In a move that vividly illustrates the growing popularity and marketing potential of video games as advertising vehicles, Microsoft is reportedly about to acquire a company that facilitates such
deals. The company, Massive Incorporated, makes technology that inserts ads into games. It also serves as a kind of advertising agency for leading clients, placing ads, virtual billboards, logos and
other promotions in video games for companies like Coca-Cola, 20th Century Fox and Panasonic. The deal is indicative of overall momentum behind the idea of advertising in video games. On one side,
game publishers have begun experimenting with inserted advertising as a way to increase revenue and offset the high cost of developing games. On the other side, advertisers, their agents and the
publishers are trying to exploit Internet technology that would allow them to insert and update ads automatically in games played on personal computers and game consoles that are connected to the
Internet. A member of Massive's board said the acquisition would cost Microsoft $200 million to $400 million, but he declined to be more specific. He said that the deal was not yet signed and that it
could yet fall through.
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