Ah, the old bait and switch tactic; a classic staple in developers and publishers adding unpleasantries to their titles after they’ve been reviewed by critics to avoid scorn.
At best, it’s a bait and switch tactic that is again being used by Electronic Arts; interesting after the frustrations arose with Star Wars: Battlefront 2 being built in two separate modes: one for reviewers where they didn’t have decidedly ambitious pay to win schemes, and one where they placed everything behind either a monumental grind or (of course) a super-convenient pay-to-win mechanic that was hidden from reviewers.
Because who would purchase a fully-fledged title with the expectancy of players continuing to shovel cash towards developers as long as they want to play? It’s either that or simply be farmed by proverbial whales that have no problem shoveling $100 per week towards Electronic Arts.
One would think that the blowback from Battlefront 2 would be enough for Electronic Arts to stop the bait-and-switch tactics, showing one title and then morphing it into something else.
This is Electronic Arts, though.
With each day that passes, I am more and more happy with my decision to not purchase EA UFC 4.
— herky jerky (@EnochChell) September 5, 2020
The most recent controversy surrounding the studio deals with UFC 4: EA opted to add in in-game advertisements that constantly pop up throughout matches in corners of your screen while you’re attempting the remove someone’s face.
It also punctuates round breaks, full-screen brief advertisements showing, at this moment, Amazon’s The Boys and encouraging people attempting to play an EA title (the folly of which is difficult to overstate) to watch whatever new television show that Amazon has managed to push out.
It’s jarring, unsightly, and perhaps most importantly, was hidden from purchasers until well after the launch of UFC 4 which took place on August 14, 2020. It stands to reason that many purchasers wouldn’t have invested in the title in the first place if adverts were known to be included in the full-price game.
This isn’t the first time that developers have opted to add in advertisements to squeeze the maximum number of dollars from their userbase: 2K did the same in their iffy NBA 2K franchise which was, unsurprisingly, met with equal amounts of fervor and distaste.
Karl Marx must be spinning in his grave.
While the internet continues to rage over the real-world advertisements being shoveled down our throats, Electronic Arts has opted to shy away from making a public comment on the controversy as of yet. While we’re waiting for the inevitable statement of wanting players to feel a sense of pride and accomplishment, perhaps we can collectively mull over the idea of sport franchise IPs being sold to massive publishers who then do the bare minimum as there is no competition. Perhaps.