StudioDaily fx pointed to a report in Blend Games that suggests in-game advertising will reach $1 billion dollars by 2014. This estimate was made by Screen Digest, described as "a research and marketing analytics firm."
The estimate isn't accepted in all circles. According to EL33T Online, reported in the same Blend Games story, April 2009 gaming took a 17% drop in sales. Most agree with Blend Games that "the gamer demograph has been the toughest to crack," but the appeal of in-game advertising may overcome some of these limitations. According to Screen Digest Analyst Vincent Letang, quoted in the story:
Like online video pre-rolls, in-game advertising fills a gap in online branding, bringing familiar formats such as virtual billboards and TV ads into the gaming experience.In-game advertising is a hoped-for revenue source for the edutainment market. Product/service promotions -- even public service announcements -- can be more meaningfully integrated with games when the gamer's expectations evolve within a learning framework. The long-running relationship between journalism and product reviews in audio (think Stereo Review) demonstrates that an appetite for learning about commercial offerings isn't just a pipe dream.