One Way To Fight Back Over 2142 Spyware

phide

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I have yet to see something so deplorable in the gaming industry as this. There are some honorable mentions, but nothing quite reaches the magnitude of wretchedness as what EA has done here (and willingly to boot).

It's an unfortunate scenario, as product boycotting has the side effect of negatively impacting sales at, mainly, software boutiques, who really need as many sales as possible. There has been an extreme shift in past years for stores that carry PC and console games -- many are now a console-only affair (i.e., from EB Games to Gamestop). I for one must drive ~12 miles to an independent software shop to secure a PC game, as all past local EB locations are now console-exclusive Gamestops.

So, what actions will I take? At the least, I will never purchase an EA product again. Any further actions I may take would be frowned upon here at the good ol' [H], so I won't be discussing that.

On the subject of in-game ads, I don't imagine I'll ever intentionally buy a game for $50-60 that includes dynamic advertisements. If the entry price is "free", however, I imagine I'd have no trouble stomaching some ads (even if they are excessive at times). I have my priorities, and my wallet does all the talking.
 

firtol88

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Too many other choices out there to put up with this BS. No more of my money for EA period!
 

WhyYouLoveMe

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phide said:
I have my priorities, and my wallet does all the talking.

The best line so far in this thread when it comes to games decisions.

$50 for adware, an additional Windows security threat, a Titan mode and a few unlocks? I think not.
 

Tycoonbrad

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I didn't buy Battlefield 2 when it came out becaue it didn't have coop play. Me and my buddies liked to play BF 1942 against an AI only group of enemies. We didn't care about playing against other real people. We aren't hardcore gamers. We only play once a week for a few hours. We didn't want to take on hardcore players only to be owned at every turn. Anyway, EA/DICE lost six customers, all my Thursday night crew, when they removed that feature from their software. Sure, someone recommended we could "get around" coop mode with some modifications, but we wanted to send them a message. I don't think they heard it. With this new spyware fiasco brewing, I hope this is the straw that gets them to listen to their users.
 

WhyYouLoveMe

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Tycoonbrad said:
I didn't buy Battlefield 2 when it came out becaue it didn't have coop play. Me and my buddies liked to play BF 1942 against an AI only group of enemies. We didn't care about playing against other real people. We aren't hardcore gamers. We only play once a week for a few hours. We didn't want to take on hardcore players only to be owned at every turn. Anyway, EA/DICE lost six customers, all my Thursday night crew, when they removed that feature from their software. Sure, someone recommended we could "get around" coop mode with some modifications, but we wanted to send them a message. I don't think they heard it. With this new spyware fiasco brewing, I hope this is the straw that gets them to listen to their users.

FYI - The latest BF2 patch introduced co-op play again. So... it's all good now. :)
 

Dan_D

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qfour20 said:
*sigh* Privacy is not just about those with something to hide. It's a sad state that the world is coming to, and people who share your opinions are just hurling us ever faster towards that end. Please, put down the mouse, power off the computer, and go sit under a tree and read "1984" again.

Sorry if I flamed anyone, but this situation repulses me. You can claim that "hippy crap" like not spending your money with a company that is doing things you disagree with accomplishes nothing, but I'd rather try and accomplish nothing than not try. I'm glad you're enjoying the game, though. Frag on, I guess.

-q

I am all for privacy, don't missunderstand, but I think that this particular situation is being over exaggerated.

I am ok with ingame adware as long as it doesn't impact performance on the game. I'd prefer it if the advertising led to real coke machines in the games to blow up, and billboards to crash helicopters and jets through, and I am ok with the guns having real gun manufacturers names on them.

That's what the advertising should be. A way to make the games look and feel more realistic, while advertising for the companies that put up the cash for it in a subtle way. So far I haven't noticed any adds in BF2142.

If the game started to do serious data mining on my PC, then I'd be pissed off too. I don't have anything to hide, and I understand your position on this matter. I even share it when it comes to privacy. The main thing I wanted to do was play devils advocate in this thread. There is far too much unjustified hate directed at EA these days. I'm more pissed about how they treat their employees and operate as a company than I am about their products. I've only had one serious issue with any EA game on my PC to date. That was with BF2 and I solved it by switching sound cards. I blame Creative Labs for shitty Audigy drivers as much as I do EA for BF2's code on that one.

The main objection to the the IGA stuff is that I don't actually know what it is really doing. I'd love for someone to rip the BF2142 code apart and find out for sure what is going on in there. Right now I have the game installed and I am playing it, taking the risk like several other people. Fortunately, there is nothing on my system to compromise, so I am not worried about it.

