While it may not be as bad as suspected, gamers may still view the advertising technology as invasive
Following the public outcry over the in-game advertising technology found in Battlefield 2142, Electronic Arts has issued a response to clarify some of the confusion. Apparently, the information collected by IGA Worldwide tracks only information found within the game itself. Here is EA's statement:
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, accountlogin detail, or surfing history.
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 berepurposed for other uses.
Battlefield 2142 also tracks "impression data" related to in-game advertisements: location of a billboard in the game, brand advertised, duration of advertisement impression, etc. This information is used to help advertisers qualify the reach of a given advertisement.
While this may alleviate some privacy concerns, it does not change the fact that the potential buyer of the game is not made fully aware of such a system until the notice is found inside the box. Below we have reproduced the exact text found on the disclaimer:
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 to the Internet, the Advertising Technology may record your IP address and other anonymous 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 not 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.
Since being connected to the Internet is essential to the Battlefield gaming experience, gamers who already purchased the software without knowledge of the advertising technology are left with few options. For further explanation and justification of in-game advertising, read Gamasutra's interview with IGA Worldwide CEO Justin Townsend.