Massive ads brew for Blizzard, Activision

Microsoft-owned ad network signs multiyear agreement with World of Warcraft house for company's Web sites, Battle.net; extends deal with Guitar Hero publisher.

Shortly before Activision and Vivendi announced their deal of the decade, the Guitar Hero publisher signed on to receive in-game advertisements from Massive Inc for a number of its Xbox 360 and PC games. A bit more than a year later, Massive is now extending its reach to Activision's new power player, Blizzard Entertainment.

Today, the Microsoft-owned in-game ad agency said that it has signed an exclusive multiyear agreement with Blizzard. Azerothians opposed to seeing in-game ads in their local World of Warcraft watering holes need not worry, however, because the deal is limited to Blizzard's Web sites and Battle.net, the game maker's online-gaming hub. Terms of the deal were not announced, but Massive did note that the agreement is applicable to users in the US, Canada, Europe, South Korea, and Australia.

Massive also said today that it would be extending its aforementioned deal with Activision to encompass an additional 18 games appearing on the Xbox 360 and PC. The agency didn't fully delineate which would fall under this deal, though it did call out Guitar Hero: World Tour, James Bond: Quantum of Solace, and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, as well as games in its Tony Hawk and AMAX Racing franchises.

Massive's deal with Blizzard is just the latest in a string of high-profile publishers signing up for the agency's ad network. In March, Massive reached an agreement with Activision Blizzard archrival Electronic Arts to serve in-game ads in the publisher's Burnout and Need for Speed franchises, as well as annualized sports games appearing on the Xbox 360 and PC. Last month, THQ signed a similar deal that saw Massive become the sole in-game ad provider for all of the publisher's Xbox 360 and PC projects.

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Discussion

65 comments
tholgair
tholgair

I wonder if someone invents broadcasting in our dreams:) You set the reciever to a certain network, go to sleep and you'll probably see tons of commercials before and in between dreams. But it's all to give you a better dream, right? By signing on to put commercials to your dreams, they will get more funds to "develop" your dreams to a more desirable experience:P Juuuuust like they do today:D

Aplayaz2000
Aplayaz2000

diablo 3 will probably come out late 2010, why would they release two major series in one year? what kind of developer company does that, sure blizzard doesn't... they work hard ass on each game

Hells_rebelion
Hells_rebelion

Cdod is right lol Billboards with Ipod ads will start popping up and ruin the EXP. Seriously seeing ads for a 2009 Ipod in a game set in the distant future would be odd.

cyznik23
cyznik23

when is diablo 3 coming out??

bane546
bane546

this feels like it has terrible potential later if ads are more thoroughly integrated into the games themselves, but if they need to put some ads in the battle.net login to keep games like sc and wc free to play online then who cares??? when the protoss start sporting ipods then heads need to roll...

scrymonster
scrymonster

the billboards were never a bad idea to keep subscription costs down. but who ever looks at those anyway?

cdodo
cdodo

but watch bill boards show up in starcraft 2

blueliquidplus
blueliquidplus

As long as I don't have billboards that I have to look at while in flight in WoW I don't care what ads they sign up for thier banners for Battle.net. Now If they decide "Hey lets put a pop up as soon as they log on!" someones getting stabbed.

FireBird7011
FireBird7011

Noooo.. i dont really unsterstand it all but all i know is that when a game company signs ANYTHING with microsoft... its done for .... GG

D34thWish
D34thWish

ok nvm my previous comment. but would ingame ads lag the game? but then again it's pretty cool to see some cool games that r coming soon or are top rated while playing Diablo 3. It's would be better if the ads were shown when the game is loading etc or maybe shown in the chat room like Diablo 2 LoD.

D34thWish
D34thWish

would someone be kind enough to summrize the news above for me plz? i dun realli quite understand it. thanks in advance if u do! =) i m a diablo fan too

nappan
nappan

@Tonymancan: Heh, good call... the internet, like the newsmedia has two central axioms: 1.) The microphone is ALWAYS hot... and 2.) Someone out there has a tape recorder (screenshot, etc). That said, good for the ad agency for getting the contract? I'm not sure how surprising that is given the HUGE marketing campaigns that will doubtless herald titles such as Starcraft II and Diablo III.

wizardv12222
wizardv12222

Popuo_killer, because this effects Battlenet, where diablo 3 will connect to mulitplayer. So have no fear you'll enjoy some commericals there.

tonymancan
tonymancan

wow that's how they roll here at gamespot, he edited his article to take out the embarassing screw up he had and took out all the comments pointing it out. Don't take it so personal bro, they just internet opinions.

zaphod_b
zaphod_b

Popup_killer, I'm guessing that you are tracking Diablo III, and both the game and this story share a common tag, Blizzard. It's pretty lame, but that's probably why.

