Home  › Media › Media Buying
massive-pontiac

Microsoft to Close In-Game Ad Unit Massive

  |  October 8, 2010   |  Comments

Loss of EA as a client this summer may have aided the firm's downfall.

massive-pontiacMicrosoft is preparing to close Massive Inc., the in-game advertising unit it purchased for over $200 million in 2006, according to a MediaWeek report.

MediaWeek's article, published today, suggests Massive's sales and engineering staff are currently being reassigned to other projects within Microsoft, and that general manager JJ Richards is seeking a new job. Microsoft has reportedly been seeking a buyer for the unit for months, approaching rival in-game ad-vendor Double Fusion, among others.

In response to a request for comment on the situation, a Microsoft spokesperson said the company "does not comment on rumor or speculation." Massive staff could not be reached by phone on Friday afternoon and did not return calls by the time of publish.

Video game publisher Electronic Arts (EA) announced in March that it was effectively ending its relationship with Massive by taking ad sales for its newly released titles in-house. The firm was still responsible for selling inventory into EA's legacy titles, but with dwindling audiences for outdated games, that opportunity is likely contracting daily.

In one of its most high profile campaigns, Massive sold dynamic display inventory to the Obama campaign back in 2008, and ads were served into EA's Xbox-based NBA basketball game.

Explaining its decision to build its own sales forces, EA's SVP for global media sales, Elizabeth Harz, said the company recognized the opportunity to sell directly to advertisers. The expansion of video game audiences through family oriented consoles such as the Wii, and new platforms like social and mobile gaming, prompted it to build out its own sales force, rather than partner with a third-party, she suggested.

Meanwhile in the in-game network space, it appears Massive's rivals could be fairing slightly better, with IGA Worldwide completing an investment round in August. However, the fact that further investment was required could instead be an indication of continued immaturity of the market, and a lack of serious investment from advertisers.

ClickZ Live Chicago Learn Digital Marketing Insights From Leading Brands!
ClickZ Live Chicago (Nov 3-6) will deliver over 50 sessions across 10 individual tracks, including Data-Driven Marketing, Social, Mobile, Display, Search and Email. Check out the full agenda, or register and attend one of the best ClickZ events yet!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jack Marshall

Jack Marshall was a staff writer and stats editor for ClickZ News from 2007 until August 2011. 

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

Get ClickZ Media newsletters delivered right to your inbox. Subscribe today!

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

UPCOMING TRAINING

Featured White Papers

Google My Business Listings Demystified

Google My Business Listings Demystified
To help brands control how they appear online, Google has developed a new offering: Google My Business Locations. This whitepaper helps marketers understand how to use this powerful new tool.

5 Ways to Personalize Beyond the Subject Line

5 Ways to Personalize Beyond the Subject Line
82 percent of shoppers say they would buy more items from a brand if the emails they sent were more personalized. This white paper offer five tactics that will personalize your email beyond the subject line and drive real business growth.

WEBINARS

    Information currently unavailable

Resources

Jobs

    • Executive Assistant
      Executive Assistant (Agora Inc. ) - BaltimoreAgora Inc., an international publishing company, located in the Mt. Vernon district of Baltimore, MD...
    • Paid Search Specialist
      Paid Search Specialist (Boathouse, Inc.) - Waltham  Boathouse is looking for a Paid Search Specialist to work as a part of the Digital Acquisition...
    • Paid Search / Search Engine Marketing (SEM, PPC) Specialist
      Paid Search / Search Engine Marketing (SEM, PPC) Specialist (HeBS Digital) - New YorkJOB TITLE:     Paid Search / Search Engine Marketing...