Ubisoft Starts Showing Full Screen Ads in Games, Blames “Technical Error”

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Ubisoft, a game publisher worth billions, started showing full-screen pop-up ads in its video games that cost as much as $60 at launch. The game in question is Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, which started showing ads in the middle of gameplay for Xbox and PlayStation users.

A Reddit user voiced dissatisfaction, commenting, “This is disgusting to experience while playing,” echoing the general sentiment against intrusive pop-ups in the midst of gaming. The ad particularly appears when you try to access the game’s map.

Ubisoft blames this on a technical error. A spokesperson from the game company told The Verge:

We have been made aware that some players encountered pop-up ads while playing certain Assassin’s Creed titles yesterday. This was the result of a technical error that we addressed as soon as we learned of the issue.

Initially unclear why the game began displaying Black Friday pop-up ads to promote Ubisoft’s latest versions of Assassin’s Creed, the publisher later clarified the issue in a post on X (formerly Twitter).

Ubisoft explained that it intended to feature an ad for Assassin’s Creed Mirage on the main menu of other Assassin’s Creed games. However, a “technical error” resulted in the promotion appearing in in-game menus instead. Ubisoft assures that the problem has been rectified.

Microsoft has also recently started showing full-screen pop-up ads to promote its own game to Xbox users. However, Microsoft says that the ads only show up when you boot an Xbox and not everyone is getting them. The pop-ups from Microsoft and Ubisoft differ significantly from the ads typically encountered on gaming consoles.

In the past, games like Saints Row 2 featured ads on billboards, and EA Games titles in the mid-to-late 2000s often included in-game ads, but at least those were much easier to ignore than full-screen ads in the middle of gameplay. We do hope this “technical error” by Ubisoft does not become an industry norm in 2024.



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