EA and Massive partner for Dynamic In-Game Ads on Xbox 360 and PC

by: Dan -
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EA and Massive Inc (Subsidiary of Microsoft) have agreed to expand and extend by two years their deal that brings dynamic advertising to the Xbox 360 and Windows PC gaming. The focus of the agreement will be on targeting males, 18 - 34 through EA's lineup of Xbox 360 and exclusive Windows PC games. Games we can expect to see this agreement impacting are the next two years of Madden, NBA Live, NASCAR and NHL. Also, the Need for Speed and Burnout franchises could also be subjected to this strategy.

The debate on in-game advertising has raged for years, and will probably continue going forward. There are the camps that say in-game ads are intrusive, others that say it ads to the realism and others that simply do not care one way or the other. Personally, I don't have to much of an issue with in-game ads if they aren't blatant, but I do believe that games with heavy in-game advertising should subsidize the $59.99 price tag that is being charged consumers instead of taking the money as profit. Check out the release and a couple of in-game advertising screens after the jump:
Mar 18, 2008 07:00

EA Signs Multiyear Agreement With Massive to Offer Dynamic In-Game Advertising on Titles for Xbox 360 and Windows-Based PC Platforms

Agreement Enables Integration of In-Game Advertising and Premium Video Game Content into Long-Term Campaign Planning and Media Buying Processes

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. & NEW YORK --(Business Wire)-- Mar. 18, 2008 Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:ERTS) and Massive Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq:MSFT) and a leading network for video game advertising, today announced an expansion and two-year extension of their agreement to offer dynamic in-game advertising for EA video games. The new global agreement provides unprecedented opportunities for advertisers to engage with EA's highly coveted audience -- especially males ages 18 to 34 -- through its roster of blockbuster games on the Xbox 360(TM) platform and exclusive rights to a majority of EA's premium PC products.

With over three years of experience in dynamically serving advertisements in video games, Massive is the definitive in-game advertising solution for advertisers around the world, including Ford Motor Co. in the U.S., Rogers in Canada, and Puma in Europe. Massive's long-standing relationship with EA, publisher of many of the world's most popular games, provides advertisers with extensive reach through EA's portfolio of premium content video games. This agreement represents a critical point of differentiation for Massive as the in-game advertising medium continues its momentum as a more attractive and effective medium compared with traditional forms of established advertising.

With the latest agreement, EA will further expand the opportunities available to advertisers by extending the participation of current titles in the Massive network as well as incorporating additional, highly anticipated games over the course of the deal. The wide range of EA content that will be available in the Massive network includes the next two iterations of popular EA SPORTS(TM) franchises including Madden NFL* football, NBA LIVE basketball, NASCAR* (R) racing and NHL(R) hockey.

Massive will continue to be the exclusive in-game ad network for PC and Xbox 360 platforms of the world's largest racing franchise, EA's Need For Speed(TM), including current live titles Need for Speed Carbon and Need for Speed ProStreet. Massive is also working with marketers to incorporate dynamic advertising into another popular EA racing title, Burnout(TM) Paradise.

"We continue to utilize the breadth and depth of Massive's content to market a range of our clients' key brands," said Brian Bos, senior vice president, Convergence Director, Mindshare - Team Detroit. "With this expanded partnership, we will be able to plan dynamic in-game campaigns several years out, which is critical in making Massive's content platform a more integral part of our video game marketing strategy."

"EA strongly believes that dynamic in-game advertising is an important growth area for our business, and is one of many opportunities we are pursuing in growing the advertising market," said Kathy Vrabeck, president of the Casual Entertainment Label at EA. "We selected Massive because they are the industry leader in this space with a global sales footprint, solid brand recognition and in-depth experience in video game advertising."

By providing certainty around Massive's ad inventory for years into the future, the multiyear agreement enables advertisers to plan in-game advertising on a calendar year basis as part of a holistic campaign development process alongside other mediums such as TV, online and print media.

Rouwen Bastian, Coordinator European Media Strategies at Opel, said: "In-game advertising plays an essential role for us in reaching today's young adult consumers. The multi-year agreement between Massive and EA makes it possible for us to make greater strategic use of in-game advertising by incorporating it into the same long-term planning as other media forms."

Richard Dance, Group Account Director at MindShare Interaction UK, said: "The growing channel of in-game advertising provides an exciting and creative medium in which to work. Although we are only scratching the surface with regards to the opportunities it provides, more and more of our clients are keen to include in-game advertising as a part of their multichannel strategy."

"Our latest agreement with EA expands advertisers' unprecedented access to EA's world-class franchises to reach young male gamers around the world," said Cory Van Arsdale, CEO of Massive. "This multiyear partnership reflects both the maturity of the dynamic in-game advertising medium and the benefits that our network continues to deliver for both publishers and advertisers
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