In-Game Advertising Company Massive to Close
A few years back, Microsoft made big news when they bought Massive, a company that focused on placing dynamic advertising in video games. Now, in an interesting move, Massive looks to be closing. Don’t expect that to reduce the number of in-game ads however.
As Penny Arcade illustrated in the above strip, in-game ads are here to stay. Also, they seem to work from a marketer’s perspective. Microsoft decided, however, that they would rather focus on the ads for Xbox Live and their own games to get all the revenue instead of placing ads in other publisher’s games and splitting the money.
Proper in-game advertising has its place, but can easily cross the line when they become too obtrusive. In many ways, in-game ads can enhance a game experience. Imagine if the mall in Dead Rising featured actual stores. It would add to the game to have Frank or Chuck running into a Foot Locker and battling zombies wearing their iconic referee uniforms than just battling in a generic shoe store. Wouldn’t that be great if you could actually burn down Hot Topic?
That being said, having Sonic drink a Red Bull to go faster is not something that enhances the gameplay and instead just looks like a money grab. It’s a fine line that movies and television have also had to figure out.
In-game advertising is here for good, but let’s hope that they don’t sacrifice gameplay and story immersion on the alter of more ad dollars.
via Ars Technica