Battlefield 2142 in-game ads pack some surprises

— 10:50 AM on October 17, 2006

Electronic Arts announced last month that its upcoming multiplayer shooter Battlefield 2142 would feature dynamically-updated in-game ads implemented by IGA Worldwide. The full game is scheduled to come out tomorrow, but already reports are emerging that the in-game ad system packs a few surprises. According to the latest Computer Gaming World podcast, the game's box contains a disclaimer card that reads the following:

The software may incorporate [advertising technology] developed by IGA Worldwide. ... The purpose of the advertising technology is to deliver in-game advertisements when you use the software while connected to the internet. When you use the software while connected to the internet, the advertising technology may record your internet protocol address and other anonymous information. That advertising data is temporarily used by IGA to enable the presentation and measurement of in-game advertisements and other in-game objects, which are uploaded temporarily to your personal computer or game console and change during online gameplay. The advertising technology does not collect any personally identifiable information about you and EA will not provide...
The "other anonymous information" part in particular was met with negative response among gamers, and DICE (the game's developer) has responded to those concerns with a statement. DICE's statement says: "The information that is gathered is specifically related to the in game ads themselves and not anything personally related to you. There is no additional spy ware software installed secretly to your machine." Nevertheless, the collection of "anonymous information" for the "measurement of in-game advertisements" may still not sit well with some, even if personal information isn't sent off to IGA or EA.
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