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Microsoft’s Misstep: Full-Screen Xbox Ad for “Call of Duty 20” Draws Player Backlash

Activision and Xbox teamed up to display a full-screen ad for “Call of Duty 20: Modern Warfare 3” on the home page of the gaming console, but this move has received strong criticism from players.

Many users have shared their frustration with this ad on social media. When users start their Xbox, the relevant ad pops up on the screen with the text, “Face the Ultimate Threat.” Xbox, it seems, has transformed into a television set-top box. The ad presents three options, including “Buy Now,” “Purchase the Gold Edition,” and “Exit Ad.”

Undoubtedly, many people find this approach by “Call of Duty” and the Microsoft team to be quite distasteful. Currently, it appears that this ad is only being rolled out in the United States, as Eurogamer’s testing did not affect users in other regions, including Europe.

The Verge editor Tom Warren shared the ad he encountered and mentioned that while he can accept Xbox’s “new features/homepage updates,” he is not as forgiving when it comes to such marketing practices.

On the other hand, many users in the Xbox community on Reddit have expressed that this marketing method is “disgusting” and “unacceptable.”

In reality, this is not the first time Microsoft has done something like this. Earlier this year, Xbox introduced similar pop-up ads for “Starfield” and “Forza Horizon 5.” Perhaps full-screen marketing will become the norm in the future.

On another note, “Call of Duty 20: Modern Warfare 3” has also received numerous negative reviews, including the requirement on PC to launch “Call of Duty 19” first, treating it as an expansion for “Call of Duty 19” across platforms including Steam and PS5. Additionally, the early access campaign story mode for pre-order players has faced heavy criticism, with IGN giving it a score of only 4.

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