Product placement coming to EA games

I noticed over at The Shack that Electronic Arts has signed a huge product placement deal with McDonalds and Intel for the upcoming "Sims Online."
"I think this deal ... reflects a growing recognition by Madison Avenue that video games have become mainstream entertainment with a large and desirable demographic target," EA spokesman Jeff Brown told Reuters.
Widespread use of product positioning could be one way to go after realism in games, but really it's about the money. If placements aren't too intrusive, and products don't start showing up at random, I can't see there being much to complain about.

I have to wonder if one day product placement, or even advertising, could fuel the gaming industry, especially for online multiplayer games. While few would put up with advertising during gameplay, gamers might be willing to sit through a few well placed ads while they wait to respawn in BF1942 or Counter-Strike, if the games were cheaper as a result.

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