So it turns out that Gearbox, who are currently developing Brothers In Arms 3, Borderlands, and Aliens: Colonial Marines have licensed in-game advertising tech for use in "undisclosed titles". The technology, supplied by Double Fusion, will apparently allow for "dynamic" adverts in the game. I suppose that could mean billboards onto which relevant ads can be posted, something like that.
The reasoning is that it can generate extra cash that Gearbox can
use to buy Ferraris then put back into game development. It's tricky for games that aren't set in the real world though, isn't it? None of the games Gearbox has in development would seem ideal for advertising, except perhaps Aliens. That said, I do feel like in-game advertising is a poorly explored possibility. Given how many people play certain games, couldn't a future GTA game actually be free-to-play if it came with a city's worth of advertising (perhaps with some radio and TV ads streamed off the net?) to pay for all the development cleverness? F4 Group have mentioned that they would like to make Empire Of Sports entirely ad-funded, and it makes sense to do so, given the context.