Confirmed: Microsoft getting Massive

Software giant buys into the in-game advertising market; new subsidiary to continue working with Sony Online Entertainment.

Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that Xbox 360 manufacturer and software giant Microsoft was acquiring the in-game advertising firm Massive Inc. That proved accurate today, as the company made its latest purchase official at the seventh annual MSN Strategic Account Summit in Redmond, Washington.

Massive makes its money by placing ads into games that have already shipped, typically slapping the ads onto in-game objects like vending machines, billboards, and TV screens. The ads are dynamically served, which means they can be changed on the fly, so a billboard advertising a fast food restaurant this week could be updated to plug a new movie next week. According to Microsoft's announcement, purchasing the company "will help deliver dynamic, relevant ads across Microsoft's online services, starting with Xbox Live and MSN Games."

Massive's client list includes NCsoft, Atari, Eidos, Konami, Codemasters, Vivendi, THQ, 2K Sports, Spark Unlimited, Acclaim, Ubisoft, and Sony Online Entertainment. Currently, Massive provides in-game ads for SOE's The Matrix Online and PlanetSide, which brings up the unusual situation of having a working agreement between businesses owned by rival console manufacturers Microsoft and Sony.

Unusual though it might be, Microsoft isn't planning on cutting that tie to its competitor. Not yet, at least. A Microsoft representative told GameSpot today, "There will be no change in Massive's relationships with third-party publishers. Massive will continue to function as [an] independent subsidiary of Microsoft for some time."

Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed, but the Wall Street Journal report had it pegged in the range of $200 million to $400 million.

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64 comments
Swift18
Swift18

You know whats funny though Sony Stocks are worth more then Microsoft. Hmmmm

Swift18
Swift18

Well they are a Trillion dollar company they could start their own space program and put advertisements in the night sky. OH GOD where doomed lol this is dumb though because they are such a big monopaly it's laughable and no one will go after them because of (look above) they can buy off any one they want and do what they want. I mean they freaking ship jobs over seas and yet all these people but things like the Xbox because it's American it's not they ruin America and the freedom it stands for with their dam Monopoly

darkpresence
darkpresence

well i guess i can say good bye to my gaming, cause I am going to be making a list of what games hae in game ads and boycott the hell out of them. i think this is Bullsh** ina chefs salad! total greed and monopoly. first EA, then TAKE 2 interactive, webzen with HUXLEY, now MicroSPOOF! is getting into the biz of putting stupid ads in my games. I dont want ads, so I guess ill be buying alot less games now, Im gonna have to pick and choose what is even worth my time and money. MASSIVE needs to be bombed off the planet! they make me sick.

AA7
AA7

MS owns all. ALL!

Jerian
Jerian

Folks I smell a conspiracy. Just a theory but remember the main reason Cable surged in popularity was because there was no commercials. Ya you could watch network tv for free because the advertisements payed for it (or atleast thats what we were told) anyway when cable hit the scene people payed a premium for it because they hated advertisements so much. Eventually when enough subscribers were hooked on cable only channels like HBO and Showtime they came back with a vengeance and folks still payed the premium....the consumer got screwed and the rich got richer. With games I see the signs of a repeat. When gamers are so saturated with in-game advertisement that its shameless then dont be surprised if a premium subscription or patch is offered that takes it away. Then dont be surprised if down the road were still paying and the ads come back anyway. I hope im wrong here but I see the signs *sigh*

vlsi0n2156
vlsi0n2156

The in-game ad's will going go where they would normally. You won't see a Pepsi ad on the walls of "mario cart". You'll see them on like TV's that you'd pass by, stickers, billboards, shirts etc. Get real people. For the people saying everyone will drop out just because MS bought this company need to get a reality check. Maybe SOE will do it, and that's because they are such rivals.

ZEELIX
ZEELIX

mmm. you guys maybe think bill gates has some sony shares??? if they make money he makes money. also i thought to attend a meating all you had to do was be a member of the company (you only need 1 share). neways i think ingames advertising will lower costs and do good for gamers. of course we dont wanna seee somethin like adidas in ff or anything. ingame advertising is up to the publisher no?

Xerosyphon
Xerosyphon

Who realy cares, it's just another business deal. mickel_darmawan, no body is interested in the 360? Wow, you must come out from under your rock more often there buddy.

