Ubisoft faced backlash this week as players of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey reported encountering fullscreen pop-up ads during gameplay. The ads appeared when navigating to the map screen on both Xbox and PlayStation versions of the game. The unexpected intrusion frustrated gamers, with many expressing discontent on platforms like Reddit.
Ubisoft’s spokesperson, Fabien Darrigues, attributed the issue to an unspecified “technical error.” Darrigues stated, “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.”
While Ubisoft did not elaborate on the nature of the technical error, players speculate that the intentional inclusion of pop-up ads in a paid game could not be accidental. The incident raises concerns about the potential introduction of intrusive ads into the gaming experience, especially in titles where users have already made a monetary investment.
This situation echoes recent experiences with Microsoft, where fullscreen Xbox pop-up ads promoting its games garnered criticism. However, Microsoft’s ads typically appear upon booting an Xbox rather than in the middle of gameplay. The notion of in-game pop-up ads is met with strong opposition from the gaming community, emphasizing the importance of maintaining a seamless and uninterrupted gaming experience.
As the gaming industry continues to grapple with monetization strategies, the inadvertent appearance of such ads serves as a cautionary tale. The incident sparks discussions about ethical considerations and the impact of advertising on the overall gaming experience. Players hope that Ubisoft’s “technical error” remains an isolated incident rather than a glimpse into a potential future where paid games include intrusive advertising.