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Friday, April 28, 2006

Microsoft to Acquire Massive Inc.

via Next-Gen.biz

Doubters of the in-game advertising market, take note. Microsoft is set to acquire Massive Inc. in a deal worth upwards of $400 million, according to The Wall Street Journal. 

The in-game advertising sector is quickly growing and gaining more prominence in the video game industry as each week goes by. Now in a move that highlights the importance of in-game ads, The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Microsoft is about to acquire one of the leaders in the space, Massive Incorporated.

WSJ anticipates that in-game advertising will start playing a larger role in Microsoft's Xbox Live service—it's been rumored that the extra revenue stream could possibly lead to a free, ad-supported version and a "premium" version consumers could pay for that would have no ads. The real impetus behind the acquisition however, believes WSJ, is that Microsoft wants "to grab a bigger piece of the online advertising boom that's fueling the growth of Google Inc. and others. Microsoft has struggled to take control of a larger piece of that market as Google extends its lead in the business of linking online ads to Internet search results."

Added WSJ: "The software giant plans to tie its brokering service with Massive's network, said people familiar with the company's plan. Microsoft's long-term goal is to have one online service that advertisers can go to buy ads across a broad range of Microsoft products. That vision may take time to realize, said a person familiar with the company's plans. For now the Massive network will be part of a palette of advertising offerings Microsoft salesmen will offer clients, the person said."

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