Microsoft Pulling Plug on In-Game Advertiser

Microsoft Pulling Plug on In-Game Advertiser

image

Unexpected changes in the market seem to have spelled the end for Microsoft's days supplying ads for games.

Sources suggest that Microsoft will shut down Massive, Inc., the in-game advertising agency it bought in 2006, later this month after failing to find a buyer for the company. When Microsoft acquired Massive, its then CEO Mitch Davis predicted a $2 billion dollar market for in-game ads by 2010, but unfortunately for Microsoft, the market never got anywhere near that.

At one point, Massive had contracts with a number of top publishers to provide adverts for their games, including the likes of Guitar Hero and the Madden series. But earlier in the year, EA decided to handle all of its in-game advertising in-house, meaning that Massive lost a significant amount of its business.

Sources also suggest that Microsoft had come to regard Xbox Live as a better venue for advertising. When Massive supplied ads for a game, it had to share the revenue with the publisher, whereas with Xbox Live, Microsoft could keep all the cash for itself. Microsoft is said to be integrating members of Massive's technical and marketing teams into other areas of the company, and its general manager J.J. Richards is looking for a new job.

Source: Adweek via Gamasutra

Permalink

For the first time ever...I am questioning why my 50-60 dollars a year still requires me to look at ads. I mean, they're never shoved in my face like Youtube and other video player ads. But they clog up my dashboard!

Also, did you ever boot up an old game that used to have in-game ads, and see REALLY old ads for things that aren't even relevant anymore?

Onyx Oblivion:
For the first time ever...I am questioning why my 50-60 dollars a year still requires me to look at ads. I mean, they're never shoved in my face like Youtube and other video player ads. But they clog up my dashboard!

Also, did you ever boot up an old game that used to have in-game ads, and see REALLY old ads for things that aren't even relevant anymore?

Aye. My copy of Burnout Paradise has adverts for the Che movie. Must of been last year, or something. Interestingly, while I was playing I started noticing a new Virgin Media ad, so there must be some level of interest still.

I do wonder how Nadeo will cope, since TM Nations is the only non-EA game I'm aware of that used Massive. (I'm sure there's more, but I can't think of any). I suppose that underlines the problem: their biggest customer, EA, has left for their own system.

In-game advertising can go eat a dick, so this is really good news! Especially when the ad server clogs up the Internet connection, leading to lag.

Burn in hell, Massive, you won't be missed.

Being in the UK I don't get as many dashboard ads as people from the US, but my level of ads doesn't annoy me in the slightest.

Most of the stuff on my dashboard is quite interesting, if incredibly cheesy, and the stuff I don't find interesting doesn't really get in the way.

In game advertising was only ever something mildly amusing.
Playing Rainbow Six and seeing an advert for lynx... just the oddness of the situation.

Still I guess it was a quick and easy way for publishers and developers to get extra revenue. It was a decent idea.

I'm sorry that people have to lose their jobs over this, but really if I pay $60 for a game I think the publisher waves the right to throw anymore advertising in my face over the thing.

Actually, this gives me an idea for a replacement project five dollar. All new games come with a code that disables in-game advertising. Any used games that want the same will have to pay (I dunno) $5-$10 for the same service.

It's not perfect, but it might work with some tweaking.

So...So Microsoft did something right for once?

Frightened. Someone hold me, please

In-game advertising only works if it lowers the cost of the games, which it wasn't doing.

In-game advertising is nothing more than pure annoyance. Fuck advertisements. They're the worst thing that happened to the internet since Facebook.

Sucks that people are losing their jobs, but I won't shed any tears if in-game ads disappear.
And yeah, it's bullshit that we still have to deal with ads on Xbox Live after we've paid $60.

Meh, I don't mind stuff like sports games having logo signs in their stadiums or driving games having billboards. After all, that's how it is in real life, right? It might be a little jarring at first, but it contributes to the sense that it's taking place in the real world. It's more weird to see billboards for obvious fake products instead, unless it's like Grand Theft Auto where they get creative about it and make them jokes.

I'm just praying we never end up in a time where full-video commercials play during loading screens or shit like that. And I've never seen these Xbox Live Dashboard ads, but they sound annoying.

Onyx Oblivion:
Also, did you ever boot up an old game that used to have in-game ads, and see REALLY old ads for things that aren't even relevant anymore?

That reminds me; I need to go play some SSX 3 with my dnL board.

Actually i believe this is good news! we are enough bombarded of ads on the net, on TV, and outside our homes...

Commander Breetai:
So...So Microsoft did something right for once?

Frightened. Someone hold me, please

*holds*
There there, I am sure that microsoft will find a way to make in game ads part of DLC. Make you pay for the luxury of ads on your own tv.

Yeah, sports games are really the only games that advertisements makes sense in anyway (outside of the random buildboards) so why did Microsoft think they needed to promote in game advertisements when a majority of Xbox 360 exclusives (Halo and Gears since they take place in the future while Bioshock took place under the ocean) wouldn't make a lick of sense to have them?