Matth13
Matth13

news doesn't bother me too much. true, i don't want to see KFC ads in Halo; but a KFC add on a restaurant sign in, say a GTA game, only brings more realism IMO.

qiwihead
qiwihead

Omfg, if I hear one more n00b say that in-game ads will keep prices down, I'm gonna have to hurt someone. Please, people, wake up and smell the greed. Planetside and AO are free now because hardly anyone plays them and their publishers are just trying to drum up some interest. They aren't free because of in-game ads. No pub has ever lowered their prices because of ads. They consider this additional income, and they are NOT going to pass it on as savings to the consumer. So basically we gamers are screwed--we get ads that distract and ruin immersion, plus more expensive next-gen games. Yay for us!

mickel_darmawan
mickel_darmawan

Money $oft is really scare to SONY, ha ha ha ha, she should be, because E3 is comming, PS3 is comming, and without any supply issue again in money $oft side (they just made this thing up), we can really see now, that no body, NO BODY, are interested in buying that money $oft's "Lunch Box", the truth will be show up at last. Now they want to buy anything they can to covered many things, try to play dirty again huh ... ha ha ha, it will not work ... NO BODY interested in buying that overheathing current gen. "Lunch Box" console. (^^) v

dergy
dergy

meh, i dont care really. not like it takes the fun away...unless there was a killer tyco robot made out to be Bill Gates when he's 400 feet tall with death lazers that steal my brains and my liver....cus then....well.....that advertising would be freaky man! MY BRAIN! MY LIVER!!!!! NO NO NO!

JRay8to
JRay8to

Sony and the rest will drop out of it. They dont want ms to be makeing money off of them. Same thing happen when ms bought that one engine a year ago. (forgot the name need more sleep) Everyone started looking for a new one. Now everyones gona use Unreals.

chrisdojo
chrisdojo

ok...... now drop sony online like a ton of bricks!!!!

metdevthegamer
metdevthegamer

Yet another video game-related company bought by Microsoft for a 9 figure amount. I wonder they're going to buy next?

anamnawshad
anamnawshad

So MS will make money from Sony? :lol:

rob3nelson
rob3nelson

How can a company that only does this be worth $400 million? I could have done the same thing. Do I get $400 milliion? No. Life ain't fair. Lol.

ghostadv
ghostadv

The more I read about in game advertising, the more happy I am that I don't own a 360 (and the PS3 will probably do this too.)

kingofps3
kingofps3

MICROSOFT SHOULD BE BUYING GAME STUDIOS .

Maquis_UK
Maquis_UK

yep i heard that. Nintendo = 99% ad free zone.

playwrite
playwrite

makes me happy to own a Gamecube (and NEs and SMS and SNES and N64 and Genesis etc etc...). No ads for me. stupid mcdonalds.

LordGamer0001
LordGamer0001

wow. i knew this was gonna happen. as long as its not overdone then i can live with it. i mean if pepsi is gonne pay a whole bunch of money to have a soda machine then fine. that just means more money for the company to make games.

Etdc895
Etdc895

you guys complain to much

bcardamone
bcardamone

Here's the problem i see Neo....the games aren't any cheaper because of ads. They are still $50 or $60 and now HAVE ads to boot.

tr00pa_26
tr00pa_26

hey thats kinda cool! i guess well micridoft got to do sumthing their being sued everyday.. hahahaha

rbarahona
rbarahona

It makes sense. By putting advertisements in games, Microsoft can make more cash. Given that Microsoft will be airing some gaming tournaments in XBox Live, then they will want to take advantage of in-game advertising.

drangel_jam
drangel_jam

MS secrets are still the worst kept. I'ma still to believe 80% of the rumors or something.

NeoJedi
NeoJedi

Halo 3, brought to you by Pepsi! If it doesn't affect the gameplay and makes the games cheaper, I don't care.

