Massive Lands Five Titles from EA

Dynamic in-game advertising as a viable channel for ad dollars got a boost today as Electronic Arts (EA) agreed to sell inventory in five of its best known titles through Microsoft-owned Massive’s in-game ad network.

Massive will represent ads within soon to be released titles “Madden NFL 08,” “NASCAR 08,” “NHL 08,” “Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 08” and “SKATE.” The addition of well-known franchise games to the Massive roster should bring more advertisers to in- to its network and to in-game advertising in general, said Cory Van Arsdale, general manager of new business integration for Microsoft and CEO of Massive.

“With dynamic advertising and the increasing value of the audience that we’re offering, more and more advertisers are going to spend money to get into these titles to reach this audience,” said Van Arsdale. “This is but one of many steps… to grow and show this is a long term sustainable area for the industry.”

As most of the games are sports based, ads will mimic what viewers might see in a televised game, for instance billboards around a racetrack or sports arena, but the two companies are exploring other ways to integrate ads with EA games, according to Shelby Cox, senior director of in-game advertising for Electronic Arts.

“For these particular titles we are set on the inventory, but as we look into the future and extending this relationship, we’re interested in how can we as the publishers in this relationship push our development teams,” she said. “We are 100 percent a believer in dynamic advertising.”

The acquisition of Massive by Microsoft also contributed to EA selecting the company as a vessel for marketing messages in its marquee titles, Cox said.

Ads on the titles will only be available via the XBox 360 and PC-based games, as other platform providers including Sony have not approved ads to play on their platform.

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