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Author Topic: More EA Hijinks (Battlefield 2142 related)  (Read 5012 times)
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siege
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« on: October 16, 2006, 04:27:59 PM »

In the recent CGW podcast, they described a slip of paper included in the box of the latest Battlefield game.

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.

Oh, and there will be various Dodge truck and Neon related ads.
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« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2006, 04:34:41 PM »

I really hope BF1942 fails horribly, but knowing that they didn't put all that much money into it, I suspect it'll make money either way and the ads will get some more.
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« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2006, 04:45:41 PM »

Screw that.  I was out before, but this cements it  icon_evil
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« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2006, 04:48:38 PM »

Sigh... I really don't want this game but my clan picked it up as our next game of choice. Damnit....  mad
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« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2006, 05:15:19 PM »

I've been an EA supporter for quite some time, but they are really pushing me away.  I cant stand this stuff, and it really pisses me off that it is in a game I was looking forward to.
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« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2006, 05:52:16 PM »

I'm not sure if I care... On the principle of the thing, it is basically adware.  But at the same time, I know it's there and assuming it doesn't degrade system performance at all, I don't really have a problem with it.

Of course, I can certainly understand those who do have a problem with it.

gellar
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« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2006, 05:58:23 PM »

Quote from: Mattc0m on October 16, 2006, 04:48:38 PM

Sigh... I really don't want this game but my clan picked it up as our next game of choice. Damnit....  mad

Then don't be a sheep and don't follow them. Convince them to get something else that's worth their money instead of this crap.
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« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2006, 06:31:02 PM »

Quote from: Destructor on October 16, 2006, 05:58:23 PM

Quote from: Mattc0m on October 16, 2006, 04:48:38 PM

Sigh... I really don't want this game but my clan picked it up as our next game of choice. Damnit....  mad

Then don't be a sheep and don't follow them. Convince them to get something else that's worth their money instead of this crap.

What is wrong with the game from a competition stand point? I've got to come up with a better arguement than "You might get adware"!

Either way, kind of doubtful we're going to not play it. We were invited very early on to the beta and have already done a few clan matches. The beta was pretty ugly and it kind of turned me off, but from what I've been hearing the final version is miles better (can't confirm yet, though). We're a fairly big / competitive clan (top 20 team in Battlefield 2, around 20 members), and have a pretty long history with Battlefield (BF42, BF: V, BF2, etc). I only joined in BF2, and although I'm a co-leader we're pretty much 100% going to play BF2142 even though I hate EA.  mad

And why did I start writing an essay about my clan? Sigh....

Anyway, basically I'm not happy with either EA or BF2142, but that's the next game at least until Quake Wars, and so I'm going to HAVE to support it which pisses me off more than anything.
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« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2006, 06:36:16 PM »

Honestly?  If the game is good I don't really care, because there will be cracks/hacks/fixes to disable this and the in-game ads within a week of release.

Never doubt the power of the almighty HOSTS file.
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« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2006, 06:38:52 PM »

Quote from: -Lord Ebonstone- on October 16, 2006, 06:36:16 PM

Honestly?  If the game is good I don't really care, because there will be cracks/hacks/fixes to disable this and the in-game ads within a week of release.

Never doubt the power of the almighty HOSTS file.

Good point, I didnt think about hacks to disable it.  I still think it sucks that EA wants to spy on me, but if I can disable it I might buy the game.
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« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2006, 06:49:00 PM »

Why reward a company financially for bad behavior?  It's not like there aren't any other games out there to play.
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« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2006, 07:02:05 PM »

OUT!
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« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2006, 07:02:34 PM »

Quote from: warning on October 16, 2006, 06:49:00 PM

Why reward a company financially for bad behavior?  It's not like there aren't any other games out there to play.
See, at this point, EA's business practices are like Peak Oil.  As much as we wring our hands and sob and oh so passionately demand on internet forums that we switch to ethanol engines, or not buy EA games, the fact of the matter is, EA, like fossil fuel usage, is completely unstoppable at this point.  A few hardcore gamers ignoring an EA release does nothing to their profitability.

Instead, it's better if we just buy the damn game if it's fun, just like buying the damn fossil fuel if we need to drive somewhere.  In both these situations, we are actually affecting positive change because we're doing our part to force both moments to a crisis -- oil depletion will finally light a fire under our asses to get some alternate fuel going, (or it'll just kill us all but oh well), and EA will continue doing shadier and shadier little tricks until someone sues their ass and they shape up (or they just go bankrupt but oh well).

