Not content with making billions every year by churning out franchise after franchise (how many FIFA's, Maddens and NBA's can they possibly make?), EA has decided to sign up to a deal with IGA (In Game Advertising) as well as Massive Inc. (owned by Microsoft). The deal will include Need for Speed: Carbon and Battlefield 2142.
Here is the official word from EA:
"Consumers are increasingly gaming in deep, virtual worlds and advertisers need adapted ways to reach these audiences. The agreement with IGA is a first step in a detailed strategy to deliver advertising in a seamless format. We are continually looking at how to bring more connected experiences and services to consumers, and working with a network like IGA is a start to building this dimension of our business.”
For games that involved urban surroundings or sporting venues, where advertisements look natural, advertising can be understood. However, for a game like Battlefield 2142, set in a future warzone where giant mechanised units crash around killing people, what could you possibly advertise? Surely not Nike trainers?
In game advertising is set to become big business, with forecasters predicting the industry to be worth $730 by 2010. EA is now playing around with various solutions to decide what works best for their buyers, who at the moment are Coca-Cola and Honda. This doesn't sit well with many gamers though, who feel paying the ever increasing prices for games should therefore exempt them from having banners and adverts pollute their gaming experience.
Will in game advertising put you off Battlefield 2142? Or do you simply not care? Let us know whether you think EA is being greedy in the forums