Online games enthusiasts are up in arms over Electronic Arts's (EA) decision to bundle monitoring software with its latest game. Retail packages of Battlefield 2142 come with a leaflet explaining that the game comes with an adware package. The software, developed by IGA Worldwide, is used to deliver in-game advertising so that users traveling through the virtual environment will see billboards advertising real-world brands.
In-game advertising of this kind is not new. However, the disclaimer that comes with European editions of Battlefield 2142 states that the software "may record your Internet Protocol address and other anonymous information", a wide-ranging statement that sparked privacy fears.
EA is assuring punters that the software does not collect any personally identifiable information. Installation of the ad-serving software is compulsory if gamers want to play the game online.
Negative feedback on several gaming websites suggests gamers are so riled by the move that many would rather avoid the game than expose themselves to EA's invasive marketing wheeze. The fact EA has been upfront in informing punters about what they're getting has done little to allay concerns.
EA is yet to respond to our request for comment on the issue, but in a statement issued to gaming website Joystiq, the games publisher attempts to address user privacy concerns by stating the monitoring software will only be used to deliver in-game ads.
"The advertising program in Battlefield 2142 does not access any files which are not directly related to the game. It does not capture personal data such as cookies, account login detail, or surfing history," EA said.
"BF 2142 delivers ads by region. The advertising system uses a player's IP address to determine the region of the player, assisting to serve the appropriate ads by region and language. For instance, a player in Paris might be presented with ads in French. The information collected will not be repurposed for other uses."
In related Battlefield 2142 security news, EA issued a patch to address a client-side crash, Playfuls reports. ®