Naming Rights to... Achievements?

This is likely to be old news to anyone who has played EA's "Fight Night Round 3" but not only did EA only include a scant 8 Achievements in the game, but each one of them has a corporate sponsor. I received the game the other day from Gamefly (friends don't let friends buy EA games, by the way... unless it's Burnout) and I was just taking a look at the list to see how hard they might be. Lo and behold, EA amazes me yet again. So not only have they covered the game from floor to ceiling with in-game advertising, they then went the extra step to make sure that even the damn Achievements are ads! Has EA no shame?

That's rhetorical by the way.

Here are the eight Achievements you can earn in the game.

1. Burger King Achievement - Win The BK Invitational Fight.
2. Dodge Achievement - Win the Dodge sponsored fight.
3. EA SPORTS Achievement - Win any EA SPORTS sponsored fight.
4. ESPN FNF Achievement - Win any ESPN Friday Night Fight event.
5. ESPN PPV Achievement - Win any ESPN Pay Per View fight event.
6. ESPN WNF Achievement - Win any ESPN Wednesday Night Fight event.
7. Everlast Achievement - Win the Everlast sponsored fight.
8. Under Armour Achievement - Win the Under Armour sponsored fight.

So on top of their practice of selling cheat codes and unlockable items through the Xbox Live Marketplace (both of which are actually on the disc), they've also stooped to the level of selling corporate sponsoship to the names of the Achievements. Am I the only one who feels dirty?

How long will it before loading screens are actually replaced by 20 second live motion video commercials? Or until user's manuals have full-color ads like magazines? Listen, I understand that in-game product placement can be very lucrative for game makers and I'm all for them making a ton of money, but doesn't taste and decorum and suitability also belong in the conversation. How low do we have to stoop?

Apparently pretty low if you're playing EA's "Battlefield 2142". The futuristic multiplayer war game not only has a load of in-game advertising, but the ads are dynamic and could very well be catered to your web-browsing habits. Aside from the privacy issues, doesn't anyone think that a the suspension of disbelief is kind of, you know, ruined when a game set over a hundred years in the future is littered with the same McDonald's and Coca-Cola ads we see everyday in the present?

The guys at Penny-Arcade have a pretty funny comic up about this very topic. Oh, and if you think I'm just picking on EA, it's not intentional. It just so happens that they are often the ones making all the wrong decisions.

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