More on the Battlefield 2142 “Spyware”

This has been a hot topic as of late, with most people seeing this as another EA money scam, others as a blatent invasion of piracy and a few don’t see the big deal. I have come across an article which explains the motives behind the ads and what they actually collect.

UPDATE: The official word from EA has also been posted where they confirm what has already been said.

The CEO of IGA (the company who serves the in -game ads) has come on and answered some concerned questions. Tha main points I want to raise are that they DO NOT monitor your surfing habits – they only collect your IP address and when you play. This is used to allow the advertisers to target audiences, mainly using the IP address to get the right country.

It’s been reported that the IGA technology monitors surfing habits and other computing habits. Is that true?
Completely untrue…

As for the fact that you pay for a full game and don’t expect adverts, in the interview the CEO makes a good point about the amount of money needed nowadays to make develop full featured games. I have to go back to the comment I made on Robert’s post about how how you pay for nearly everything, and still get adverts. Train tickets, cinemas and TV were my examples, but you even get adverts on new DVDs sometimes.

A lot of people are still going to have a problem with this. This is unfortunate, because this is likely to creep into more and more new games, meaning you will miss out on a lot – namely Battlefield 2142 at this point, which looks like it is going to be fantastic!

Read the full interview on Gamespot here.

EA’s response to the ad worries:

Greetings,We would like to provide more information on in-game advertising in Battlefield 2142. To try and help everyone better understand it, here is how it works.

The in- game advertisement is respectful of players’ privacy: it never accesses files not directly related to the game, and it does not capture personal data such as cookies, account login detail, gameplay behaviour or surfing history. As it is an integrated part of Battlefield 2142 and not a separate program, it only runs when the game is running.

Because BF2142 delivers ads by region, the IP address of the player is used to determine the region of the player and helps serve ads by region and language; for instance, a player in Paris will be presented with ads in French. Note that this IP address is not stored on the advertisement server and is not repurposed for other uses.

A unique ID number is anonymously assigned the first time the player joins a Battlefield 2142 online game. It is stored locally on the PC but is not linked to any personal details.

The in-game advertisement gathers what we call “impression data”, such as location of the billboard in the game or duration of advertisement impression. It
helps see how many people have seen an ad – but not who has seen it.

We are also conscious that the advertisement shouldn’t distract the player from the overall gaming experience, so all ads fit in the unique environment of each level in the game. The content of the ads is also controlled to ensure that no offensive content is displayed in Battlefield 2142.

We all hope that this explanation will address recent concerns on the advertisement in Battlefield 2142.

See you on the Battlefield.

Your Dice Live Team


Update by Robert – fixing HTML tags

One Reply to “More on the Battlefield 2142 “Spyware””

  1. Though I believe in-game advertising may add a sense of veritas to certain games, I can’t imagine it’ll do anything but detract from those set in post-apocalyptic futures. Unless the Coca-Cola company has a fully functional contingency plan for the inevitable nuclear winter…

    As for the amount of money needed to develop a game these days, well, this is EA we’re talking about. If any entertainment software firm had the funds to create and maintain an online shooter without resorting to shilling Subway sandwiches you’d think it’d be them. So I’m calling BS on everything but the obvious: this is just good ol’ greed at work here.

    And for the record, I’d be perfectly fine with independent developers falling back a little on advertising to make ends meet. No one’s denying the cost of games creation these days. But last time I played, oh, say Psychonauts, I don’t recall being slapped in the face with a neon sign for Nike Air Max.

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