EA signs with two in-game ad firms

Publisher will sell space in upcoming games; Need for Speed Carbon and Battlefield 2142 to be company's first games featuring dynamic ads.

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In-game advertising firms have been signing publishers to their services for years, but there has always been one notable holdout: the world's largest third-party publisher, Electronic Arts. Today EA announced its initial steps into the world of dynamically served in-game ads, and those steps will come with the help of two competing ad services, IGA Worldwide and Microsoft-owned Massive Inc.

For IGA World Wide, EA has committed to deliver a portfolio of no fewer than three games across "select EA franchises" that incorporate the company's in-game ad technology. The first game announced as part of the deal is the PC first-person shooter Battlefield 2142, which is set for release later this year.

On the Massive side, EA will tap the firm to provide dynamic in-game advertising for up to four of its titles on PC and Xbox 360, starting with Need for Speed Carbon. Previous installments of the game have featured static advertising (where the game ships with the ad placed in a part of the game and never changes), but this will be the first time the publisher can switch out and update ads on the fly to help promote more time-sensitive products or campaigns.

Dynamically served ads can come in all sizes and formats, from billboards and movie clips to radio jingles and in-game objects. Financial terms were not disclosed for either agreement, nor were any potential advertisers identified.

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