Ubisoft is reportedly displaying pop-up ads in game menus on Xbox and PlayStation
While users are fuming about YouTube's shenanigans with blocking users who use ad-blockers, and delaying videos by 5 seconds on non-Chrome browsers, a new annoyance has been discovered by a gamer. A report claims that Ubisoft is experimenting with a new form of advertising for its games, by displaying pop-up ads in game menus.
Ubisoft, based in France, is renowned for its Assassin's Creed, Ghost Recon and Watch Dogs game franchises. Windows Central reports about a video that XboxSquad.fr reporter and co-founder @Fab_XS_, shared on Twitter, to highlight an issue that he ran into while playing a game on his Xbox.
Ubisoft is displaying a pop-up ad in game menus
The video features a gameplay of Assassin's Creed Odyssey, but suddenly shows a pop-up ad for Assassin's Creed Mirage, which is the latest iteration in the popular franchise. The pop-up advert promotes the game by saying it is discounted by 20% off of its original price, as part of the ongoing Black Friday Sale. The ad in question has two buttons, one to close it, and one that takes you to the store to buy the game.
That does not sound too bad, right? Well, it is the pop-up is reportedly a 3-second ad, and it appears when you access the Pause Menu or the Map. So, this effectively interferes with the gameplay. If you observe the video closely, you can notice a small time-frame where a loading icon appears, which means it is fetching the ad from the cloud. That could explain the 3-second delay.
The thing is, this is not the first time Ubisoft has tried ads in its games, it has done so in the past, though they are usually done to promote in-app purchases for the current game that is being played.
According to Fab_XS these pop-up ads in game menus only appear on Xbox and PlayStation consoles. It is likely that Ubisoft Connect users on PC are not affected by these ads.
Fab_XS commented on Twitter asking whether this could be annoying enough to irk people into uninstalling the game that displayed the ad. He makes a good point. Nobody likes ads, whether they are displayed on websites, while watching videos, banners in apps or games. Ads are quite common in free-to-play games and mobile games. Assassin's Creed Mirage is a premium game (it still has in-app purchases, but that's a different problem), and so is Odyssey. Mirage is actually selling rather well, and has been welcomed by gamers and reviewers positively. There is absolutely no reason why Ubisoft has to resort to such measures to advertise about it. On a side note, Mirage is available via Ubisoft+ too and is supported on GeForce NOW.
There are better ways to promote games and discounts for the titles, email newsletters, or notifications when a game from my wishlist goes on sale, are a less offensive way to inform gamers about offers. Personally, I wouldn't mind a small banner in a corner of the main menu that displays a banner to highlight an offer for latest games, but an ad that impacts the gameplay is a not acceptable in my opinion. Hopefully, this pop-up ad does not become a thing that other game publishers decide to implement in their titles.
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