As to the points about ripping out security patches to run the game, I don't find it surprising that the code for this game is bad enough to warrant having to do that to run it. No one is forcing you to do that, and MS has no right to step in. You modify your system, patch it and remove patches at your own risk. MS has no skin in the game and probably don't care.

Now its hard to tell if EA has directed the removal of the security update because that update breaks the advertising, and they want you to compromise your security for them, or if its a defect in the software and that is a workaround, with a fix being in the works and hopefully released soon. Obviously it's hard to tell which scenario is the correct one. Conspiricy theorists are obviously going to make EA out to be evil. I rather think that EA is concerned only with making money, and they will do whatever is necessary to acomplish that task. That's not evil, that's just business.

We used to accuse Microsoft of many of the same types of things. The difference is Microsoft has listened to their customers, and saw Linux's market share grow a bit, and have become a much better company with better products over the last few years.

EA's profits are getting larger, and therefore they see no reason to re-evaluate their tactics and change.
 

DasFox

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I see most people looking at the here, and now, our present day sitiuation.

What about the future, where does all of this lead us in 10 years?

Future Spyware/Adware legality
Future views on exploitations of people, ethics and business practices.
Software that shapes our laws and privacy
The general health and well being of people and especially children that play these games.

Remember we are sharing an idea that needs to have an acceptable world view.

It might seem innocent now, but no one can say truthfully what this is 10 years from now, and that is what we must remember, what can this all turn into?

ALOHA
 

The DarkBlade

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Dan_D said:
We used to accuse Microsoft of many of the same types of things. The difference is Microsoft has listened to their customers, and saw Linux's market share grow a bit, and have become a much better company with better products over the last few years.

Forget about WGA? I appreciate that MS wants to protect their investment, but as someone who has 3 machines with legit Windows copies, I have to say it's not acceptable for me to have to install some piece of hosing software that slows up my machine just so they can double checkup on me.
 

Susquehannock

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DasFox said:
I see most people looking at the here, and now, our present day sitiuation.

What about the future, where does all of this lead us in 10 years?

Future Spyware/Adware legality
Future views on exploitations of people, ethics and business practices.
Software that shapes our laws and privacy
The general health and well being of people and especially children that play these games.

Remember we are sharing an idea that needs to have an acceptable world view.

It might seem innocent now, but no one can say truthfully what this is 10 years from now, and that is what we must remember, what can this all turn into?

ALOHA
Excactly!!

This whole thing reminds me of the frog in the cookpot metaphor.

Drop a frog into a pot of boiling water and it will jump out immediately. But if you heat the pot very slowly the frog will stay and be cooked.

This is exactly what is happening here. Feeding us crap a tiny piece at a time. Many won't see the whole turd until it's too late.
 

whrswoldo

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There seems to be a lot of discussion as to whether or not the code monitoring and streaming ads in the game is spyware or not. To me, it doesn't matter how they are using the information gathered.

I don't mind the concept of ingame ads if it is done tastefully in the context of the game and does not detract from gameplay, and as I have not seen actual pictures of the ads in game I cannot comment. I can say that the subway ads that showed up in CS:S irritated me enough to detract from gameplay. Having an actual "CocaCola" machine instead of a "soda" machine in game could actually be a positive change imo, but a big yellow sign for subway on the side of a dusty cliff not so much.

IGA, the company doing the ads in BF2142, is incidently the same company that brought us the subway ads that showed up in CS:S.

Furthermore, there is no way that the additional ad code is not using additional CPU cycles and network traffic. Does this cost me money or affect my performance? Yes, however miniscule the amount may be.

I wouldn't underestimate the effect of this either; in IGA's Q/A response they mention that their code measures the time the ad was seen, how large, and at what angle. They even hint at ads in the form of video streams!

The time that each ad impression takes place is also recorded by IGA, alongside what type of ad content it was (billboard, megaboard, or video stream), the duration (how long was the ad seen for), the size of the ad relative to the player, and the angle of deflection (what angle the ad is viewed at).

I can just imagine the fun when during a fierce fire fight a video of one of those damn "eat fresh" subway commercials pops up on a nearby billboard. :rolleyes:
 

Martyr

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Susquehannock said:
Excactly!!

This whole thing reminds me of the frog in the cookpot metaphor.

Drop a frog into a pot of boiling water and it will jump out immediately. But if you heat the pot very slowly the frog will stay and be cooked.

This is exactly what is happening here. Feeding us crap a tiny piece at a time. Many won't see the whole turd until it's too late.
way to copy lol http://hardforum.com/showpost.php?p=1030099267&postcount=177
 

DasFox

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Susquehannock, nice one, glad to see someone is awake. ;)

At times I couldn't stand living in Hawaii, so many stupid narrow minded Americans moving into the islands not seeing the big picture here either, but because of the small minds of our country I'm truly glad in situations like this, I'm not on the mainland living anymore.

