The video game market continues to grow at a ridiculous rate, and in-game advertising is growing right along with it. It's always about the all-mighty dollar, and businesses are looking to cash in on the popularity of games. According to NextGen , it's expected that in-game advertising will increase 23% over the next five years, to hit nearly $2 billion ($1.94 billion) in 2011.
The industry is now catering to a wider demographic than ever, including a greater range of ages amongst both males and females. Furthermore, with the emergence of online gaming as a major facet of a player's entertainment, in-game ads have as much to do with games as they do with the Internet. There is also a marked increase in casual gaming, as mentioned in the article, that drives corporations to place their ads in big-name titles like Madden and most other sports games.
RealNetworks has instituted a streaming video model for use in their casual games, and they've experienced a lot of success. They've reported that click-through ratings for ads are at a 10% average and a 74% completion rate for those ads. The game industry will only continue to grow, and advertisements are always a guaranteed by-product of growth.