SWAT 4 is the 4th iteration of a computer game where you play the leader of a SWAT team. The game is a member of the "tactical first person shooter" (FPS) genre; unlike normal FPS games like Doom or Quake, tactical FPSs encourage the player to move slowly and carefully, as being shot by one bullet can often result in death.
The v1.1 patch released on June 17 contains many fixes for various problems, but it also introduces "Massive Streaming Ad Support." Who is Massive, and what do their streaming advertisements do? As their website explains,
By aggregating the largest audience of gamers and providing real time delivery of advertising across top-selling video games, we can provide publishers and developers $1–$2 profit per unit shipped for their titles.
Ad-supported software, or "adware," has been with us since Internet use became widespread. Also, video games have previously used an Internet connection to send personal data to servers; Half-Life 2 used a system called Steam in order to verify that the copy of the game being played was not pirated. But SWAT 4's practices are much more heinous. Almost all adware is free, since the ads that users view are supposed to compensate the developers, and not to increase their revenue stream. Previous in-game advertisments were static, and not continually updated through the Internet.
Computer game publishers seem to like Massive's idea. Their website shows them in partnership with many companies, including Ubisoft, Eidos, and Atari. As for concerns for the privacy of the people playing these games?
Gamer reaction to dynamically served advertising has been overwhelmingly positive and accepting, particularly due to the realism and relevance it brings to the game environment.