In-game ads ineffective in violent games, study finds

By Andrew Yoon, Sep 01, 2011 6:30pm PDT

You've run out of ammo, and two Nazis are chasing you with their laser-equipped zombie dogs. You run into an adjacent room, attempting to hide behind a Mountain Dew vending machine. Alas, the zombies maul your body, forcing you to reload from the last checkpoint. After you're done, do you want to pick up a Dew?

Probably not. A study conducted by the University of Texas reveals that in-game advertising is far less effective in violent video games than in more tame forms of interactive media.

The study used a playable demo which featured a room, adorned with a number of video game-related brands. In one group, players would walk through the environment and interact with non-threatening NPCs. In the other group, players were shot at, and the floor featured puddles of blood.

GameSpot reports that "the study found that those who witnessed the violent scenario had a significantly lower score when it came to brand recall and perception."

The study concludes that games would be wise to avoid advertising in violent games. So, when you're curb-stomping someone in Gears of War 3, don't expect a potpourri of Crate & Barrel logos to explode out of their dead body.

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