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EA apologizes for putting full-screen in-game ad in UFC 4

The company says the ads have been removed from the $60 game

An in-game ad in UFC-4 prompted angry fan backlash

EA has apologized for putting a full-screen, in-game ad into its UFC 4 game, after angry fans protested on Reddit. First reported by Eurogamer, the commercial break, which featured a spot for Amazon’s show The Boys, was added to the $60 game about a month after its initial release.

An EA spokesperson wrote in a Reddit post that the team had turned on ad placements in the game during the “replay” moments, and that while “this type of advertising inventory is not new to the UFC franchise,” it has typically been limited to “specific main menu tiles or Octagon logo placement.”

A post on Reddit’s r/assholedesign board pointing out the issue had close to 100,000 upvotes.

EA says it has disabled the ads. “It is abundantly clear from your feedback that integrating ads into the Replay and overlay experience is not welcome,” the company spokesperson said. “We apologize for any disruption to gameplay that players may have experienced.”

The Wall Street Journal reported in July that WarnerMedia ran test ads in EA’s UFC 3, which promoted several TV shows. The Journal article noted that gamers are well known for protesting changes— such as ads— that interfere with the experience, especially for premium games. The EA spokesperson said the company should have better communicated with players ahead of time about the pending change.

“We want to make sure our players have the best possible experience playing EA SPORTS UFC 4,” the spokesperson said, “so ad integration in the Replay and overlay experience will not be reappearing in the future.”