Love it, ignore it or hate it — in-game advertising is a reality these days, and it is only getting more prominent. Just today Sony announced a partnership with IGA Worldwide, a leading in-game advertising company, as part of their dynamic in-game advertising plans for the PlayStation 3. IGA Worldwide has already done advertising in several games such as Battlefield 2142, Counter-Strike, Test Drive Unlimited and Colin McRae: DiRT, placing ads for brands like Intel, Jeep, MTV, T-Mobile and 20th Century Fox.
Sony’s plan is to capitalize on in-game advertising, which is expected to grow to $971.3 million next year, according to the Yankee Group. The gamer demographic is “16-35 year old consumers with disposable income,” so that number may not be wishful thinking at all.
We’ve talked about in-game advertising before and most of us feel that, as long as it is done right, it’s really not so bad. Billboards in the background that fit the environment of the game and some product placement is fine, just like in the movies. I just don’t want the next energy drink craze to find its way in-game as a stat booster in WOW or anything.