Was just reading an article about alleged 'spyware' in the new Battlefield 2142 from EA Games. It looks like EA are looking for different ways to monetise gaming, in this case by serving up different ads during the game depending on your habits within the game. While this may be a reasonable thing to do, it is always risky. Get anything wrong, or let the information leak out to the public and there will be an outcry. In a previous life I worked on Direct Marketing systems for cruise holidays and a certain multi-billion software giant and day-to-day you have to face moral questions about what is fair and what is not. In the long run in-game advertising may continue to fund game development and everyone wins, or it may just spoil a parallel universe where there are no commercial pressures e.g. a battlefield in the year 2142.
Let's face facts, games companies are like any others (in fact i'm going to start work at one in two weeks time!) and they have to make money. They are going to need to find different ways to make it in the future. What would you suggest?