ALOHA

P.S. One big boy looking to move from Maui to Kauai to get away even further. ;)
 

Frosteh

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firtol88 said:
Too many other choices out there to put up with this BS. No more of my money for EA period!

This is actually a more inherently stronger reason not to support this crap, we have other games that are being built which have got far more technology improvements over Bf2142, far more has gone in with R&D and almost certainly Beta testing yet they do not rely on adverts to make money.

Many people considering EA to be at the stage where they're milking the BF2142 series for all its worth now anyhow, but actually providing such a small change in features and looks it hardly seems worth paying full amount for this (i'm gonna say it!) mod.

Had this been a upgrade akin to the change between farcry and crysis or UT2004 to UT2007 then maybe people wouldn't be so disgusted. If UT2007 were to host ads i'd not buy the game still but at least I could understand the imense effort they put into improving their already damn fine engine.

Mod prices with no adverts I could accept with BF2142, even it was half price I still would not buy it until they fixed BF2 even if I did like BF2142 (which i simply don't)

Selling this at full priced game retail = taking the piss
Adding in adverts into a game which should already be a mod price = taking the piss x10
 

HardOCP News

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DasFox said:
At times I couldn't stand living in Hawaii, so many stupid narrow minded Americans moving into the islands not seeing the big picture here either, but because of the small minds of our country I'm truly glad in situations like this, I'm not on the mainland living anymore.

Can we please stay away from the "stupid narrow minded Americans" crap? Your big picture and other people's big picture might be two different things. I've asked nicely to keep the thread on topic because it is linked on the front page, please use the General Mayhem forums for "stupid narrow minded American" threads.
 

Frosteh

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Steve said:
Can we please stay away from the "stupid narrow minded Americans" crap? Your big picture and other people's big picture might be two different things. I've asked nicely to keep the thread on topic because it is linked on the front page, please use the General Mayhem forums for "stupid narrow minded American" threads.

this whole situtaion made me lol
 

Dan_D

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The DarkBlade said:
Forget about WGA? I appreciate that MS wants to protect their investment, but as someone who has 3 machines with legit Windows copies, I have to say it's not acceptable for me to have to install some piece of hosing software that slows up my machine just so they can double checkup on me.

This is beyond the realm of the discussion, but I agree with you. Microsoft does go overboard from time to time. Having to pull a security fix off the machine to play a game is deplorable and EA needs to get that fixed. On the other hand, I've encountered software that didn't like security patches until they were fixed at a later date. Anyone who worked in IT or used computers professionally should remember how bad things were when SP2 came out. Many companies and individuals had to hold off on installing SP2 until a much later date because of compatibility issues. Microsoft went so far as to say at the time that the software that didn't work was a security risk anyway. Companies of course eventually put their software right. EA needs do the same.

Altiris is one expensive piece of software that didn't like the most recent service pack for Windows Server 2003 and I was forced to go back and remove SP1 until they patched Altiris. For those that don't know, Altiris is pretty damned expensive PC management/remote control/Inventory/imaging software and it does some other things too with the right add ons. I thought Altiris needed to get on the ball and update thier product, but I never went so far as to say that them not having it fixed was unacceptable or ludicrous. They eventually fixed it. The work around for SP1 Servers at the time was to remove SP1. This is the same as the BF2142 game situation. The difference is one is a game and the other is not.

If you find removing a security patch unacceptable, then you obviously can't play the game.
 

DasFox

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Sorry you all are quite correct I did not follow even mine own words, for sticking to the topic.

I humbly apologize. :(

ALOHA
 

Riddlinkidstoner

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I haven't seen any Subway ads in CS:S but holy crap theres so much porn sprays its not even funny anymore. Sometimes they aren't even sprays but pictures posted by the server.


I've seen one with a horse...I'll leave it at that.


As for the spyware...well nothing we can do about it. My local radio station broadcasted it yesterday morning after I sent the email about it a few days ago, they looked into it and found some online forums talking about it so they decided to buy the game and read out the EULA that was found in the box and started laughing at it, saying what the fuck. i forgot which station i sent it to actually replied though...i emailed a lot of them and only one actually said something about it.
 

Wizard220

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I have been watching this thread and other threads on this matter. This matter has a few things that needs to be mentioned:

Note for all.

I could care less about some damn ad on a billboard or side of a building while im blasting away but lets look at how EA "sneeked" this in.

1) You the buyer goes out to the major retailer and see's the box on the shelf. You pick up the box and find not one mention of this IGA Adware crap. The box is viod of any of this.

