I went to play some more of my Madden 2010 franchise this morning after not having played it since prior to writing the review up a few months ago. The PS3 flashes a notice that the game requires a 182 mb update, so I hit accept and start to watch the bar fill up. About a third of the way through, I grabbed my laptop to browse the web for some info on the update contents.

While reading up I saw a forum thread about the update listing gameplay related fixes (which sounded good), but it also featured a few comments stating that it added more in-game ads (which sounded bad). Unfortunately, before I could stop the download to read up some more, it had already completed. I pressed start thinking to myself … “how bad could it be?”

How bad could it be? It’s pull the hair from your head bad. It’s toss the game out your window bad. It’s “I’d rather have a buffalo take a diarrhea dump in my ear” bad.

The game now feature an advertisement for Madden Arcade that flashes on the screen — before every fucking snap!!! Are you fucking kidding me? Every snap? That’s just going too far. If you play with 15 minute quarters and the new accelerated clock feature, that adds up to well over 100 ad impressions each game.

It’s not even like the advertisement is subtle The damn thing is the equivalent of a white flag that pops out of a gag gun with the words “BANG!” on it. Got that visual? Good. Now picture someone standing in front of your TV pulling the damn trigger every 10 seconds. BANG! … BANG! … BANG! … MADDEN ARCADE AVAILABLE NOW! … BANG! … BANG!!

Surely if you already own the game the savvy folks at EA Sports would be kind enough to disable this ad right? Wrong. This poor soul, who owns both Madden 10 and Madden Arcade, finally reached his breaking point, issuing the following comment on the EA forums:

As of today before every snap in Madden 2010 Franchise Mode, a popup saying “Madden Arcade Available Now” appears. This is annoying for two reasons: First I already own the product, yet you are continuously trying to sell me this product. Second, the advertisement appears before every snap and stays on the screen until the ball is hiked. Your obnoxious advertisement pissed me off enough that I stopped playing to write this post. I’ve already given you [EA Sports] my money for Madden 2010 and Madden Arcade, why do I have to see any in-game advertisements?

Couldn’t agree with you more sir. Shame on you EA — you’ve taken in game advertising too far with this one and you deserve any and all bad press you get for it.

Update: I wanted to see if this ad filled update existed on the 360 version of the game, and sure enough, it does. The difference is that the 360 version pop-up ad promotes Microsoft’s new search engine “Bing”.

Also, I’ve reached out to EA regarding the update and their decision to implement the ad in this manner. I’ll update this post as soon as I hear something back.

Update #2: While I’ve yet to hear back from anyone at EA Sports/Tiburon, I recently powered up my PS3 to capture a video of the advertisement in action to better illustrate just how much of a distraction it was. To my surprise, it was gone. I’m not sure if the ad is time of day based or what but it isn’t showing up anymore. Could we have possibly got our point across to EA that quickly?

Update #3: Owen Good over at Kotaku let me know that the ad is still popping up in the 360 version of the game. So as of right now it seems that whatever change (if any) that was made only effects the PS3 version.

Please sound off in the comments section below if you are still seeing the ad or if it has vanished for you as well.