Microsoft is preparing to acquire two-year-old video game ad network Massive Inc. for between $200 and $400 million, according to a report today in the Wall Street Journal.
Microsoft and Massive both declined to comment.
Massive has rapidly built a large network of video game publishers whose inventory it represents to advertisers. It went relatively unchallenged in the space until last year, when similar companies began to emerge. These have included Double Fusion and IGA Partners. IGN Entertainment, News Corp.’s recently acquired gaming media network, has also launched an in-game ad representation business, but has reportedly not made great headway.
The company has signed publishers at the rate of more than two a month. Recent network additions include Acclaim, NCsoft North America and 2K Sports, a label of Take-Two Interactive. Among its bigger deals was an agreement with Funcom, reached last year.
So far the biggest game publishers — companies like Electronic Arts, Sony and Activision — have largely steered clear of outsourcing their ad sales to third party firms. A Microsoft purchase of Massive would likely further deter them from partnering with the company, or it could cause them to snatch up Massive’s competitors in a bid to provide equal services to advertisers.
Microsoft has already stated its plans to add the Xbox to its adCenter ad management platform, but has so far lacked the technology or sales expertise to effectively broker and traffic campaigns in video games.
They're arguably the most annoying video ad formats in existence, but soon they'll be a thing of the past, at least on YouTube.
On Thursday, Twitter reported its earnings for Q4 2016, and the results have raised questions about the company's long-term future.
From its $1.5 billion air cargo hub to its growing network of contract last-mile delivery drivers, Amazon is increasingly looking like a logistics company; but shipping and logistics giant FedEx isn't sitting idly by.
Havas Group's Meaningful Brands report delivers sobering news for brands: consumers wouldn't care if 74% of the brands they use disappeared off the face of the earth.