In-game advertising 'enhances realism,' says focus group

Microsoft subsidiary Massive Inc. teamed up with media research firm Interpret LLC to study the efficacy of in-game advertising, and today released its findings.

The study was commissioned by Massive's customers, including Adidas footwear and three unnamed other companies, which represented a "quick service" restaurant, a candy company, and a movie studio. All four companies had a new product that they wished to test by serving ads to connected gamers.

Over 1,000 Xbox 360 and PC gamers participated in the research, which incorporated the advertisements in Major League Baseball 2K7, NASCAR 08, Rainbow Six: Vegas, and Need for Speed: Carbon, among others. To take results, a control group played with no ads, and a group played with ads served by Massive. Both groups were then asked an identical set of questions to gauge their opinion on certain subjects.

Apparently, 73% of those subjects who played Major League Baseball 2K7 with Adidas advertisements said that "the ads enhanced the realism of the game." Also, 70% agreed across all games surveyed that the ads "fit the games" and looked "cool."

Furthermore, over 80% of those who saw the movie studio's advertisements came away saying they "would probably or definitely purchase the DVD" that was being shown, and 72% of those who saw the candy bar ads ended up feeling that it would be "a great snack to eat while playing video games."

If what Massive has found is true, then perhaps the British intelligence agency the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) may see an increase in job applications, and Scotland may see a drop in drunk driving incidents.

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