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Report: Microsoft to close in-game ads dept Massive

Already looking to offload 2006's multi-million acquisition, claim sources

Microsoft is purportedly planning to dispense with Massive Inc, an in-game advertising firm it acquired in 2006 for a rumoured $200 – 400 million.

Unnamed Microsoft sources told AdWeek that the unit will be closed before November, with many of Massive's staff being moved to other positions in the parent company.

General manager J.J. Richards is allegedly seeking employment elsewhere, following what is claimed to be several months of unsuccessful attempts by Microsoft to sell the company for a mere six or seven figures.

AdWeek claims the reason for Microsoft's alleged dissatisfaction with Massive is both that in-game ads in general have not reached formerly predicted revenues, and that Xbox Live has proven a more lucrative advertising platform.

In addition, publisher EA had not renewed arrangements with Massive, instead opening its own in-game ads division earlier this year.

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Latest comments (3)

Geraint Bungay Online Publishing Director, Supermassive Games10 years ago
An interesting move. Many predictions are that in-game advertising will be a major revenue source (I do declare an interest here with Big Match Striker!). It's telling that studios such as EA have launched their own ads division, especially relevant around the EA Sports titles one would have though. I genuinely believe that ads will form a solid revenue stream as traditional media struggles for "face time" and games are the perfect vehicle (if done sensitively) to reach your target audience.
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Always thought that purchase was a giant waste of money, interesting to hear its being off loaded!
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Yiannis Koumoutzelis Founder & Creative Director, Neriad Games10 years ago
I do not see why other than sports games couldn't advertise in the same way that movies do for so many years. why can't Sam Fisher's phone be "BrandX" or the bottle on the table "VodkaB" or the vending machine you shoot, "ColaX" It is hard to understand why such revenue system is not already mainstream.
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