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Photo Credit: BioWare/Doritos/Mountain Dew/Kotaku

EA considering including advertisements in full-price AAA games is a major misstep. (Op-Ed)

One of the most important facets of playing video games is the immersive factor. You can cut yourself off from the rest of the world for a few hours and be transported into a distant land. I often play video games when I feel an incredible amount of stress and I am overwhelmed; they help me regulate my emotions and decrease my racing thoughts. Electronic Arts (EA) seeks to destroy that very immersion by implementing advertisements into full-price AAA games. While I am not surprised that EA would do this, seeing as they take every opportunity to suck their players financially dry, I am extremely disappointed. At the time of writing, EA is currently testing advertisement implementation into their video games. No one wants this, but EA does not seem to care about the backlash.

We are bombarded by advertisements every single day. Cable television, movie and show streaming services, music streaming services, billboards on the side of the road, and most internet web pages are full of advertisements. Video games were my one safe haven where I did not feel pressured into buying the latest new burger at a fast food chain, subscribing to Walmart+, or asking my doctor about an expensive medication with a long list of side effects. Not only does EA seek to destroy immersion, but they are preventing players from that very important quiet disconnect from a corporate, capitalist America.

I cannot imagine being in a fierce boss battle with a raging, powerful enemy, and suddenly, without warning, that terrible Whopper song blares from my speakers and my screen flashes white. Implementing ads does not make sense for video games and will only lead to frustrated gamers who will boycott EA’s entire catalog. Do I have to watch an ad every time I fast-travel to a new location? Will cinematic cut scenes be broken up with aggressive ads?

This is not the first time EA has been criticized for their corpo-capitalist tactics. After purchasing an AAA title at full price, EA begs those customers to spend even more money on overpriced cosmetics, DLCs that only contain a few quests, and locked content that just is not worth it. I miss the days when you could purchase a game and access the entire game with no microtransactions.

Advertisements do not belong in video games. EA has become incredibly disillusioned with their audience to the point that they believe they won’t lose customers over implementing advertisements. I guarantee that the vast majority of gamers, if not all, will not play a game if they are subject to ads. There are better studios who develop better games at a better price and would never stoop this low.

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