EA Confirms Obama Ads in Burnout: Paradise

October 14, 2008 -

Last week GamePolitics broke the news that in-game ads for Barack Obama were apparently running inside Burnout: Paradise on Xbox Live. Although we sought comment several times from publisher Electronic Arts before running that story, no confirmation was forthcoming.

GigaOm, however, managed to get the official word from Holly Rockwood, EA's director of corporate communications, late yesterday:

I can confirm that the Obama campaign has paid for in-game advertising in Burnout. Like most television, radio and print outlets, we accept advertising from credible political candidates. Like political spots on the television networks, these ads do not reflect the political policies of EA or the opinions of its development teams.

In the meantime, we've got an exclusive follow-up with Dragunov765, the gamer who took those great photos which originally brought the ads to our attention:

The photos were taken Oct. 6th, 2008 in my living room with an Olympus 550UZ... I imported them directly from the camera into Photoshop because Photobucket won't handle any images over 1Mb and I generally shoot in super HQ...  Beyond reducing the file size for posting to the internet, no other adjustments were made to the images.  The files I sent you were the images that came off the camera.  I would have taken more, but I didn't even have the memory stick in there because I'd just completed downloading some other photos and hadn't put it back in.

The funny thing is that I had already played through 97% of the game months ago and it was collecting dust on the shelf.  I had only tossed it in because we just bought the new TV and one of my daughter's friends wanted to see the motorcycles in action.  We'd been buzzing around the city in various vehicles at high speed for about half an hour before I happened to crash right in front of one of the billboards (Burnout's in-game camera induces vertigo if you try to manipulate it so you normally have to get a car airborne before you can actually read any of the signs close up).  It was a genuine "WTF?" moment.


Comments

Re: EA Confirms Obama Ads in Burnout: Paradise

 How about this, if we're going to be subjected to ads in games and the developers are going to make big money off of those ads, why not make the games free?

Re: EA Confirms Obama Ads in Burnout: Paradise

 

"you normally have to get a car airborne before you can actually read any of the signs close up"

What I find funnier than political advertising in games is that no one noticed it because players can't even see the ads. Guess those ad firms still haven't quite figured out games.

-Christopher J. Rock

http://blog.sokay.net/

-Christopher J. Rock http://blog.sokay.net/

Re: EA Confirms Obama Ads in Burnout: Paradise

Point for discussion:

Does the FCC play a role in in-game advertising, and if so, does the "equal time" rule apply?  If not, should they become involved in order appy television advertising rules to in-game ads?

Re: EA Confirms Obama Ads in Burnout: Paradise

I'm sure EA wouldn't refuse to let the McCain camp buy their own ads if they wanted to.

 

Re: EA Confirms Obama Ads in Burnout: Paradise

Gah, sad thing is, The Sims 3 is going to follow suit since I've seen pictures of ads in that as well.  Though that won't bother me since I won't be playing it.  But honestly, I don't want Obama in my video games.  I don't like him, but tbh, I don't want any political ads, or any ads period in my game.

 
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MechaTama31With the goal of...? Getting those media outlets to fire or silence the "scum"? That's shitty.07/28/2015 - 7:44pm
Mattsworknamewarned about the scum there assoicating with. Looking at you GAWKER media07/28/2015 - 7:37pm
MattsworknameI think the only reason it was the first action was alot of people felt it was the only option that might have an actual impact. and to be honest, i don't see how they were exactly wrong. Plus, as recent events showed, soem times adverisers need to be07/28/2015 - 7:37pm
MattsworknameTo be honest, I was always kinda on edge about that, while I did not like that those news outlets had acted in the way theey did, i didn't like that we thought boycotting and advertiser attacks were the only recourse07/28/2015 - 7:36pm
MechaTama31And after AE questioned that same analogy, I described it as extreme hyperbole.07/28/2015 - 7:36pm
E. Zachary KnightMecha, The "bullying and threatening" thing is from an earlier shout by Matt. I asked you tht question because you compared the petition to someone threatening to shoot your child.07/28/2015 - 7:35pm
Andrew EisenBy the way, if anyone can see into alternate timelines, I've got $20 that says Target would have ignored the petition had it been presented at the game's launch instead of over a year later.07/28/2015 - 7:34pm
MechaTama31Write a "Gamers are Alive" article. Make a video highlighting positive things about games. Counter your opponent, don't try to silence them.07/28/2015 - 7:33pm
MechaTama31EZK: Who exactly are you quoting with "bullying and threatening"? But yes, I think attacking someone's livelihood because you disagree with their opinion is underhanded and damaging to discourse.07/28/2015 - 7:30pm
E. Zachary KnightOh no. A successful online petition could embolden people to do... what exactly? Do another online petition?07/28/2015 - 7:30pm
Andrew EisenToo bad the counter petition wasn't as popular. But again, yeah, it sucks. For the reasons I've stated over and over now.07/28/2015 - 7:29pm
MechaTama31otherwise want to.07/28/2015 - 7:27pm
MechaTama31AE: I mean like right and wrong, not like true and false. And even the perception that the petition worked could be damaging. It could embolden these types of people in the future, and make it less likely for a retailer to puch back even if they otherwi07/28/2015 - 7:27pm
Andrew EisenBut yes, it is a damn shame that Target decided to kowtow in this case, best business decision or not.07/28/2015 - 7:27pm
Andrew EisenNo one's free expression was impinged. Anyone is welcome to petition whatever they want. Anyone is free to counter petition (and did in this case). Target was free to make it's own decision on whether to continue to stock GTA V or not.07/28/2015 - 7:26pm
E. Zachary KnightMatt, Mecha, So, if a petition asking a store to not sell a game is "bullying and threatening" is a petition asking Intel to pull ads from Gamasutra "bullying and threatening"?07/28/2015 - 7:25pm
MattsworknameAndrew: The fact that it occured, not the reasons for it, is the bigger issue. That a small group like this, under any circumstances, could have that kind of impact, is a serious concern to anyone who values free expression07/28/2015 - 7:23pm
Andrew EisenMecha - As I already said, retailers always have to make that choice. This was just a factor influencing it.07/28/2015 - 7:21pm
Andrew EisenMecha - Yes, the petition was full of factual errors (something I've said repeatedly). And yes, I too don't agree with petitions that aim to remove something just so no one else can enjoy it.07/28/2015 - 7:21pm
MechaTama31AE: extreme hyperbole to illustrate my point, that it's not so much the choice they made, but the fact that they had to make the choice.07/28/2015 - 7:20pm
 

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