In the recently released Xbox 360 video game Alan Wake, players can’t help but notice that — in addition to playing the game — they’re also being heavily advertised to by Verizon. At one point, they’re even fooled into watching a Verizon ad.
Throughout the horror/thriller title, there are strategically placed TV sets that are integral to the plot and which also earn players an achievement. So it’s a bit surprising at a point late in the game when the player turns on an in-game TV and sees a full-length spot for Verizon mobile devices.
Speaking of which, the main character carries a Verizon phone (which somehow always works, even in an underground tunnel — so you know it’s not Verizon) and passes billboards for Verizon on the road.
Now, in-game advertising isn’t exactly anything new to gaming. It’s been a feature in the background of sports games for years and places like Burger King have released their own branded games.
But as in-game advertising continues to infiltrate more standard, non-sports games, will it begin to bother you? Or are you so inured to omnipresent ads that adding them to your in-game experience won’t even be noticed?