I thought this was a very interesting topic to come up today. I was browsing Gamespot's forums earlier and came upon this thread which is taken from a Shacknews discussion topic originally. In these two discussion threads, it has come to light exactly what is going on with the new in-game ad system EA is using in Battlefield 2142.
On Shacknews, a user by the name of EvilDolemite wrote the following:
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.
Now, I can live with certain in-game ads (though apparently there will be Dodge truck and Neon ads in the bleak, futuristic world of 2142), but including a lengthy description - outside of even the Eula - seems to indicate even EA knows that this is some shady borderline spyware ****. I don't support it and won't be buying 2142 (for a host of other reasons, too).
So, what say you Neowin users? If you read both topics, several times it is brought up how EvilDolemite there either didn't tell the entire story off the bat, or he misunderstood the CGW Podcast that started this whole thing. Apparently several people point out that at no point in the podcast do they mention anything about computing habits, surfing habits, or anything else like that. Whether or not EA does or does not collect usage information like this, won't be known for another 24 hours or so when the game releases tomorrow and the billions of EA haters come out of the woodwork. What do you guys think, EA has stated several times what is going on with the in-game ad system. Do you think it should be considered adware or spyware? Or do you think it is perfectly harmless?
View: Discussion Topic @ Gamespot
View: Discussion Topic @ Shacknews