Google has just purchased Adscape, an in-game advertising network like Massive/MSFT.
From the Google Adscape purchase FAQ:
“Q. Why did Google acquire Adscape Media?
A. In-game advertising is an area where we believe Google could add a lot of value to users, advertisers and publishers. Adscape Media’s technology and talented team are a great addition to Google’s current advertising solutions for advertisers and publishers.”
From Bernie Stolar, Google Dean of Games:
“Games can be played anywhere and at anytime. In this mobile world, games have evolved to become a part of our lives. Unlike television, gamers can make games their own – customizing their experience in new ways—and we are helping them do that big time.”
From Information Week:
“An acquisition of Adscape could pay for itself relatively soon. The in-game advertising market is poised for explosive growth, garnering more than five times the current market value to reach $732 million by 2010, according to an April 2006, the Yankee Group estimate.
Presumably, Google will integrate the ability to buy in-game ads to its online ad platforms (AdWords and AdSense), though Google said it had no plans to announce at this time.
Google is not alone in its interest in in-game advertising. Last May, Microsoft said it would acquire Massive Inc., another in-game advertising company for nearly $200 million.”
Where is Sony? Now that MSFT and Google are monetizing in-game.
“There are three ways for Sony to approach in-game advertising. The purchase option is a touch dangerous in Sony’s current financial situation, so that’s not likely the way they’d want to go. Sony could try to develop their own ad system, but that would take quite a bit more work.
That leaves one more option: choose an ad company to go with. Massive is out, of course, so who do they go with? There’s always Google, which has the added bonus of irritating Microsoft to no end. I wouldn’t be surprised to see an announcement along those lines in the next few months.”