EA has been forced to clarify the usage of its advertising servers within Battlefield 2142.
The game, out this week, ships with technology from IGA to facilitate in-game advertising. This means that as you walk / fly / drive around the virtual world, you'll see billboards and visual cues designed to promote real-world brands to you.
However, there's been confusion over exactly what data EA is taking from you to do this. In the game's license agreement, you can read:
"When you use the Software while connected to the Internet, the Advertising Technology may record your Internet Protocol address and other anonymous information..."
That is a rather wide-reaching phrase that gives EA carte blanche to grab whatever details it wants from your machine - surfing history, cookies, etc.
The agreement then goes on to say that if you don't agree to this, you shouldn't install BF2142.
However, the game's publisher says this isn't the case. In a clarification issued to Joystiq
, EA says:
"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, account login 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 be repurposed for other uses."
So, EA says you're safe, even though the wording of the agreement remains wide. Reaction to the technology, so far, seems hostile - many gamers in the community are questionning why they should have to pay full price to a game which contains paid-for advertisements.
Let us know what you think of the whole debacle over in the forums.