You grab it and goto the checkout and fork over the 50 to 60 bucks for it. You get home and "open" the box and what do you find inside. This is what you will find:

"The disclaimer notes that the game may include software that records users' IP addresses and "other anonymous information" collectively referred to as "advertising data." It also says that information is sent off to advertising firm IGA Worldwide for the purpose of delivering in-game ads, and if users don't want IGA to have access to that data, their only recourse is to not play or even install the game on a computer with Internet access."

Now that you have "opened" the box it will be very hard to nearly impossible to ever get a l refund. I have checked the following retailers here in my town that I live in for return policy.

Walmart
Bestbuy
Circuit City
CompUSA

All 4 has a "zero" return policy on "opened" box(s) for software. The best you can do is to get a LIKE replacement or exachange for "defective" cd/disk/rom software disks.

So now what do you do. You have to litterly take this issue to court for any action or litterly scream till your blue to the upper management in this.

2) You goto the EA downloader site, reg and find this BF2142 game. You fork over your credit card number and read over all the doc's that EA has posted/linked to.

As in item "1" there is not one mention of this IGA Adware crap. None what so ever. You make the final approval and pay using your credit card. You down load th software and do the install. Guess what pops up rearing its ugly head. The IGA software EULA.

"The disclaimer notes that the game may include software that records users' IP addresses and "other anonymous information" collectively referred to as "advertising data." It also says that information is sent off to advertising firm IGA Worldwide for the purpose of delivering in-game ads, and if users don't want IGA to have access to that data, their only recourse is to not play or even install the game on a computer with Internet access."

Again not ONE mention of this BEFORE you paid via your credit card and downloaded said software. Sorry again it was "sneeked" in and you the user/consumer was UNAWARE of this till the SALE was made.

These are the 2 most important issues that is at stake. Why wasnt this told to us BEFORE we made the sale, DL the game or opened the box. Also the fact that you MAY have to uninstall a High Priority Security update that prevents remote code execution is also wrong.

Sorry folks but the whole point is that EA wasnt honest with its customers. They wanted the MONEY knowing full well that retailers will and can not accept opened boxes. I have called EA support in this issue and let me tell you, the run a round I got trying to see if there is a refund policy and if you can indeed get a full refund is damn near impossible. I was sent from one dude to the next. After 25 minutes I gave up and said the hell with buying BF2142.

I just hope that they have NO plans on putting this crap into MOH Airborne. BlackHat has posted about this issue and has reasurred us all that there is NO plans on doing so. Good news for MOH Airborne fans. Time will tell tho.

Here is a link to the site that I am a admin on that we have been watching this. We have also posted what we all have done and even legal docs that anyone can use to submitt a complaint.

http://www.raidersmerciless.com/showthread.php?t=347

If you all purchased it and dont agree with how it was SNEEKED in and what not. Good luck in getting your money back. Its damn near impossible.

Also may I add this tidbit.

You pay FULL RETAIL price for it and then the ads plays thru while you play. Did you know that EA is making money off you while this IGA crap is doing its thing. Yes folks, you are being used to help EA make even MORE money while you play. Funny huh. I bet that some of you didnt know that. I find this very funny, they make full retail dollars off you and then make even more money while you play.

hahahhahahahahhahahahhahhahaha LMAO ROFL

Not from me they dont. I refuse to do this crap.
 

Banyan

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Wizard220 said:
Did you know that EA is making money off you while this IGA crap is doing its thing.

i know you are new here and all but we are not all morons.

i like that there are software guinea pigs in addition to hardware ones. without them the rest of us would have to deal with so much more shit. i salute you!
 

Wally

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I'm still waiting for someone to point out one of these massively intrusive billboard ads out to me, i've seen none anywhere. Maybe this whole looking at/for the enemy and shooting shit business is where i'm going wrong?
 

Wizard220

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Banyan said:
i know you are new here and all but we are not all morons.

i like that there are software guinea pigs in addition to hardware ones. without them the rest of us would have to deal with so much more shit. i salute you!

I did not say that anyone was a moron. I apologize if my post read or looked like that. I meant no disrespect to anyone.
 

Susquehannock

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Wally said:
I'm still waiting for someone to point out one of these massively intrusive billboard ads out to me, i've seen none anywhere. Maybe this whole looking at/for the enemy and shooting shit business is where i'm going wrong?
In case you did not see it, post #117 in this thread has an image of some of those ads.
http://www.hardforum.com/showpost.php?p=1030098485&postcount=117

Anyone know how much bandwidth these streaming ads require? Or how much system resources rendering them uses? That is what many of the people I know who are into Battlefield are concerned about.
 