Yey! no more ingame ads! So I no longer need to feel the need to buy what ever the hell they are selling. (I mean really? Why even bother putting them in? People are going to blow right past them)

Massive pulled a serious Fail, and Microsoft found a new way to suck up more money.

Who woulda guessed?

Kuchinawa212:
Yey! no more ingame ads! So I no longer need to feel the need to buy what ever the hell they are selling. (I mean really? Why even bother putting them in? People are going to blow right past them)

Except for the in-game ads done in house by EA, and anyone else who opts to do them.

Keep in mind Microsoft shut them down because they took a hit from other people doing it themselves. This isn't altruism, the "right thing" or the death of in-game ads, as many seem to believe.

Obviously. EA will be fine giving money to a third party, but when it comes to giving it to another developer/pulisher, albeit Microsoft, they will pull out

Steve the Pocket:
Meh, I don't mind stuff like sports games having logo signs in their stadiums or driving games having billboards. After all, that's how it is in real life, right? It might be a little jarring at first, but it contributes to the sense that it's taking place in the real world. It's more weird to see billboards for obvious fake products instead, unless it's like Grand Theft Auto where they get creative about it and make them jokes.

Indeed. If you're running around a city and see a billboard for Coke or Pepsi or whatever, you'll feel like they're trying for realism.

I think games set in modern cities should have billboard advertising, as well as radio or TV ads, if that applies, just to be authentic.

Also, they should have a default ad that is shown if there's no Net connection. This ad gets replaced if a Net connection is detected, and ad sellers can buy slots or whatever. However, I think that it should download the ad completely, not do any stupid streaming crap.

Granted, I think they should lower the price a little if we have to see the ads, but still...

Also, the best advertising is subtle. You're playing a game and in the cutscene, your character goes to the fridge, grabs a Coke, and drinks it while talking with someone else. It's not something that you really think about, but that Coke will stick in your subconscious and later on make you think, "If I want to be like him, I should drink Coke."

Wait there was advertisements in games?

I know there are in Ubisoft games for other Ubisoft games, and burnout paradise has billboards that have advertising on it, but thats all that i've seen.

Mercenaries two is still advertising Crank: High Voltage :/ but ya so I try to watch an IGN video on my xbox and I hae to watch a mazda ad. It should only be to silver members that get ads not the people who are paying 60 bucks every 13 months

In-game advertising can die in the shithole it spawned from.

But for fucks sake Microsoft, we are paying 60 dollar/euro per year and we still get those shitty Silverlight powered advertisements cluttering up our dashboard. And yes, the update that brought Silverlight [ Microsoft's answer to Flash ] was mainly designed to make those tablets animate/move around when you start your dashboard. Mostly for, you guessed it, advertisements that aren't gamer-related.

AdmiralMemo:

Also, the best advertising is subtle. You're playing a game and in the cutscene, your character goes to the fridge, grabs a Coke, and drinks it while talking with someone else. It's not something that you really think about, but that Coke will stick in your subconscious and later on make you think, "If I want to be like him, I should drink Coke."

I'd find that incredibly jarring. I'd prefer a billboard, if I had to have any ad. Obvious product placement pissed me the hell off.

Outright Villainy:
I'd find that incredibly jarring. I'd prefer a billboard, if I had to have any ad. Obvious product placement pissed me the hell off.

So, if he DOES get a drink, then what would you want him to be drinking? A white can marked "Soda" or "Beer"? Or some parody brand like "Joke"?

AdmiralMemo:

Outright Villainy:
I'd find that incredibly jarring. I'd prefer a billboard, if I had to have any ad. Obvious product placement pissed me the hell off.

So, if he DOES get a drink, then what would you want him to be drinking? A white can marked "Soda" or "Beer"? Or some parody brand like "Joke"?

Well, if it's a serious game, it probably shouldn't be even distinguishable, given the shot. I don't think the character drinking requires a full on zoom. The Gta fake-o-brands can be amusing enough too in that context.

Outright Villainy:

AdmiralMemo:

Outright Villainy:
I'd find that incredibly jarring. I'd prefer a billboard, if I had to have any ad. Obvious product placement pissed me the hell off.

So, if he DOES get a drink, then what would you want him to be drinking? A white can marked "Soda" or "Beer"? Or some parody brand like "Joke"?

Well, if it's a serious game, it probably shouldn't be even distinguishable, given the shot. I don't think the character drinking requires a full on zoom. The Gta fake-o-brands can be amusing enough too in that context.

Precisely, as there is a difference between conveying a sense of realism or familiarity and obtrusive advertising acting as an attention-starved child waving in the foreground. Even in films, it ruins the cinematography when, for example, a Sony Vaio money-shot is the primary focus rather than the serious discussion pertaining to the End of the World.

In-game ads are appropriate in some situations, especially sports titles where they would be in real life anyway.

 

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here