Microsoft said to plan in-game ad firm buyout

A report by the Wall Street Journal claims Microsoft is planning to buy in-game advertising company Massive for between $200 and $400 million. Massive sells a technology that allows dynamic ads to be displayed in computer games. According to the company's website, "the Publishers denote certain places within their games where ads can later appear. As the games are played, we deliver fresh ad content downloaded from the Massive Ad Server over the Internet." Massive has partnered up with publishers including Atari, Eidos, Konami, Ubisoft, and Vivendi, and its technology is used to display ads from companies such as Coca-Cola and Honda in games like Anarchy Online, F.E.A.R., and Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory.

The increasing popularity of this technology should result in the real-time game advertising business becoming a "$3 billion-plus global market" within the next four years, according to Massive Chief Executive Mitchell Davis. Despite the Wall Street Journal story, however, Microsoft dismissed the buyout claim as being "based on rumor," and Massive refused to comment. Thanks to Shacknews for the link.

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