The "Advertising in Games - West" conference just ended in San Franscisco. Gamasutra has a nice wrap-up:
"The only real unanswered question is what future there can be for marketing in an unusually personal space, patently not designed with marketing in mind. The growth statistics cited are tenuous, as are advance audience studies – especially given the general consensus at how darned annoying ads are. It seems like there's a lot of research to do before this field can make much progress."
"Julie Shumaker of EA explained that as far as EA was concerned, advertising was not a way to offset development costs. EA isn't in the business of offsetting costs; EA is in the business of increasing revenue. And as far as she was concerned, in-game marketing isn't close to "real" yet. A $30 million business is not a real business in 2005."