Normally I wouldn't post news on outside editorials but A. Dana is a great writer and B. this is a subject that raises my cockles. MMORPG.com features an editorial by Dana Massey regarding Advertising in Games
Over the past year, weve begun to see the first inroads of advertising into massively multi-player online games. First, an older version of Anarchy Online became free to anyone who does not mind ads. Second, for a time, EverQuest II introduced a /pizza command that lets player order a real life pie without leaving their keyboard. Then, SOE announced that they have partnered with the same folks powering Anarchy Onlines advertisements to put them into Planetside and The Matrix Online.
For developers and publishers, this represents a new frontier of income that has long been established in other entertainment mediums: digital product placement. Yet, how have consumers reacted? To date the range of emotions have gone from indifference to anger. As we look to the future, I want to examine firstly whether this path is a fair one, and secondly what forms are most appropriate for players and effective for advertisers.
It's become a popular way to raise extra cash for these developers and that's always a good thing because extra cash means more development. However it reminds me of a situation from the Movie State & Main. Are we going to have Bazoomercom in our Fantasy games? Let's hope not!