According to Media Week, “sources close to” Microsoft have said that the Redmond company will soon close down in-game advertiser Massive Inc. Microsoft bought the company in 2006 for somewhere in the range of $200-400 million.
Ironically, it was probably Xbox that helped to kill Massive. Media Week says that former Massive CEO Mitch Davis in 2006,
“predicted a $2 billion market by , a level the market never approached. Since then, Microsoft’s gamer-aimed subscription service Xbox Live has taken off—it now reaches 25 million users globally. Xbox Live—an entertainment hub where gamers can chat, play games and watch movies—is considered a much more attractive advertising option for brands. Plus, Microsoft keeps all ad revenue it earns from Xbox Live, while it must share Massive’s ad revenue with game publishers—publishers who are often more interested in selling hit games than selling ads.”
Another problem: Electronic Arts, which Massive provided in-game advertising for previously for a number of popular games, decided to ditch Massive for its own in-house solution.
So for Massive, it would seem like game over.