As sports games get closer to mimicking television broadcasts, they've become prime targets for in-game ads. The move has been very noticeable recently, with Fight Night Round 3 bringing in Burger King to pitch fast food and PowerBar sponsoring replays in NBA 2K6.
The whole spiel around in-game advertising has frequently come back to one caveat--it's fine as along as it feels like it belongs in the game. Anyone who has ever been to a Major League Baseball park or recently watched a televised MLB broadcast knows that baseball is fertile ground for advertising, whether it's on the scoreboard, in the ballpark's name, or in between-inning entertainment.
It makes sense then that Massive Incorporated, a company that specializes in in-game advertising, and 2K Sports, publishers of Major League Baseball 2K6, have announced a deal to put in-game ads in MLB 2K6.
Also involved in the deal are MLB Advanced Media, which handles interactive media and Internet-related issues with the MLB and the Major League Baseball Players Association. Under the agreement, Massive has the exclusive rights to dynamic in-game advertising "in certain MLBAM-licensed" games. No specific platforms or terms of the deal were disclosed.
"Sports games are ideal vehicles for in-game advertising, as the advertising adds an element of realism to the experience for gamers," said Steve Glickstein, vice president of licensing for 2K Sports.
Though the deal makes 2K Sports "a member of the Massive Network," no other sports titles have yet been announced to feature Massive's services, but it's very likely that the deal will spill into other titles.