HomeWinBuzzer NewsUbisoft's Pop-up Ad Experimentation in Assassin's Creed Odyssey Sparks Backlash from Gamers

Ubisoft’s Pop-up Ad Experimentation in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey Sparks Backlash from Gamers

Ubisoft, the publisher of Assassin's Creed and Watch Dogs, has faced criticism for introducing pop-up ads in Assassin's Creed Odyssey, a full-priced game.

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Ubisoft has come under fire for its latest decision to include pop-up advertisements within one of its full-priced games. A video shared by XboxSquad.fr reporter @fab_xs_ on Twitter demonstrates a significant pop-up ad for Assassin's Creed Mirage showing up while accessing the game menu in Assassin's Creed Odyssey. In response to player anger, Ubisoft brushed the ad off as a technical error. 

Assassin's Creed Odyssey Players Confronted with In-game Ads

Traditionally free from such interruptions, Assassin's Creed Odyssey was initially released as a fully priced, premium game, making the appearance of these ads a notable departure from the established model. The video in question captures a Black Friday promotion offering a 20% discount on another Ubisoft title, causing discomfort among players who are unaccustomed to dealing with in-game advertisements while trying to immerse themselves in the gameplay. Upon its appearance, this advertising approach was met with skepticism, alleging it to represent nothing but corporate avarice.

Ubisoft is not new to integrating commercial elements within its titles; however, never to the extent of employing full-screen pop-ups that disrupt gameplay. In the mobile gaming industry, ads are often encountered within free-to-play games and serve as a fundamental part of their revenue models. Nevertheless, applying such strategies to a full-price game is raising questions about the future of in-game advertising and user experience.

Again the main point of contention here is that Assassins' Creed Odyssey is a fully paid title. has taken heat in the past for advertising its products within other services, such as Microsoft Edge and even the Windows operating system. However, most people get those service for free, even if the ads are still annoying. Ubisoft's move seems to be more egregious because players are seeing ads in a product they paid for. 

Consumer Reactions and the Future of Gaming

The venture into in-game pop-up advertising has sparked a conversation among players and industry watchers alike, concerning the potential normalization of such practices. While Ubisoft has experimented with in-menu advertisements and in-game accelerators, this aggressive approach has prompted a broader dialogue on acceptable marketing within paid video games. With the player base seeking refuge from the omnipresent marketing elsewhere, the immersion-breaking nature of such advertisements could prove to be a significant misstep.

It is worth noting that Ubisoft has responded to the backlash with the good old “technical error” excuse. Of course, it is unclear what error led to an ad appearing mid-game. It seems just as likely that the company was testing the water, found customers hate this, and is now back-peddling behind technical issues. 

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Luke Jones
Luke Jones
Luke has been writing about all things tech for more than five years. He is following Microsoft closely to bring you the latest news about Windows, Office, Azure, Skype, HoloLens and all the rest of their products.

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