Microsoft Acquires Massive Incorporated

Posted on May 5, 2006

Forbes reports that Microsoft has acquired Massive Incorproated, a company that places advertisements in video games. Eventually Massive will work with or be part of Microsoft new adCenter.

The New York-based Massive literally injects ads into video game environments. A 3D shoot-em-up game like Swat 4, for instance, could feature masked bad guys leaping behind a drink dispenser selling Coca-Cola's Diet Sprite or weild an AK-47 in front of a Batman Returns poster. Pizza boxes, billboards and images on TV screens are all places where Massive carefully place its ads, which the company says adds realism to the overall gaming experience. Now that Massive is being folded into the Microsoft family, not only will it work with Xbox Live and MSN Games, it will eventually tie in with online advertising hub adCenter.

Microsoft's co-president of the Platforms and Services division, Kevin Johnson, said in a statement that the acquisition of Massive would "expand opportunities for advertisers and enable connection to a broader audience of digital consumers.� Massive Chief Executive Mitchell Davis added that his company now had the prospect of extending its technology into a "vast array of new markets and online environments."

Obviously the game publishers and Massive have to be careful to have the advertising mesh with the game itself. For example, movie posters and ads for tech products don't fit in well with a fantasy game world. Some gamers believe they haven't always been careful. Clickable Culture says Massive ads ruined Planetside and Anarchy Online.

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