Namco Bandai embraces in-game advertising

LONDON - Namco Bandai, the video games publisher, is to introduce in-game advertising for the first time after appointing Double Fusion to sell ads in its forthcoming title 'Dead to Rights: Retribution'.

The third-person shooter, which uses the bullet time special effect popularised by 'The Matrix' film trilogy, is set to be released in 2010 on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 consoles.

The in-game ads will be displayed as billboards in fictional setting Grant City using proprietary engine, BlitzTech, which claims to seamlessly integrate ads with no gameplay impact.

The system also enables advertisers to target demographics by territory and time of day, supported by a tracking system.

Jonathan Epstein, chief executive of Double Fusion, said: "Just as Double Fusion is constantly pushing the boundaries of what is possible with in-game advertising, 'Dead to Rights: Retribution' will undoubtedly raise the bar for action titles.

"When a successful game publisher like Namco Bandai Games America embraces in-game advertising, it's a nod to the industry that the opportunities are great for all parties -- publishers, developers, advertisers and gamers alike."