Thursday, June 5, 2008

In-game advertisements coming to Sony PS3

Sony has selected IGA Worldwide as its first partner to provide dynamic in-game advertisements for PlayStation 3 games, with an initial focus on the frequently delayed MMO undertaking called Home.

Within Home, the company says the simulated environment will "depict brands in various forms...where users would expect to see them in real life: on billboards and posters, on shopping bags and soda cans and on images of TV screens."

Sony may be a bit late to the advertising party, but the timing of this announcement is no less interesting. On Tuesday, competing firm Massive Inc. announced twice that a study the group had conducted proved that in-game marketing "just works" in the Xbox 360 and PC and that 73% of those participating in one of the tests found that the ads actually contributed to the game's realism.

The jury appears to still be out regarding the strength of the advertising dollar. A recent study by IDC postulates that online advertising is one of the few areas that will remain resistant to the weakening US economy, and will actually surpass print media, cable television and broadcast television as the industry's preferred medium.

Recently, research firms PubMatic and eMarketer both actually predicted the opposite, citing a decrease in ad click-throughs. Video games apparently were not included in these studies, so as of now, things still look favorable for this burgeoning new medium.

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