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.

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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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