Need of Speed Hot Pursuit has received a launch day update that adds an unskippable trailer for the newly announced Need for Speed title, Shift 2 Unleashed. In-game advertising is one thing, but forcible pre-game advertising? I see trouble on the way.
X-Play’s Matt Keil encountered this rather disturbing occurrence today when he popped in a copy of Hot Pursuit and was prompted to install a new update for the game. After the game relaunched, the ad had been applied to the start of the game, where there had been no ad just last night. Plus, given the size of the update, it appears that the teaser was already on the disc, but needed the update to unlock it. Alan Wake's Verizon ad, you're no longer the worst in-game ad of the year. Congrats?
Apparently, Electronic Arts wasn’t happy sticking to the standard PR channels to get the word out about Shift 2’s official reveal today. Instead, it figured it would be a good idea to turn a brand new game into an ad mule for a future title, and make it required viewing for players who just want to play the game currently sitting in their systems. The result is something that simultaneously cheapens both the fantastic title forced to carry the ad and raises serious questions regarding how publishers will treat updates and in-game advertising in the future. (“That winning headshot brought to you by Head and Shoulders!”).
For those reenactment lovers out there, we'll have a video of this disturbing ad update business in action shortly, so stay tuned.
Anyone else encounter this ad yet? Any thoughts on a future where forcible in-game ads are the norm?