Microsoft, via its acquisition in 2006 of Massive Incorporated the in-game ad company, has announced a deal with EA Games to channel ads into online games. The deal covers all of EA Sports games on the XBox and PC platforms (i.e. the platforms most likely to be connected to the Web) Massive, in effect, acts as a broker between advertisers (or agencies) that want to get their ads in front of gamers, and game publishers eager to tap new sources of revenue. The ads themselves are dynamic and can be customized to specific groups or geographies. They can be switched in and out, be tested and optimized – a major leap from the current, static in-game offerings. This is an important win for Microsoft as they attempt to gain a step on Google who recently acquired Adscape.
According to analyst firm Parks Associates, in-game advertising will grow by at least 50 percent annually to $432 million by 2010.