TraiklinX3
TraiklinX3

in game ads keep costs down for everyone. that is a blatent lie started by publishers. There have been a few games that have this yet they still cost $50 and $60, why? shouldn't they be down to $30 or $40? after all the ads are supposed to help keep costs down and save the gamers some cash. But wait! we are looking at this the wrong way, Why bother with us dumbass gamers? we'll spend $400 on a system and $60 on games, so why not rip us off? Games cost $20 mill to make, Advertising helps bring that down to $15 mill, 250,000 copies at $60 a peice you make your money back, you get a Triple A title that instantly sells a million units in a heart beat (halo 2) and poof, you save 5 mill, rip off gamers and make truckloads of cash. I wouldn't be suprised to see Halo 3 with ingame advertising that always changes when online (hell I wouldn't be suprised if Microsoft put a fat sticker on Halo 3 saying "ONLINE ONLY" just to get away with it), they save some money and rip off gamers cause they made their money back + a mighty fine mint (Halo 2 isn't $20 brand new and it took Halo 1 over a year after Halo 2 came out to finnaly drop to $20). Also look at Matrix online, $15 a month yet it has ingame advertising, why do they have to still charge $15 a month? Same with any MMO game that charges that much with ingame advertising, Seeing as how there are MMO games out there that are $10 a month with NO in game advertising and (This will come as a shocker) some are FREE with NO ingame or even website advertising! and guess what? They are popular and stable! :O I know major mind blowing revelation there.

omarguy01
omarguy01

not bad i guess as long as they dont cross the line... by that i mean advertizements everywhere

troakun
troakun

I hate in-game advertising. I can stand a little, like a coke machine here and there (in select genres), but sometimes they go way to far (I think we all know who was the 'king' of the ring in Fight Night). Also it punishes games that can't really add in advertisments. Imagine playing a mario kart game with Geico adds plastered around the course. It's bad enough the gaming industry is becoming so overly capitalistic, (milking us with endless rehashes and "free" media devices that no one asked for) we don't need this too. And don't even start with me balindos, today's movies either are or are worse than advertisments.

CelicaCrazed
CelicaCrazed

Actually, I'm fine with in-game adds. I think its cool playing Trackmania one day and seeing huge Bell billboards, and the next week seeing Roger's Communication billboards. As long as load times don't become commercials....

runstalker
runstalker

Sure makes it easy to slip some MS ads into the existing Massive client list. *recalls visions of ultra-lame futuristic 'MSN' phone booths in movie "The Island" [Ewan McGreggor, Scarlet Johansen]* Microsoft is already everywhere with Windows, why not go the over-saturation mile and invade in-movie and in-game adverts too! Wii-haw.

Cunder
Cunder

Anyone find it funni that Mircrosoft makes Sh@t loads of cash and have to deal with in game ad banners for other companies.. One thing about ad banners it doesn't make the game realistic unless you playing a game which involves you playing in a city, where you can find a burger king, or Mc D's fast food joint. But it' s not real or kinda kills the idea how games would be when banners use to have funni messages about the game.

blackIceJoe
blackIceJoe

The only good this could be if Xbox live becomes free.

balindos
balindos

Do you care about ads in Movies???? If so then Ok I understand why you wouldnt want ads in video games. But most people dont notice that pretty much everything on TV has ads in it and the are trying to sell you something. I say go for it and drop the price on games.

SnuffDaddyNZ
SnuffDaddyNZ

Settle down people.... These ads will be used to pay for the free poker game.

devilscry
devilscry

but the PS3 service to supposedly going to be free to. i mean isn't it enough we pay for our online service, we should have to pay to play games we've already bought just to play online. its the age old debate. and we'll lose either way. but hey GS, whats going on with the on the spot already???

skitelz
skitelz

Looks like it's going to start at 7:30 EST now...

johnusabeis
johnusabeis

i dont mind as long as the ads are in the background. this could possibly lead too a free xbl service in the future. which would be cool i guess.

devilscry
devilscry

See, least i wasn't the only one who had the idea to come here and complain....damn i am complaining aren't i?

scoobbus
scoobbus

yo any body knowz watz wrong wiff on the spot

devilscry
devilscry

well, they should friggin say something......hehe, i have no idea how, but they should

Acrius_King222
Acrius_King222

I dont really care since I'm usually focusing on the enemies. But yea, On The Spot isn't working for me either. I smell technical problems.

crunchb3rry
crunchb3rry

If Microsoft had an ounce of sense, they'd be renting out that primo advertising real estate on 360 dash panes like they already do, but to companies like Verizon and Adidas...so Xbox Live can be 100% free for everyone. Seriously, well over 2 million subscibers and the dash has an ad you can't ignore. Wise up, Microsoft. They might want to act fast because Sony is reportedly trying their online service without a sub fee to begin with.