EA, No.

December 4, 2015

In preparation for its second expansion being released on Tuesday, EA released a large patch for The Sims 4. It included a couple of new, minor features as well as quite a few bugfixes for both the vanilla game and some of the add-on content. It also did this:

TS4_x64 2015-12-04 17-40-27-48The above is a picture of the map screen, that allows players to switch between game worlds. You may notice that the only member of the second row there is greyed out with a lock over it. This is Windenburg, the neighborhood included with the expansion that hasn’t come out yet and that I do not own. But don’t worry, EA has happily provided me with a convenient button which I can use to go right to Origin’s pre-order page without even having to minimize my game!

This is… really gross. EA did the same thing The Sims 3 in one patch, where they added advertisements for DLC objects and the like right in the in-game catalog next to all of the stuff you did own and were allowed to use. Although you could at least disable those there through some obscure tickbox in the options panel. Invasive advertising in games that have already been bought is a big kick in the face to customers and just generally scummy.

I already have to open Origin to run this game so I already know whatever games EA is advertising on its storefront. There was also already a little icon at the top of the main menu that let you see all of the DLC you didn’t yet own and glowed whenever you first open the game and haven’t yet bought something. There’s no reason to also put advertisements that are this intrusive in a game. Whatever benefit in exposure you get from it probably doesn’t outweigh how much this alienates customers.

But you’ve been doing shit like this for years, EA, so I guess you like it that way.