The big rumor in the in-game ad space this week is that Google is looking to enter the space with the purchase of Adscape, an in-game ad technology firm started by three industry veterans.
The longer Linden Lab's Second Life sits in the media spotlight, the more likely it is to burst into flames. This month, the independent gaming press notes a brewing backlash, even as marketers and media companies like Scion, iVillage, Dell, IBM, Song BMG and others rush to join the virtual world.
This week, two of the top execs from Massive Incorporated, a pioneering company in the dynamic in-game ad space, left the company to pursue other opportunities, with a former Microsoft executive stepping into the top job. Massive Incorporated was purchased by the Redmond giant last year.
Just as 2006 was wrapping up and we were all heading off to our respective (and ideally, warm) holiday destinations, UK-based research firm Bunnyfoot released some data potentially troubling to the 2007 prospects of in-game advertising. The data, compiled using eye-movement measuring techniques and surveys of 120 players of sports titles with the most advertising, found that ads were failing to capture the attention of players, and recall of the ads across the board was low.