Sony has struck a deal to bring in-game advertising to its PlayStation 3 console, the Wall Street Journal reports. Many games have already toyed with product placement and ads, but thanks to the deal with IGA Worldwide, those digital billboards can now be updated in real time. Electronic Arts will be the first game-maker to take advantage of the deal.
The move could signal a big bounce in the in-game advertising market. Major brands spend in the low seven figures for in-game campaigns, but analysts believe revenues will top $1 billion by 2011. “At the end of the day, advertisers have to go where consumers are,” says IGA’s chief executive—though video-game ads face an uphill march because the audience is divided between consoles.