An interesting joint study conducted by GameSpot UK and the Internet Advertising Bureau has found that 73 percent of respondents do not have a negative opinion of in-game advertising as long as it is contextual, realistic and doesn’t interfere with the gaming experience.
Out of the 3575 UK-based gamers polled, 40 percent actually said that advertising added a dash of realism to the game. About a third admitted that they didn't notice it and 14 percent thought that in-game ads spoil the gaming experience. But most importantly (for marketers at least), one third of respondents said that they would be very or quite likely to buy a product that they had seen advertised in game.
More and more companies these days are earmarking large portions of their ad budgets for brand advertising in video games with hopes of reaching young consumers, while developers see this as a new revenue stream, allowing them to make up for growing development costs. Despite some gamers consider it as a greedy and invasive move, the fact is in-game advertising is here to stay and some companies estimate it will grow to a more than $1 billion industry by 2010.