(Update 1: to include sypware EULA)
(Update 2: to include second link)

Kotaku is running a short piece on how EA seems to have decided to include spyware with BF 2142 for the purpose of showing in-game ads. GameJoint has news on the relationship between IGA and EA.

So. In the latest CGW podcast, they received retail boxed copies of BF 2142.

When you open the box, a big slip of paper falls out first, preceeding any discs or manuals. The slip of paper says, essentially, that 2142 includes monitoring software which runs while your computer is online, and records “anonymous” information like your IP address, surfing habits (probably via cookie scans), and other “computing habits” in order to report this information back to ad companies and ad servers, which generates in-game ads.

Another potential use would be to monitor “surfing habits” for visits to certain exploits or sites dedicated to black hat hacking. Of course, since this blog is (at time of writing) the #2 result in Google for the term ‘BF2 exploits’, I wouldn’t put too faith in their detection system.

Should this be confirmed, I would have no hesitation in leaving BF 2142 well alone, regardless of any other merits / demerits. However, it may turn out to be a complete fabrication. Frankly, I can believe that it would happen, but I have a feeling that we will [hopefully] recieve some official word from EA. Once we hear, I’ll post an update.

Is it just me or is it a poor reflection on EA / DICE that I can believe that they would use mandatory spyware to generate advertising revenue from their customers?

Update:

One source is claiming the folliwing is the EULA for the advertising software:

The Software may incorporate technology developed by IGA Worldwide Inc. (“IGA”) (the “Advertising Technology”). The purpose of the Advertising Technology is to deliver in-game advertisements to you when you use the Software while connected to the Internet. When you use the Software while connected ot the Internet, the Advertising Technlogy may record your IP address and other anonymouse information (“Advertising Data”). The 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 changed during online game play. The Advertising Technology does not collect any personally identifiable information about you, and EA will ont provide IGA with any of your personally identifiable information. The servers used by the Advertising Technology may, from time to time, be located outside your country of residence. If you are located within the European Union, the servers may be located outside the EU.

By installing and using the Software, you agree to: (i) the transfer of the Advertising Data to servers located outside your country of residence and, if applicable, outside the European Union; (ii)the collection and use of the Advertising Data as described in this Section; and (iii) the delivery of advertising and marketing content by the Advertising Technology. IF YOU DO NOT WANT IGA TO COLLECT, USE, STORE, OR TRANSMIT THE DATA DESCRIBED IN THIS SECTION, DO NOT INSTALL OR PLAY THE SOFTWARE ON ANY PLATFORM THAT IS USED TO CONNECT TO THE INTERNET.”