Massive Expands In-Game Ad Serving

Massive signed a deal with THQ, its first top-five developer client, to serve and track dynamic, in-game advertising into its upcoming video game titles, including Juiced, a motocross simulation.

"THQ's one of the top five publishers, so we're pretty happy to have them on board," said Massive Incorporated Chief Marketing Officer Nicholas Longano. "This would probably be one of our biggest publishers so far." Massive's current developer and publisher partners include well-known firms such as Ubisoft, Konami, Vivendi Universal, and Atari, but the other four of the five biggest game developers--Electronic Arts, Activision, Sega, and Nintendo--are not Massive partners.

According to Longano, their network of games has served ads into 19 million play sessions, and the company hopes to begin developing ways to more deeply embed advertisements and sponsorships into the game itself. "We're obviously talking about deeper integrations in which advertising and messaging become part of the gameplay experiences," Longano said. "Rewards such as upgrades, level loads--things that in the past they've had to pay for or things that weren't part of their gameplay experience--ultimately, at the end of the day it's going to enhance your experience; you're going to get more for your buck."

Longano declined to comment on whether future THQ titles would be including that deeper integration of ads and sponsorship, saying that the upcoming ad and sponsorship options would be available to all their publisher and developer clients, including THQ.

THQ did not return phone calls for comment.