Report: Microsoft to close its in-game advert unit Massive Inc.

Friday, 8th October 2010 22:09 GMT By Stephany Nunneley


Microsoft is shutting down its in-game advertising unit Massive, according to sources close to the company.

According to insiders familiar with the closure speaking with Media Week, the ad division is to be shut down before the end of this month and Massive general manager JJ Richards has been looking for another job. Other employees are being assigned to other projects and areas of the company.

Microsoft acquired Massive in 2006 for between $200-$400 million in order to take advantage of dynamic in-game advertising while it was popular. The firm’s former CEO has estimated in-game ads would become a $2 billion business by 2010, which the market has not even come to now that the year of prediction is almost over with.

Massive’s client list during the MS acquisition included Activision and EA, but earlier this year, EA pulled in-game ad business from Massive and started doing it in-house; thus causing a chunk of revenue for the ad firm to be lost.

The company was never fully integrated with the Xbox Live marketing team, with quite a few Xbox executives against the deal from the start.

Source told Media Week that MS has approached with rival in-game ad agencies about the possibility of buying Massive off its hands for around six or seven figures.

Thanks, All Things Digital.



  1. polygem

    Ingame ads suck. Games should be there to take you on a trip to a world beyond the world. Ingame ads can kill a games atmosphere (pepsi in bionic commando)…game related ads might work…resistance ad in ratchet and clank game or something like this. Anything else: Boycott for me…

    #1 4 years ago
  2. LordCancer

    it took ubisoft 6 months to patch farcry 2 which ruined the game but, every week we had fresh ads on billboards. fucking pricks!

    #2 4 years ago
  3. Robo_1

    $200 – $400 million down the tubes then. It really is obscene how much money that company can lose and how little effect it has on them.

    #3 4 years ago
  4. Gadzooks!

    In-game ads are a waste of time, IMO.

    I dont find them annoying or distracting or any of that ‘oh my god I’m so enraged over nothing’ cobblers, but I do think they have absolutely no effect.

    But if the advertising money allows developers more budget then I can quite happily put up with a few coke ads.

    #4 4 years ago
  5. Freek

    Good, glad they came to their senses. I pay you 60+ euros to play a fun game, not to look at adds, MS.

    #5 4 years ago
  6. Quiiick

    Another Microsoft Project going down the drain.
    For how much longer can this ailing company go on failing over and over again?

    #6 4 years ago
  7. Psychotext

    For as long as they make anywhere from twelve to eighteen billion dollars profit a year?

    Businesses take risks to make money, sometimes they pay off, sometimes they don’t. This particular risk was equivalent to about 2% of their profit for last year (not taking into account any profits it may have made for them since its purchase).

    Also… ailing? I’d love my company to be ailing if that’s what it means. \o/

    #7 4 years ago
  8. Quiiick

    @ Psychotext
    I wasn’t talking about money!
    Its’ more about not being able to have any success it terms of creativity and/or innovation.

    … ailing?
    Oupps. Maybe I used a wrong word here. Looked it up using a dictionary, to be honest. English is not my native language.

    #8 4 years ago
  9. Michael O’Connor

    @8 As long as they keep making Windows.

    Say what you want, but Windows 7 is a brilliant piece of programming.

    #9 4 years ago
  10. Quiiick

    Never used Windows on any of my computers for more than 20 years. But I keep hearing that Win7 is quite decent. Might give this plagiarism a try in the future … ;)

    #10 4 years ago

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