Ubisoft says that pop-up ads in game menus were due to a technical error

Nov 27, 2023

A few days ago, we reported that gamers were running into full-screen pop-up ads in the in-game menu in some of Ubisoft's games. The France-based company has apologized for the issue, and said it happened due to a technical error.

Per the first report, the ads only appeared on Xbox and PlayStation consoles, and PC gamers did not see the ads. Users were furious to see pop-up ads in a premium game, which directly impacted the gameplay, because it had a 3-second time window when it loaded, and you could dismiss it by pressing a button on the controller, and then access the actual menu that they wanted to see. Several gamers took to reddit and Twitter to voice their concerns about the problem, and claimed that it was a reason to uninstall the game.

Ubisoft says a technical error caused pop-up ads to appear in-game menus

Their complaints did not go unnoticed. According to a statement sent by Ubisoft spokesperson Fabien Darrigues to The Verge, these ads were popping up while playing certain Assassin’s Creed titles (e.g. Assassin's Creed Odyssey). But these ads were not intended to be displayed when a user tried to open an in-game menu, and were instead the result of a technical error.

Now, you may ask how on earth a full-screen pop-up ad is a technical error? The company has offered an official explanation on its Twitter account, which says that Ubisoft's original intention was to promote Assassin's Creed Mirage, by displaying the ad banners on the main menu of some of its games. Unfortunately, these ads did not appear in the main menu, i.e. the start-up screen of the game, and instead began popping up when gamers tried to access in-game menus such as the Map screen. This is the "technical error" that the company was talking about. That kind of explains things. Ubisoft says it fixed the bug as soon as it received reports from users.

Some might argue that this was just a PR clean up of a mess, in other words, a way of covering up things due to backlash from users, but I think it is good to see the company take responsibility for the mistake, and apologizing for it. One user pointed out that a similar pop-up was displayed in Assassin's Creed Odyssey, though it was for a DLC for that game. Still, this kind of behavior is unacceptable when it comes to premium games. I mean, they could have at least tested how the ads loaded before pushing them to users, right?

Ubisoft is not the only one that has been experimenting with pop-up ads, Microsoft itself is guilty of the same. The Redmond company has been displaying full-screen pop up ads recently, for which it was called out for, and rightly so. Xbox gamers who turn on their console were greeted by full screen ads for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III. Some gamers are worried whether this could be the future now that Microsoft acquired Activision.

Are such pop-up ads going to be the norm in a world where games now cost $70? I certainly hope not. What do you think about seeing ads in games that you have paid for?

Ubisoft says that pop-up ads in game menus were due to a technical error
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Ubisoft says that pop-up ads in game menus were due to a technical error
Ubisoft says that a technical error was to blame for pop-up ads in game menus on Xbox and PlayStation consoles.

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  1. ECJ said on November 27, 2023 at 5:44 pm

    I’ve just about had enough of these greedy scumbags. And just like that, Ubisoft has been added to my list of companies I will not give any more money to.

  2. Tachy said on November 27, 2023 at 4:31 pm

    Now do you understand why people who can afford to buy a game, choose to pirate it instead?

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