A combined study by Gamematrix (research dept. of 11 Prozent Communication) and the University of Offenberg has highlighted some “positive” indicators for the efficiency of in-game advertising. They collected data from 65 test subjects while playing Need for Speed and FIFA 08, measuring ad recall and analysing eye movements. They have said that some brands have benefited quite well from placement in video games already (recognition rates increased by 30%), but it is important to consider placement and design as well as the context of the brand.
I’m all for a clever, entertaining commercial to promote a product or brand, but this is not what we are talking about here. In my opinion it is strictly a revenue collecting venture, similar to that of what the New Zealand Police do with their speed cameras. Here’s the difference though, [I assume] at least some of that revenue collected by the Police is pumped back into research and safety campaigns. If we as gamers are being bombarded with in-game advertising, some of that revenue needs to be passed back on to us. Whether that equates to cheaper game titles, I don’t know. But it is bound to be a controversial issue as in-game advertising becomes more wide spread.