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Ubisoft is putting pop-up ads into Assassin’s Creed loading screens

Didn't we already teach you this lesson, old man?
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Update (November 24, 2023): Ubisoft said in a statement towards Rock Paper Shotgun that in-game pop-up ads in Assassin's Creed games were the "result of a technical error that we addressed as soon as we learned of the issue."

Original (November 24, 2023): If you’re playing any older Assassin’s Creed game, Ubisoft may show you ads for an Assassin’s Creed Mirage Black Friday deal during loading screens. Users have reported sightings of these in-game ads across several platforms and titles.

A user posted a video on the Xbox One subreddit, capturing themselves trying to enter the map in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, the 2018 entry into the series, to check their location. Before the game let them do that, though, it filled the entire screen with an ad for Assassin’s Creed Mirage, the latest franchise entry. Players have to manually close the ad before they can continue with the game.

Assassin's Creed Mirage advertisement shown in another AC game.

This is the pop-up ad showing up in older Assassin's Creed games for some players.

It seems like they can appear once per session. A similar pop-up on starting up the game has been reported as well.

While such disruptive ads are common in mobile games, triple-A titles on consoles and PC so far remained relatively safe from the practice, in part because players rightfully rallied against any past attempt at changing this status quo. Ubisoft has been happily experimenting with NFTs and other such nonsense recently, so it’s not a huge shocker that they’d be the ones bringing this particular awful practice back from the grave.

Companies have long been using space in the main menus of video games to advertise other titles of the same franchise or DLC for the current game, something players have accepted as it’s at least not disruptive and is somewhat relevant to their experience. Smacking ads into the middle of playing is something else entirely, though, disrupting the immersive experience a game is supposed to be. 

It’s simply unacceptable – and it looks like the gaming community once again has to drill that into the heads of some executives over the course of this unsavory practice being field-tested, before it establishes itself and spreads.