TITANUM
TITANUM

What the! Wheres Diablo 3 news? Hmmm

Popup_killer
Popup_killer

Why does this end up in my e-mail inbox with Diablo III as a title. I dont even see Doablo mentioned here.

Leo_Colt
Leo_Colt

I miss the good 'ol days where internet advertising was unprofitable and virtually non-existent.

Skullcandy
Skullcandy

Yay! Just what we need is more advertising bombarding our senses! I can't believe my WoW Orc Warlock survived this long without being able to drink a Coke....

csword345
csword345

Good ole ActARD and Iaifox, I think you're right lol GG gamespot!

Jarltheafro
Jarltheafro

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Jarltheafro
Jarltheafro

@most of you, with blizzard they now mean ACTIVISON-BLIZZARD, not blizzard entertainment that made my favourite franchises, @rikhan z they wont advertise INGAME they will just advertise at the header from battle.net @ rubarack, sc2 splitting into 3 games is more like splitting it into 3 seperate campaigns, this is optional, and if you didnt know already with franchises like warcraft and Guitar Hero around activision-bliz won't exactly be the most poorest of entertainment companies, + more money doesnt necessarily mean lower quality, look at NWN 1 for example, they kindoff expected to maek the best game ever with their budget, and 5 years of development. @ fanboy4hire : Completely agree with you, the only reason most people would pay for a game nowadays is so they can play it online (=double screwed)

laifox
laifox

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

goppizzi
goppizzi

this is a great and amazing new!!!!!

rikhan_z
rikhan_z

Oh no... I could imagine seeing a McDonald sign in space in Starcraft 2... or the Zerg ordering a KFC take away.

Fanboy4Hire
Fanboy4Hire

One of the past arguments for in-game ads was "cheaper prices for games". Whatever happened to that? Last time I checked, 60 bucks is still on the sticker. If super-ad heavy Fight Night comes out for 60 dollars, I will know gamers got screwed over.

racerx719
racerx719

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

CureForLiving
CureForLiving

that's Azorathians actually :P But yeah it could have been worse, after all we are talking about Activision's here, you know bleed a IP until its dead Activision, randomly cancels good project because they don't have sequel potential Activision. Turn out mindless quick cash-in expansions and sequel Activision. A couple of ads isn't all that bad.

oldogg
oldogg

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Rubarack
Rubarack

Blizzard's not dead. More money can actually make their games better. If we start to see a downward trend in quality of their games then you may declare that. How about dividing Starcraft 2 into 3 games?

Pete5506
Pete5506

Nothing new, just a way to make money

RockySquirrel
RockySquirrel

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

RockySquirrel
RockySquirrel

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Oktoberfest
Oktoberfest

Battle.net already has ads in them so it's nothing new

ChaosStar
ChaosStar

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

ChaosStar
ChaosStar

Who cares about ads on sites and bnet? Adblock + NoScript + FireFox = happy internet surfing times! If this allows them to continue bringing us amazing games, then more power to them. Industry advancement is always welcomed if the advertisement isn't too intrusive, and this seems fine. :)

hector530
hector530

@Deathscyth-Hell yes it is full price so its be 150-180 for the full trilogy i love bizzard but i hate Activision-Blizzard (as they call themselves now)

Ra-Devil
Ra-Devil

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Nightrain50
Nightrain50

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

weaselciuy
weaselciuy

lets let D3 and stracraft 2 launch first then we can safelly say if Blizz is dead like EA . gl

Hieh
Hieh

If D3 is "casual" then id say the good ole blizzard we once knew N loved is dead..

star77241
star77241

"yeah cus ActiBlizz needs more money...meet the new EA folks *weeps* Blizzard is dead!!!" Blizzard's not dead. More money can actually make their games better. If we start to see a downward trend in quality of their games then you may declare that.

Shawn45
Shawn45

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

bundok
bundok

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

DarkxMagician
DarkxMagician

Quoted from the article itself and modified to caps for all the people who evidently can't read past the headline: "THE DEAL IS LIMITED TO BLIZZARD'S WEB SITES AND BATTLE.NET" In other words, you won't be seeing in-game advertising anywhere other than the battle.net lobby, and there are ALREADY ads there!

VirtuaCast
VirtuaCast

Not a big deal. Well I see a some ads right now here at GS. It won't be mid game or nothing.