A new in-game ad for Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’s second big expansion wouldn’t be so annoying if it didn’t appear repeatedly every time I paused checked my map or tried to access my inventory. While we’ve found a fix, the whole thing feels like marketing run amok.
I first encountered this ad while doing the free prologue quest leading up to the start of the new downloadable expansion. The advertisement told me to “Play the Fate of Atlantis Episode 1 now!” I thought little of it until it started to show up any time I entered the menu. Want to check my quest log to see where to go next? Advertisement. Need to mark a location on my map? Boom, there it was. Changing gear? “Play the Fate of Atlantis Episode 1 now!”
The advertisement has two options to select. Both of them are marked “close,” so you’d think they would do the same thing. Wrong. If I pressed the circle button on my Playstation 4 I could close it. If I pressed the X button, I was taken to the PSN store to purchase the new downloadable content. The catch was that I had the new episode installed and the advertisement showed up even while I explored the new zone.
Glitched or not, the ad is intrusive and feels manipulative. It’s the sort of thing I might see in a sketchy browser game online or a microtransaction-driven mobile game.
Kotaku has contacted Ubisoft to ask about the advertisement and whether or not it is a glitch. My boss Stephen Totilo and I tested various scenarios to see when the ad would show. It showed both when I had Fate of Atlantis downloaded and while it was not installed on our office Playstation 4. We did not get to test this on Xbox or PC.
The good news is that there seems to be a simple fix to getting rid of this: you simply need to close you application and start it up again. The advertisement should stop showing up every time you pause. We can’t say for sure if this works if you don’t own the DLC but will update if we get clarification on that.
Update April 24th, 5:30PM: A representative of Ubisoft has replied saying that “It was a bug and has been fixed.”
Annoying ad aside, I’m enjoying Fate of Atlantis. It offers a whole new area to explore, is packed with tough enemies, and has major connections to Assassins’ Creed’s trippy lore. This advertisement is not the end of the world, but it’s frustrating and the confusing close/close options feel a bit underhanded. If it shows up for you, try restarting your game. If it keeps showing, let us know in the comments. Fate of Atlantis seems promising so far, but has left a sour taste in my mouth.