A /r/gaming sub-reddit user by the name of “MonsantoShill666” had been reading thought the EULA (Universal Terms of Service) for Elite: Dangerous and found quite an interesting segment.
“The Game may incorporate technology (which may be provided by Frontier or third party service providers engaged by Frontier (each a “Dynamic Advertising Provider”)) which enables advertising to be uploaded into the Game on your PC, and changed while the Game is being played on-line. In order that the Dynamic Advertising Provider is able to direct advertising appropriate to your Game and geographic region, as well as to the correct location within the computer game, certain non-personally identifiable data and information may be retrieved and retained by the Dynamic Advertising Provider including your I.P. address, geographic location, in-game position, and information concerning the appearance of advertising visible during your gameplay (for example, the length of time an item of advertising was visible, the dimensions of the advertisements). In addition, the Dynamic Advertising Provider may assign a unique identification number which is stored on your PC and which is used to monitor and calculate the number of views of dynamic advertising during gameplay. None of the information collected for this purpose including the identification number can be used to identify you.”
How will this work?
Well Elite:Dangerous has quite a few billboards around the space stations. We think these could be hooked up to an ad server and could serve ads.
Why does frontier need more money? well Ads keep the servers going.
This has happened before…
EA did a similar move with Battlefield 2142 with sponsors such as Loyd’s TSB and Intel advertising inside the game world. 2142 was a full retail priced game. EA has also put ads inside SimCity (with free downloadable DLC for Nissan’s Hybrid car charging stations) and Burnout Paradise.
Currently there are no single ways of opting out of these “tracking” ads from inside games this is due to the factor that the game will render the ads inside it’s own browser which wont have the DNT (Do Not Track) preferences that your normal browser has. One of the ways of “opting out” would be to setup a firewall and monitor the ad network’s connections then isolate them and block the ads one by one but that’s rather overkill. Hopefully in the future Gaming firms will allow you to disable tracking cookies inside games.