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Microsoft’s fullscreen Xbox pop-up ads don’t have to be annoying

A pop-up ad on Xbox for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III
Screenshot by Tom Warren / The Verge

When I turned my Xbox on yesterday, I was greeted with a fullscreen pop-up ad for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III. I posted on X (Twitter) about it and thought nothing more of it because annoying as it was, this isn’t the first time Microsoft has used a fullscreen takeover to promote one of its new games — and Microsoft now owns Call of Duty.

But the internet wasn’t happy about this particular one. “Is this what we should expect now that Xbox owns Call of Duty?” asked VG247. “I do not want these massive, 90s-era Xbox Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III take-over pop-up ads to become the norm,” proclaimed Windows Central. On X, the feeling was similar: these ads are annoying.

But they didn’t have to be this way; they could actually be…

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