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Matrix Online gains real-world advertising from Massive Incorporated

Sony Online Entertainment's movie inspired Massively Multiplayer Online Game is about to gain a slew of new real-world in-game advertisements, thanks to an extended partnership with Massive Incorporated.

Sony Online Entertainment's movie inspired massively multiplayer online game, Matrix Online, is about to gain a slew of new real-world in-game advertisements thanks to an extended partnership with Massive Incorporated.

As part of update 38, due for release this week, SOE's popular Matrix Online game will feature a new selection of frequently updated in-game billboard adverts for real-world consumer products from Massive's brand partners. The online game already includes selected adverts, from companies who have provided licenses for in-game products such as clothing, but this new deal extends the idea much further.

Sony has stated that the adverts will appear static on bill-board within the game universe, as opposed to animated, 3D adverts. They will not affect the game's performance in any way, and will still be complemented by fictional adverts for Matrix themed products.

Furthering the integration of Massive's in-game advertising technology, SOE has confirmed that it is investigating the implementation of user-generated adverts, which is, according to the company, something numerous players have requested.

"We will be looking into the idea of running contests for selecting player-generated ads in the future as a way of incorporating these ads into the game," Sony Online Entertainment stated in a recent press release.

The Massive Network will include some 40 leading game titles by the end of 2005, reaching a potential audience of millions of gamers and generating USD 1-2 direct profit for developers and publishers per connected unit shipped. Massive's in-game advertising technology, the latest 'next-gen' version of which has recently been released, has been successfully used in SWAT 4, Anarchy Online and Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory.

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Paul Loughrey

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