No, that wasn't supposed to make any sense.
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« Reply #13 on: October 16, 2006, 07:31:22 PM »

Quote from: -Lord Ebonstone- on October 16, 2006, 07:02:34 PM

Quote from: warning on October 16, 2006, 06:49:00 PM

Why reward a company financially for bad behavior?  It's not like there aren't any other games out there to play.
See, at this point, EA's business practices are like Peak Oil.  As much as we wring our hands and sob and oh so passionately demand on internet forums that we switch to ethanol engines, or not buy EA games, the fact of the matter is, EA, like fossil fuel usage, is completely unstoppable at this point.  A few hardcore gamers ignoring an EA release does nothing to their profitability.

Instead, it's better if we just buy the damn game if it's fun, just like buying the damn fossil fuel if we need to drive somewhere.  In both these situations, we are actually affecting positive change because we're doing our part to force both moments to a crisis -- oil depletion will finally light a fire under our asses to get some alternate fuel going, (or it'll just kill us all but oh well), and EA will continue doing shadier and shadier little tricks until someone sues their ass and they shape up (or they just go bankrupt but oh well).

No, that wasn't supposed to make any sense.

Unfortunately, Sony was able to brush their foul-up under the carpet with too much ease. EA's BS is here to stay.
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Scott
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« Reply #14 on: October 16, 2006, 07:51:51 PM »

Quote
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.
I'm confused.  Does this mean there will be adware installed that will run all the time, or just when the game is running and you happen to be browsing while it is minimized? 

It will be interesting to see if this is mentioned in reviews.  If not, then I'd have to question the integrity of any review site.  This potentially sounds a lot worse then Starforce.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2006, 07:53:22 PM by Scott » Logged

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« Reply #15 on: October 16, 2006, 10:21:44 PM »

I was pondering getting it this week because Fry's has it on sale now I'm out.
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« Reply #16 on: October 17, 2006, 08:36:56 AM »

The game's the same old Battlefield dressed up in near future scifi.  Nothing new, it may be fun, but so are so many other games out now and in the future.

Not to mention I'd rather support other companies.
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« Reply #17 on: October 17, 2006, 03:41:44 PM »

Quote from: Scott on October 16, 2006, 07:51:51 PM

Quote
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.
I'm confused.  Does this mean there will be adware installed that will run all the time, or just when the game is running and you happen to be browsing while it is minimized? 

It will be interesting to see if this is mentioned in reviews.  If not, then I'd have to question the integrity of any review site.  This potentially sounds a lot worse then Starforce.
I can't imagine it won't be running all the time.

I've been out until I heard good impressions and the price dropped, but this makes me know I won't regret hearing the IRC guys talk about how much fun it is.
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« Reply #18 on: October 17, 2006, 09:43:56 PM »

I understand why some people dont care, but IMO this is the height of absurdity.
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« Reply #19 on: October 18, 2006, 01:12:47 AM »

Quote from: Turtle on October 17, 2006, 08:36:56 AM

The game's the same old Battlefield dressed up in near future scifi.  Nothing new, it may be fun, but so are so many other games out now and in the future.

Not to mention I'd rather support other companies.

Ditto.. It felt like nothing more than BF2 reskinned, and frankly, I've had enough of the BF series and EA's bullshit.
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« Reply #20 on: October 18, 2006, 01:45:00 AM »

The latest game informer's review said it was pretty much "a $50 mod".

The adware has to be monitoring you even when you're not playing since it says it tracks your surfing habits. How else would they know what to put in the ads if they didn't know what sites you were visiting?
It shoudn't be up to a third party to have to hack the game just to get rid of adware. You pay $50 for this.. that should be more than enough reason for no spyware. (Sorry, adware!)

And of course the singleplayer fans (over at battlefield singleplayer) have been up in arms about EA always leaving them out. Still the same old little 16 player maps.. they started it out right with BF1942 when you could add up to 64 bots into your games, then came BF2 and it went to just 16.
It was up to the fans (non-paid and working on their own time) to work hard getting maps to support 32 and 64 bots.

Even if my aging PC could handle this game, I woudn't buy it.
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« Reply #21 on: October 18, 2006, 03:18:21 PM »

OUT

Man, I grow to hate EA more and more every day.
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« Reply #22 on: October 18, 2006, 03:38:27 PM »

It looks like the plot thickens, and it's mostly being thickened with horseshit.

According to Bill Harris' blog, the game may require you to disable this Windows security patch: "A security issue has been identified in the Windows Kernel that could allow an attacker to compromise your Windows-based system and gain control over it."  If it's ok with you, EA, can I also leave my front door unlocked so that you can come in while I'm asleep and leave ad pamphlets for me on my nightstand?

