Over the past week, several older Ubisoft games, notably Rainbow Six Vegas and SWAT 4, have been found to be unplayable when the player is online. Even if I started a single player game. And the reason for that is advertising.
As a twitter user explained _eezstreet_Both of these games (and probably others) use the Massive Incorporated ad system. This is one of the ad agencies that started selling ads exclusively in games. Like in the remaster of Alan Wake, from which the Energizer and Verizon ads will be removed. But while Alan Wake is a static ad that is added only once, Massive Incorporated takes a different approach.
For the past week, Rainbow Six Vegas and SWAT 4 were rendered unplayable while connected to the internet, even when playing in singleplayer. The reason why? Ads. ????
– eezstreet (@_eezstreet_) September 14, 2021
Massive was committed to broadcasting ads directly to games, like billboards with screens on which the picture changes. Similar methods have been used for a very long time, at one time, Barack Obama’s campaign even placed dynamic ads in the game Madden 09, when he applied for the presidency of the United States.
The in-game advertising industry is growing as hell. If in 2004 it was estimated at $ 34 million, then in 2024 the sector should bring more than $ 56 billion. Not surprisingly, Microsoft bought Massive Incorporated for several hundred million dollars.
As part of Microsoft, the agency continued to operate as usual, but this month the Massive Ads content server stopped sending content when requested. Presumably Microsoft has shut down the service. And this led to the fact that some games stopped working correctly, because such a situation was not laid in them.
Fortunately, Microsoft is already aware of the problem and SWAT 4 should work correctly, but there may still be difficulties in certain regions and specific games. This mainly applies to fairly old titles.