In the technical world, if it’s out there, then odds are that Microsoft has tried it, and not always successfully. For instance, I don’t think anyone is really sold on the Zune. However, there is one interesting new area that Microsoft seems to be doing a pretty good job with: in-game advertising. Ever since Microsoft purchased Massive a while back, they’ve been quietly soldiering along, working on new ways to sell those virtual billboards and soda machines. Priya Ganapati, staff reporter with The Street, recently sat down and talked with Cory Van Arsdale, CEO of Massive, about what they’re up to and what they think of Google entering into the in-game ad market.
Massive, in-game advertising firm, has been doing fairly well over the last year. When it comes to number of working, integrated games, Massive seems to be on top of things. “We have integrated over 70 titles today, of which 53 are active,” said Van Arsdale. “We expect to have about 100 titles in the network by the end of the calendar year. From the sales perspective, more people, including Nielsen, are telling advertisers this is a medium they have to be in.” It’s always good to hear that your particular business is the one that highly respectable companies, like Nielsen, are telling people to put money into, but what about competition?
Recently, as we reported, Google purchased Adscape, a smaller in-game advertising firm, for $23 million. Van Arsdale, when asked about Google, gave the usual amount of respect but didn’t seem too threatened by them currently. “Google is investing in this space just like they did with radio, and it makes perfect sense to me. At the moment, I don’t think Google’s going to be an incredibly serious player, but they are investing in it and trying to decide how they can extend the efficiency of their online ad network to this,” he continued. “Google likes things that are automated, and this is not one of those. Maybe it is part of the challenge they see. But right now we feel really good about our position and technology.”
In-game advertising is poised to reach $700 million by 2010, according to the Yankee Group, and it would be foolish to not keep an eye out for new investment opportunities. The entire article is available on The Street and is well worth a read.