast (awesome system).

    This latest trend really saddens and enrages me, as it is making me less likely to play games as I used to. I buy things I neeed, not be cause I see them in Ads.

    Someone please write an AdBlock app for gaming consoles, you will be awesome!

  3. Actually Crazy Taxi for the Dreamcast was one of the first to include real businesses (advertising) in the map… I think one was Pizza Hut and a few others paid to be in the game.

    However, it was subtle and not in your face.

  4. They weren't really ads – they were more like product placement. Game companies are becoming more like content providers (think NBC/Universal) where they distribute content and sell ad space for that content.

    And like most industries they are simple there to sell a product, and even more product at the cost of an enjoyable experience. As long as you know you can buy something else from them or third-party they've done their job.

    Im actually surprised they dont stop the game for a full screen ad every quarter. Why not?

  5. Wow, that's absolutely ridiculous. Some friends of mine have PS3/360. I remember watching someone play Tony Hawk for PS3 and I thought that had some serious advertising going on…

    You pay $60 and still have to deal with ads. It's bad enough they sneak them in with ads in the background and digital product placement. I guess they want to see how far they can push it.

  6. ANY in-game advertisement is too much. It's absolutely retarded. Any games that have in-game ads get bought used by me… if bought at all.

    It's sad that greed has come to such a point where I can't even play video games to escape advertisements. Ads have no place in games, whatsoever.

  7. I have no problem with games doing product placement when it's used realistically. Like in the Skate games for example. There are signs and billboards all over town that update with advertising depending on what's going on at the time. Right now the ads on signage in Skate 2 are for Avatar. I actually like this kind of advertising because it makes the game's world feel more realistic when you're skating around.

    A pop-up in your face at every snap is absolutely unacceptable on every level though, especially when you own the game. That's just blatant. TERRIBLE call on EA's part. It really bugs me because I've been playing EA's games since the Road Rash series and since the time they used to be called “Electronic Arts”.

  8. It seems that we may have got our point across to EA readers. The ad now seems to be gone — though it could just be a time of day omission. I'll monitor this over the next few days to see if it resurfaces.

  9. I'm not completely opposed to in-game ads. NHL 10 does a good job of making it non-intrusive, and it's an amazing game — the ads along the boards (just like in the real game) fit in with the regular hockey experience, and EASHL is “sponsored by Honda” — but I don't mind, because the game is good and everything in unobtrusive.

  10. Isn't this pure greed? I mean – is the gaming industry hurting for money? Even more so, is EA and the Madden franchise? GREED. The $60 they get from everyone isn't enough – they need more money from you. Ass clowns.

  11. You have underestimated EA`s greed, think of Chewbacka and all the other Wookies:
    URGHAGROOOMPGH-SHAVE-CREAM-URGHARGH and then shaving off all their hair and tell Han Solo to tell everyone how lovely it is …

  12. I just fired up Madden 10 for the PS3 for the first time in weeks and all of the sudden I'm getting Geico ads before the snap. Absolutely annoying. I'm never buying this BS again.

  13. I agree. The NHL 10 ads are very realistic and I don't mind them with one exception, one time when I played the “OMFG MADDEN ARCADE” advertisement was on the boards, but it was EVERY OTHER ADVERT. That wasn't realistic at all and was distracting, but it only lasted one session, the next time I hopped on the adverts were more mixed.

    I agree, I don't mind the Honda adverts either. For example having the highlights brought to you by Honda.

    Like you said, I would draw the line on pop-up ads such as the one this article is about. That's just a shameful money grab. But EA does like to test the waters, for example, they started playing around with releasing games in parts called “expansion packs” and that seems to have stayed around.

  14. I have a Scottsdale SEO company that has been doing my Internet Marketing and I am impressed at the amount of search engine exposure I have received and the value it has brought to my marketing efforts.

LEAVE A REPLY