"In-Game Ads Burrow Deeper," John Gaudiosi, Wired News, October 5, 2006
"Anyone who buys Electronic Arts' NBA Live 07 game on Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 (when that console is released in November) will be able to unlock a host of new items and features in the game from Adidas Basketball.
"In addition to the over 100 Adidas-specific elements hidden in the next-generation game, to be unlocked over time through simple codes distributed through retail, online and real-world NBA events like the All-Star Weekend and NBA Finals, Adidas will provide single-use unique codes that message its new marketing slogan, "It Takes 5IVE."
"Acclaim is about to take product placement to another level with its free, ad-supported massively multiplayer online games next year. Game industry veteran Dave Perry, who's directing 2Moons for Acclaim and creating several additional MMO games, wants to open up the door for corporate-sponsored micro transactions.
"When you buy a virtual item, we're going to do a search to see if any advertiser in real-time is willing to pick up the cost of that item," said Perry. 'If you want this sword, it would put up a message and ask if you would like Coca-Cola to buy this item for you.'"
Below: screenshots from NBA Live 07 for Xbox 360 (source: Gamespot). Note how in some cases, the sneakers are Nike, in others - Adidas. Wonder if that's because of the licensing. Would be cool, though, if they could change the shoes dynamically.
Update (a few hours later): On the other hand, it seems Adidas is out of luck because the NBA Live 07 game turned out buggy and crappy, pulling a measly 6.5 rating at Gamespot and a letter of protest by dissapointed fans: "For us however, NBA Live 07 is the final straw. The one that broke the camel's back. The spark that set the field ablaze. Until this release we overlooked any flaws in the game, ones that some of us considered major even if others of us considered them minor. But this release has ignited feelings that EA doesn't care about its fans, which is the reason we are writing today."