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Battlefield 2142 Contains Spyware According to Slip of Paper
LostToys :: 04:27 PM @ October 17th, 2006 :: PC: Action
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The girls of Shacknews apparently have a lot of time on their hands, as they apparently bothered to listen to CGW's latest podcast. Well, their wasted time is our gain, as it appears that everyone's favorite publisher, Electronic Arts, is installing Spyware for every copy of Battlefiend 2142 installed.
When you open the box, a big slip of paper falls out first, preceeding any discs or manuals. The slip of paper says, essentially, that 2142 includes monitoring software which runs while your computer is online, and records "anonymous" information like your IP address, surfing habits (probably via cookie scans), and other "computing habits" in order to report this information back to ad companies and ad servers, which generates in-game ads.

So it is no longer crappy games that are keeping people away from EA titles, it is now the threat of Spyware. It seems like EA has been taking marketing lessons from Sony-BGM.

Thanks to Blindside for the following information:

"The Software may incorporate technology developed by IGA Worldwide Inc. ("IGA") (the "Advertising Technology"). The purpose of the Advertising Technology is to deliver in-game advertisements to you when you use the Software while connected to the Internet. When you use the Software while connected ot the Internet, the Advertising Technlogy may record your IP address and other anonymouse information ("Advertising Data"). The Advertising Data is temporarily used by IGA to enable the presentation and measurement of in-game advertisements and other in-game objects which are uploaded temporarily to your personal computer or game console and changed during online game play. The Advertising Technology does not collect any personally identifiable information about you, and EA will ont provide IGA with any of your personally identifiable information. The servers used by the Advertising Technology may, from time to time, be located outside your country of residence. If you are located within the European Union, the servers may be located outside the EU.

By installing and using the Software, you agree to: (i) the transfer of the Advertising Data to servers located outside your country of residence and, if applicable, outside the European Union; (ii)the collection and use of the Advertising Data as described in this Section; and (iii) the delivery of advertising and marketing content by the Advertising Technology. IF YOU DO NOT WANT IGA TO COLLECT, USE, STORE, OR TRANSMIT THE DATA DESCRIBED IN THIS SECTION, DO NOT INSTALL OR PLAY THE SOFTWARE ON ANY PLATFORM THAT IS USED TO CONNECT TO THE INTERNET."

And the proof is in the pudding, or at least, photographic evidence.

Latest Similar Story: Valve Gets Viral On Your Ass: Wash Gently (09/06/06)

#1 - Blindside - 10/17/06 @ 05:47 PM EST
From the slip of paper that accompanies the game:

"The Software may incorporate technology developed by IGA Worldwide Inc. ("IGA") (the "Advertising Technology"). The purpose of the Advertising Technology is to deliver in-game advertisements to you when you use the Software while connected to the Internet. When you use the Software while connected ot the Internet, the Advertising Technlogy may record your IP address and other anonymouse information ("Advertising Data"). The Advertising Data is temporarily used by IGA to enable the presentation and measurement of in-game advertisements and other in-game objects which are uploaded temporarily to your personal computer or game console and changed during online game play. The Advertising Technology does not collect any personally identifiable information about you, and EA will ont provide IGA with any of your personally identifiable information. The servers used by the Advertising Technology may, from time to time, be located outside your country of residence. If you are located within the European Union, the servers may be located outside the EU.

By installing and using the Software, you agree to: (i) the transfer of the Advertising Data to servers located outside your country of residence and, if applicable, outside the European Union; (ii)the collection and use of the Advertising Data as described in this Section; and (iii) the delivery of advertising and marketing content by the Advertising Technology. IF YOU DO NOT WANT IGA TO COLLECT, USE, STORE, OR TRANSMIT THE DATA DESCRIBED IN THIS SECTION, DO NOT INSTALL OR PLAY THE SOFTWARE ON ANY PLATFORM THAT IS USED TO CONNECT TO THE INTERNET."

Here's a photo for anyone in disbelief (it's EA, no one should be shocked):
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v212/jodiuh/igavy2.jpg
Thanks to Jodiuh at the Hardforums for that one.
#2 - Megahurtz - 10/17/06 @ 05:56 PM EST
How lame. Yet another reason to not support EA titles.

I remember about 10 years ago when ads first started popping up in games. I recall Jet Moto being one of the first big titles with ads in it, having tracks covered with Mountain Dew posters.

There was talk at the time about how including ads made a more realistic experience and how they would offset game development costs and eventually result in the consumer paying less for games, or even getting games for free.

Not too long ago I saw another story posted here about EA doing the exact same thing and promising the same things they dreamed about 10 years ago.
#3 - nVidiot_Whore - 10/17/06 @ 06:22 PM EST
I don't care if a game has real ads if it makes sense.. our real world is full of ads, and if a game world is to be realistic it only makes sense... and might as well make money from them.

Although I don't really see why it has to connect to the internet.. especially if it's ganking personal info like surfing habits off of your computer to target ads.. fucking retarded.
#4 - Megahurtz - 10/17/06 @ 06:31 PM EST
I'm curious how these are displayed in the game. Ads for loading screens or just dynamic billboards and posters? Anybody played 2142 and care to comment? Is this even mentioned on the packaging? Good luck trying to return it after you've opened it only to have this jump out at you.

Amazing that they don't at least have a way to opt out of it. I guess you could just block it in your hosts file...
#5 - Amnesiac - 10/17/06 @ 09:19 PM EST
Once again I'm not suprised at all since this is EA.


But I do have to wonder when people are going to say enough is enough.
#6 - Shataan - 10/17/06 @ 09:21 PM EST
" our real world is full of ads, and if a game world is to be realistic it only makes sense"

Sounds like your name should have been "Crack Whore" instead. Just cause we have ads, doesn`t make it right to be bombarded ingame. Hell,I can`t stand ads before movies. I like how Britain has their TV ads after 12.

It is horrible how our programs take a backseat to commercials now. We are no longer watching actual program content, we are watching..... ads. FUX that.
#7 - Phobia - 10/17/06 @ 11:19 PM EST
am i reading it wrong? it seems to say it only connects temporary information about surfing habits to present ads that would fit to the user's taste instead of just throwing every ad at a person.

while i agree the user should have control of opting in or out, in this case the information seems to be to suit the user.

i could be wrong, it's late, and i've been working like a dog
#8 - Phobia - 10/17/06 @ 11:21 PM EST
hey whore, finally got the 360 for the b-day. i'll be logging on as soon as i find some time to friggin play/hook it up.
#9 - nemarsde - 10/18/06 @ 06:42 AM EST
SWAT 4 had the same sort of software installed in a patch of all things, without any warning and only a line in the changelog to tell users what was happening. That was very underhanded of Sierra.

Iirc SWAT 4 used Massive Ads, not IGA though. I'm sure you can all Google for it.

The ads aren't ever context sensitive anyway. In SWAT 4 you might be the middle of a nightclub/drug den and there'd be posters for The Anchorman plastered all over the walls.

How can any ad be context sensitive in BF2142? It's a sci-fi set over 100 years in the future, but they're still advertising Dodge pickup trucks on hoardings?!

The whole thing's a fucking disgrace, imo, and the European Commission needs to get right on this issue.

#10 - Tre-ful Dead - 10/18/06 @ 10:11 AM EST
Advertise to get us to by the game
Advertise to us in game
fucking stupid no matter how you slice it IMO
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