Is it naive to think they would do it in a nice way ...
Initially, reading through the comments I felt people were maybe overreacting.
I was thinking, surely they're just talking about introducing a mechanism where a game such as Burnout Paradise, which has billboards and branded vehicles, can sort of justify including them and could perhaps update these on the fly with different sponsors over the lifetime of the game.
Then someone mentioned EA's love of sports franchises and what they did with Battlefield 2142. Then someone else mentioned bandwidth and download caps.
So, I could tolerate it if its discreet, fitting product placement similar to the movies. It would be nice to think it might result in reduced game prices or allowed the game studios to have a cash cushion to subsidise a few more experimental games, rather than relying purely on tried and tested formula.
For games such as the above mentioned Burnout I wouldn't mind too much if they were encouraged to patch and expand the game for free, and include changes to the sponsors in those updates. I used to be a big UT2k4 player and liked the fact that Epic continued to patch the game and add FREE (admittedly community based) map packs at regular intervals.
However, I can see that for certain companies, it would either be to increase the bonuses taken at board/shareholder level, or to finance the takeover of more individual games with the intent of turning them into yet another franchise.
Plus, given that since Virgin have taken over my decent broadband provider and started turning my nice fast unlimited cable connection into a capped and throttled one for the same money, similar to all the other providers, I really don't like the idea of adding the dynamic downloading of nice big advertising textures, to the stream of data that I download while playing - especially when I'm supposedly playing single player, therefore technically off-line.
You could also argue that racing games such as Gran Turismo and Need For Speed are nothing more than big car advertisements, so one might hope the license agreements with car manufacturers for those games are used to subsidise the game development, rather than provide a purely additional revenue stream to the car companies. Sadly I don't think it's the former.