While in-game ads and ad sponsored titles are in vogue these days, there's still a large market for so-called advergames. Essentially games built around a brand that pay for themselves, these sorts of games are becoming increasingly common. Many company websites, viral or otherwise, feature some sort of advergame and Burger King recently took the concept to the next level by launching a successful campaign with three advergame-type titles of their own for Xbox/Xbox 360.
But did you know that the basic model of the advergame was pioneered in 1995 by a company called Skyworks? While the Internet was still a very new thing to most people, some former Activision employees looked to see how they could make a business out of games on the web. The business experiments of some well known game designers ended up paving the way for many to follow.