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April 26, 2006

Microsoft to buy videogame ad company?

Posted by David Hunter at 9:39 AM ET.


Microsoft Corp plans to pay $200 million to $400 million for Massive Inc., a privately held company that places ads in videogames, the Wall Street Journal said on Wednesday.

If you aren’t familiar with the concept, advertisers are increasingly willing to pay for “product placement” in videogames, just like in movies. Massive is a two year old startup with big name customers like Coca Cola, Intel, and Honda (see [1], [2]). No comments yet from either of the parties.

(Here’s the subscribers only WSJ link.)

Update 5/4: Rumor confirmed – press release:

Today at the seventh annual MSN® Strategic Account Summit, Microsoft Corp. announced it is acquiring Massive Inc., the New York-based creator of a world-leading network for video game advertising, in a move that will help deliver dynamic, relevant ads across Microsoft’s online services, starting with Xbox Live® and MSN Games. Massive’s solution depicts brands in various forms within the game — on soft-drink cans and pizza boxes, on billboards and posters, and in images on TV screens — where gamers would expect to see them in real life, adding realism to the overall gaming experience. Massive employees will continue to work from their current locations, including their headquarters in New York and offices in London, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Paris, Sydney, Cologne and Toronto. Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Filed under Advertising, General Business, Microsoft, Xbox

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4 Responses to “Microsoft to buy videogame ad company?”

  1. Microsoft’s Massive does Korean game ad deal -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] You may recall that in April the news broke that Microsoft was acquiring Massive, Inc. who sells ads in video games, a thoroughly modern niche. Well, business seems to booming for Massive: South Korean video game company Webzen Inc. on Tuesday said it struck a deal in which Microsoft Corp.’s newly acquired Massive Inc. advertising unit will place promotions in two of its upcoming titles. [...]

  2. Microsoft’s Massive launches interactive in-game ads -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] You may recall that back in May Microsoft acquired Massive Inc., a company with the obscure specialty of putting ads in videogames. This week, Jessica Ramirez reminds us at Newsweek that there’s golf in them thar hills and that Massive is a key player: While Nielsen was focusing on metrics, a start-up called Massive Inc. devoted itself to creating a videogame network for serving dynamic ads. Through the technology of dynamic ads, Massive was able to insert and change ads in real time as long as the gamer was connected to the Internet via a PC or console. Only months after Massive went live in March 2005, it had big-name advertisers like Coca-Cola, T-Mobile, DaimlerChrysler and Honda pumping ads onto its network. “Their technology is amazing,” says Kelley. “They can tell you down to the nth degree how long your ad was looked at, from what angle and who was looking at it.” And in a TiVo world, advertisers say that’s not a bad deal. More by following the link, but that brings us to today’s Microsoft press release, Massive Network Launches Groundbreaking Interactive In-Video-Game Advertising Unit; Toyota Is Debut Advertiser With Innovative Campaign for New 2007 Yaris Sedan: Massive Inc., creator of the world’s leading video game network and wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft Corp., today announced that it has launched interactive in-video-game ads, allowing advertisers to engage gamers in new and entertaining ways. The first advertiser to utilize the new interactive ad unit is Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc., with a campaign for its new 2007 Yaris sedan in “Anarchy Online,” a top multiplayer online game published by Funcom. [...]

  3. Electronic Arts signs game ad deal with Microsoft’s Massive -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] Under the agreement, Massive, a Microsoft Corp. subsidiary, will include in its advertising network a portfolio of Electronic Arts games developed for the Xbox 360 and PCs. Financial terms were not disclosed. Another success for Massive which Microsoft acquired in May, particularly considering Electronic Arts’ importance in the game publishing business. Filed under Coopetition, Xbox, PC Games, General Business, Ad-supported software, Microsoft, Electronic Arts   [Permalink] [TrackBack] [...]

  4. Google buys Adscape, rival to Microsoft’s Massive -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] Adscape competes with the much larger Massive Inc. that Microsoft acquired in April 2006. In fact, it’s not entirely clear what Google is getting for its money: [...]

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