Microsoft-owned in-game advertising firm Massive, Inc. has signed or renewed several deals with major publishers including Electronic Arts, Activision, THQ, and Blizzard Entertainment to broker in-game ads for the Xbox 360 and PC platforms.
Games that will feature Massive-facilitated ads this year include Activision's DJ Hero, Band Hero
, Guitar Hero 5
, and the Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
DLC; EA's Madden NFL 10
and Need for Speed Shift
; and THQ's UFC 2009 Undisputed
Massive's agreement with Blizzard positions the firm as the sole advertising provider for Battle.net, the online Blizzard-only gaming service due for a significant relaunch upon the release of next year's StarCraft II
The publishers will only be working with Massive for ads within Xbox 360 and PC versions of games, and not those for any other platforms. Several of the games that are part of these deals have already been released, but will see new ads starting in October.
Massive's JJ Richards called in-game ads "more efficient and less interruptive" than traditional television commercials, while being able to reach the male 18-34 year old demographic so coveted by advertisers.