The latest patch for Madden 11 seems to have resurrected the scorebar pop-up ads that first appeared in Madden 10. Drawing the ire of many gamers who contacted me regarding the issue, this form of advertising was thought to have been removed for this year due to the heavy ad placement found in different areas of the game.
Madden 11 is anything but short on product placement, though for the most part the ads fit within the context of the NFL presentation. The use of Old Spice has been arguably the most irritating of the bunch, with the company even sponsoring the “swagger” rating.
With the prevalence of downloadable content (which has been particularly apparent in its attempted milking of consumers this year), the already well established in-game advertising, and the “Online Pass”, the hope was the pop-up ad would not return. Unfortunately EA Sports never really ruled it out. That it wasn’t in the game initially and is only showing up now could be an indication that gamers influenced where the company went with the idea.
These pre-snap ads in Madden 11 do not seem to be appearing at near the same rate as they did in Madden 10. I had attempted over the last week to spot them and capture an image for an article and came up empty. Even today it took some time until one of them showed up, and I didn’t see another over the several minutes I continued playing. So at the very least the ads aren’t coming up before every snap. Despite that their inclusion certainly remains an annoyance and represents a departure from the ideals that the Madden team has preached on over the last couple years.