Worldhammer

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I think the real reason for so much anger in this thread is because we are on ad overload. You cant make a move anywhere, anymore without someone trying to hold you down and sell you something whether you fucking like it or not. Every year that goes by it gets a little worse. Remember when we used to watch a clean TV screen? We watched our show then break for commercial, and so on. Now we get bugged the fuck out of during the show with ads that obscure text and sub titles for christs sake! Mnemonics cemented onto the screen since they apparently feel you are so stupid you need a permanent reminder of what channel you are watching. (Unless of course there is a real commercial in which case it then disappears, did you ever think hard about just how backwards that is?) Pop ups moved right out of pcs to the tv. It is only a matter of time till it is product being spammed at us and not merely other shows. (and I am not 100% sure if there is a true distinction between them) When is enough, in fact enough? It has been shown repeatedly that advertisings effectiveness is at an all time low. So instead of getting the message, we get new buzz words and phrases like, "we have to break through the clutter" Hello!? What is unclear about the necessity of that?

The bottom line is that alot of us are just sick to death of it. Sick and tired of every deceptive, insidious effort of theirs to establish their moneygrubbing, place in our subconscious. LOOK at the changes that have taken place over the last 10 years alone. Oh but none of it is a big deal. I'm sure this new standard won't change or become more intrusive at all!!! Just look how well behaved they have been up to this point! No! we didn't have to run them out of our elementary schools at all!
 

DasFox

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Thanks Wizard220 for your input, but this was all mentioned before.

It's not just the deception, it's also about turning kids into buying machines.

ALOHA
 

Wally

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Susquehannock said:
In case you did not see it, post #117 in this thread has an image of some of those ads.
http://www.hardforum.com/showpost.php?p=1030098485&postcount=117

Anyone know how much bandwidth these streaming ads require? Or how much system resources rendering them uses? That is what many of the people I know who are into Battlefield are concerned about.

That's a photoshop job, and not even massively witty. Unfortunately, I appear to have been proved largely right in my perception of those complaining not actually having a clue...
 

Dan_D

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Susquehannock said:
In case you did not see it, post #117 in this thread has an image of some of those ads.
http://www.hardforum.com/showpost.php?p=1030098485&postcount=117

Anyone know how much bandwidth these streaming ads require? Or how much system resources rendering them uses? That is what many of the people I know who are into Battlefield are concerned about.

That's a Photochop. The actual in game ads aren't even noticable. You really have to look for them.
 

Paithar

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I'm confused a little bit. I bought the game last Friday. Before I installed it, however, I not only downloaded the 1.01 patch and went to MS update and made sure my machine was completely up to date. After installing the game and playing for about 10 hours or so throughout the weekend I have had, really, no issues. I did not have to uninstall an MS security patch.

Also I have to wonder about the validity of that picture that was posted that shows all of those ads. Like I said, I played the game for about 10 hours and maybe it was because I was too busy trying to stay alive and kill the enemy, but I didn't notice any ads at all in the game. I'm pretty sure that if there were as many ads as that picture shows, I would've noticed something. Those are pretty blaring and in your face. I, however, just did not notice anything even close to that.

So where did that picture come from anyway? Also, how many people have installed the game and therefore have had to uninstall an MS security patch? I'm just curious since it hasn't effected me and I've been able to play quite well.
 

blade52x

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Is this only if you install online. I installed the game and haven't installed that GameSpy online thing, I wanted to try it out offline first, and haven't noticed anything bad, any adverts, or anything pretty much? It all looks normal to me?

I'm confused :confused: :confused:

And I didn't have to uninstall any security update either. The install finished without anything coming up asking me to do the sort.
 

UltimaParadox

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blade52x said:
Is this only if you install online. I installed the game and haven't installed that GameSpy online thing, I wanted to try it out offline first, and haven't noticed anything bad, any adverts, or anything pretty much? It all looks normal to me?

I'm confused :confused: :confused:

And I didn't have to uninstall any security update either. The install finished without anything coming up asking me to do the sort.

Currently the in game ads are not enabled, and the security update only affects certain machines.

Either way, where you say the blank billboards you will start seeing advertisements in the near future. They are probablly ironing it out to make sure it work for the companies, since you knows its important for it to work the "first time"
 

Frosteh

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UltimaParadox said:
Currently the in game ads are not enabled, and the security update only affects certain machines.

Either way, where you say the blank billboards you will start seeing advertisements in the near future. They are probablly ironing it out to make sure it work for the companies, since you knows its important for it to work the "first time"

Or making sure all the major reviews are done before they turn on the ads o_O
 
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