I do find it interesting just how much thought they've put into the in-game ads.  Also from Bill's blog, the game records how long you look at an ad, what angle you were viewing it, and the size of the ad from your viewpoint.  This is undoubtedly going to be a new trend in future games, you can almost hear the developers of racing games salivate at the idea of getting paid every lap you drive past a Firestone billboard.
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« Reply #23 on: October 18, 2006, 05:30:37 PM »

So, here's one question: I have no problem with 'realistic' advertising. If I'm playing a sports title (which I don't anyway), I know I'll be bombarded by ads. Why? If I flip on the boob tube and watch a sports game, I'll be bombarded by ads anyway. It's a given.

But this is a game that's set in the future, where 'current' ads will be pointless and a scam to get more money into the company. Which is entirely what this is.

Anyway - what ads could you see that wouldn't seem out of place, yet would still line EA's pocketbooks?
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« Reply #24 on: October 18, 2006, 07:22:24 PM »

This is getting just a little bit crazy. BF2142, to be honest, is more of a mod than a full game, yet it is full price ($50), includes in-game ads, and the ranked server program is also making EA a very pretty penny for EA post-release. Ugh, it gets me frustrated.

However, I am in favor FOR in-game advertising as long as I see a benefit. The benefit could be.

- New content (which EA is suppousively doing)
- Less bugs, more patches, quicker patching
- Lower game pricing
- For MMO games - opting in for ads for with monthly price discounts, opting out but pay more per month.

Now, I'm going to without judgement about this until a few months now. But we have better get a lot of new maps, weapons, vehicles and other unlocks. If they start releasing expansion and "booster" packs... well I'm going to be pissed then. I have this sinking feeling that we aren't going to see this new content and "post game" support - I have a feeling that they mean this is to make a profit while still patching.

I remember when patching used to be a rare thing. Then it became more common, but fairly reliable that bugs would be fixed in most titles. Now, it's becoming a PRIVILAGE to get a patch for their buggy product?

Now, if we do see Booster pack levels of additions for BF2142, for no extra cost, that is instead been made from advertising income, then great. I'm a new believer. But I bet EA is going to be making their money off of Booster / expansion packs, their ranked servers (which you have to pay extra for), and now their advertisements.

My final concern is not how the income is used, but how the ads are used. I really hope they are not intrusive or damaging to the gameplay at ALL. I'm finding it really hard to be immersed with Dodge ads 100 years in the future... but we'll see. Planetside did a fair job, I only noticed in bases and it seemed fairly intergrated - with scan lines and a futuristic ambience to it, even though I was looking at a Navy Accelerate Your Life ad. If they can keep ads out of the combat areas for the most part (in the main bases and titans, for example), or even better made them destrucible. That would be awesome.
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« Reply #25 on: October 18, 2006, 11:20:30 PM »

Mattc0m - do you seriously believe for one moment that EA will use the ad revenue to give more content to the players (for free)? Or to patch their (more than likely) buggy product?

I sure as hell don't.
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« Reply #26 on: October 19, 2006, 01:18:33 AM »

I was looking forward to this, but if you are going to make money off of me, I want the game for free or a monthly check.

Does anyone know if the demo includes this? If not I can satisfy myself with that.
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« Reply #27 on: October 19, 2006, 02:23:49 AM »

Played for a few hours today with my #gg brethren... still fun.  Basically the same as BF2, but still fun.

gellar
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« Reply #28 on: October 19, 2006, 06:12:10 AM »

Yeah we did have a hell of a blast.  Especially when gellar and I went crazy in the helo/fighter thingie.

As for EA installing spyware and monitoring every aspect of your system.......Click here.  I think Harvey Danger would agree that not everyone is trying to get you.
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« Reply #29 on: October 19, 2006, 12:24:48 PM »

Quote from: Darkfyre on October 19, 2006, 06:12:10 AM

Yeah we did have a hell of a blast.  Especially when gellar and I went crazy in the helo/fighter thingie.

As for EA installing spyware and monitoring every aspect of your system.......Click here.  I think Harvey Danger would agree that not everyone is trying to get you.

I don't have a problem with the adware issue per se, I have a problem with the fact that I paid for a game at full price AND the company is using me to get more money. If they gave the game away or realistically lowered the price to $20, then it might be different, but to do this on a "full priced" game is not acceptable to me.

Not to mention, do they really think that people will stop playing a game long enough to really register an ad? Unless there are nude people in it, I would doubt it and if there are nude people, there goes another Hot Coffee/AO incident in the making.
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« Reply #30 on: October 19, 2006, 01:43:14 PM »

Quote from: Darkfyre on October 19, 2006, 06:12:10 AM

As for EA installing spyware and monitoring every aspect of your system.......Click here.  I think Harvey Danger would agree that not everyone is trying to get you.

http://dubiousquality.blogspot.com/2006/10/still-more-ea-and-its-getting-worse.html

Quote
And here's the other problem, which appears to be much bigger. DQ reader Noah Dullis sent me this:
EA released a patch for Battlefield 2142 today, and I noticed this while looking through its ReadMe:"Players who have the Windows security update KB917422 installed may suffer from an application error when running Battlefield 2142. This error can be solved by uninstalling the KB917422 update."

