EA makes Massive in-game ad deal

Publisher signs multiyear pact with Microsoft-owned dynamic ad network for spots in Burnout and Need for Speed, annualized sports.

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While the debate continues to rage over whether in-game ads enhance or detract from sports titles, publishers continue to add their games to advertisement networks unabated. Today, sports publishing kingpin Electronic Arts announced it had extended its dynamic in-game ad-serving arrangement with Microsoft-owned Massive Inc. to a multiyear deal for many of its top titles on the Xbox 360 and PC.

As part of the new deal, Massive will provide dynamic in-game ads for the next two installments in the Madden NFL, NBA Live, NASCAR racing, and NHL hockey installments on Microsoft's platforms. Anyone disappointed by the inability to destroy ad-coated billboards in Burnout Paradise will be disheartened to know that they will continue to not be able to do so in the future, thanks to Massive. Also included in the deal is EA's popular Need for Speed franchise, with Massive set to provide ads for NFS: Carbon and ProStreet.

As for games not included in the announcement, such as Skate and Tiger Woods, EA and Massive were unclear as to how, if at all, in-game ads will be served. Responding to requests for comment, an EA representative somewhat contradictorily noted that today's announcement pertained to titles publicly announced. "Today's announcement is only focused on the titles included in the press release," said the Microsoft rep. "As more new EA titles are publicly announced, you can expect to hear plans about how the Massive relationship affects them."

However, the next installments in EA Sports' football, basketball, hockey, and NASCAR have not been officially unveiled. EA had not responded to requests for further clarification as of press time.

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