A report in The Wall Street Journal has suggested that leading Internet search engine company Google is planning to acquire in-game advertising firm Adscape.
Although no official announcement has been made by either company the report suggests that talks are already ongoing, with confirmation likely to appear this week.
When questioned on the story by the Wall Street Journal, a Google spokesperson commented: “We are always considering new ways to extend Google's advertising program to benefit our users, advertisers and publishers. In-game advertising offers one such possible extension among many others.”
Although not as high profile as rivals IGA Partners and Massive (the latter of which was purchased by Microsoft in May 2006
), Adscape’s AdverPlay technology is billed as "highly advanced", allowing for two-way communication between in-game ads and the outside world.
The Real World/Virtual World Gateway (RVG) technology enables two-way text and audio and video communication for making financial transactions, receiving rewards or game secrets, entering sweepstakes, downloading game-themed ring tones and other interactions specific to particular games.
Adscape was only formed in 2006
and has yet to announce any major publishing partners. However, Gamasutra conducted one of the few major interviews
with the firm last June immediately prior to the GDC Focus On: Game Advertising Summit.