And what does the Windows security update KB917422 do?

From Microsoft: "A security issue has been identified in the Windows Kernel that could allow an attacker to compromise your Windows-based system and gain control over it.

Outstanding! To play Battlefield 2141, not only do we have to put up with intrusive advertising, we have to uninstall a security update that was designed to protect the Windows Kernel.

That's concern enough for me.  The adware junk is just icing on the cake.
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« Reply #31 on: October 19, 2006, 04:54:29 PM »

Quote from: Darkfyre on October 19, 2006, 06:12:10 AM

Yeah we did have a hell of a blast.  Especially when gellar and I went crazy in the helo/fighter thingie.

As for EA installing spyware and monitoring every aspect of your system.......Click here.  I think Harvey Danger would agree that not everyone is trying to get you.

Need for Speed Carbon will have this bullshit too??  Oh well, save me another $50 now..
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« Reply #32 on: October 19, 2006, 05:16:50 PM »

I've had no such issues.

I haven't even noticed ads actually.

gellar
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« Reply #33 on: October 19, 2006, 05:19:31 PM »

Man, people will believe any second hand bullshit, won't they?

The ad software is nothing like people are describing it in here.  It's not adware, it doesn't send in your surfing habits or cookies... it doesn't do any of that stuff. 

http://www.joystiq.com/2006/10/18/ea-clarifies-iga-spyware/

If people actually took the time to even read the slip of paper in the game a lot of these ridiculous claims wouldn't even be entertained.
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« Reply #34 on: October 19, 2006, 06:23:38 PM »

Quote from: Mattc0m on October 18, 2006, 07:22:24 PM



However, I am in favor FOR in-game advertising as long as I see a benefit. The benefit could be.

- New content (which EA is suppousively doing)
- Less bugs, more patches, quicker patching
- Lower game pricing
- For MMO games - opting in for ads for with monthly price discounts, opting out but pay more per month.

Not in a 'bajillion' years.

Though I can see the in-game stuff for MMO's now. A big sign pops up at the end of an instance, "This boss monster brought to you by..."
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« Reply #35 on: October 19, 2006, 06:24:55 PM »

Quote from: Kratz on October 19, 2006, 05:19:31 PM

Man, people will believe any second hand bullshit, won't they?

The ad software is nothing like people are describing it in here.  It's not adware, it doesn't send in your surfing habits or cookies... it doesn't do any of that stuff. 

http://www.joystiq.com/2006/10/18/ea-clarifies-iga-spyware/

If people actually took the time to even read the slip of paper in the game a lot of these ridiculous claims wouldn't even be entertained.

Ehh, your at Gamingtrend. Basically 'bashing central' for EA.
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« Reply #36 on: October 19, 2006, 06:33:07 PM »

Quote from: Jumangi on October 19, 2006, 06:24:55 PM

Quote from: Kratz on October 19, 2006, 05:19:31 PM

Man, people will believe any second hand bullshit, won't they?

The ad software is nothing like people are describing it in here.  It's not adware, it doesn't send in your surfing habits or cookies... it doesn't do any of that stuff. 

http://www.joystiq.com/2006/10/18/ea-clarifies-iga-spyware/

If people actually took the time to even read the slip of paper in the game a lot of these ridiculous claims wouldn't even be entertained.

Ehh, your at Gamingtrend. Basically 'bashing central' for EA.

I don't think GT is alone in that title.  It could be extended to "Teh Internets."

gellar
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« Reply #37 on: October 19, 2006, 06:37:10 PM »

Quote from: Kratz on October 19, 2006, 05:19:31 PM

Man, people will believe any second hand bullshit, won't they?

I never bought into the whole spyware thing myself, but that doesn't mean I still support their ideas or methods.

Regardless, what I don't like is the fact that they are "Targetted" ads based on IP, and that they track "Hits" on the ingame billboard.  This once again, starts a slippery slope..  It won't end until there are scrolling advertisements across the screen while we play, mark my words.  These corporate fucks get a hand in the door, and it is all down hill from there.

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« Reply #38 on: October 19, 2006, 08:13:09 PM »

Yes, you have nailed it.  That's what will happen.

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« Reply #39 on: October 20, 2006, 03:17:17 AM »

Why do they have to use IP addresses to track and target ads?  Why can't I just select a country when I install it? 

And the problems with the Windows Kernel security error is a bit worrying.  Not that I bought the game or will any time soon. 
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