Microsoft Confirms Massive Closure

Microsoft Confirms Massive Closure

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Microsoft has confirmed that it will "sunset" Massive, Inc., the in-game advertising firm it acquired in 2006, at the end of the year.

Confirming a rumor that first surfaced earlier this month, Microsoft notified Massive employees last week that its advertising technology would be "redeployed to [its] first party ad business, focusing initially on gaming and eventually expanding to other Microsoft opportunities." The company now intends to focus on "first-party gaming advertisers" on services like Xbox Live and MSN Games.

"Microsoft will wind-down Massive's third-party in-game ad business and sunset the Massive brand name at year-end," the company said in a statement.

The shift in Microsoft's focus reflects the failure of the in-game advertising market to even approach the $2 billion value predicted for 2010 by former Massive CEO Mitch Davis when Microsoft bought out the company. Xbox Live, meanwhile, boasts 25 million users around the world, providing advertisers a "highly engaged, growing audience" that's exclusive to Microsoft.

Microsoft didn't reveal how many employees would be laid off as a result of the closure but implied that cuts would be made, saying a "small staff" would be retained to continue servicing existing advertisers until the end of the year. According to the original report, at least some Massive employees were being integrated into Microsoft, while General Manager J.J. Richards was cut loose.

via: Develop

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As I said in the last thread, the only non-EA company I can think of that used Massive was Nadeo. When EA pulled out in favour if an in-house system, Massive was pretty much doomed.

That's a shame, I liked the dynamic, real life adverts on the billboards in games set in a city, it help with the sense of immersion.

I hope they'll leave an advert on the billboards, or replace the Massive adverts with an advert for an in-game product, because I think a big blank billboards would stick out like a sore thumb and look horrible, detracting from the immersion as it would be all too apparent that a real life event has effected the game world.

Hopefully every game that incorporates this already has stock advert textures for an occasion such as this, like if you're not connected to the internet and can't receive the Massive data.

I can't be the only person who read this and thought they were closing a load of game studios.

OT: To be honest i don't mind this too much i found an ad for a real life product only broke the immersion for me especially in any non sports game.

Well, to be entirely honest I've always felt that avertising in games was not being handled well to begin with. The projections about it's potential growth, and companies even being able to support entire games off of nothing but in game adverts, seemed to be based on things going a lot further than they currently have.

The technology to advertise on billboard space in video games has been there for a while, but originally as I understood things, the idea was to progress things into more of a "Second Life" type direction and get companies to actually pay money for virtual real estate in games. Something similar to like say "Monolith Burger" in "Space Quest III" except based on real resteraunt franchises and worked into a game. Codes from products that would be redeemed inside a game itself. Events like the ones World Of Warcraft made for holidays being sponsored by specific companies and providing loot and buffs in MMORPGs, etc...

Outside of say an ads placed in a major hub of an MMORPG, simply putting up a billboard or the equivilent in a video game is going to be rather inefficient. I mean it is doubtlessly a lot of money that could be used in other mediums to hit a larger audience. The trick as I understood things was to get the players to interact with the ads, and want to do so, rather than just spamming blurbs.

For example if say Nike was running a promotion in "Champions Online". They turn one of the doors around the city into a gateway into a zone, and have a Nike-financed virtual shoestore with a quest line set up so you can earn costume pieces. Then what they do is come up with tickets with code numbers on them for yet more costume pieces at various shoe stores carrying Nike products, which will encourage gamers who want to collect costume pieces and the like to head out to those shoe stores to get them, where they will of course at least browse casually... the idea of any promotion being to get people through the door.

Not a perfect analogy, but that is where I think things were supposed to be going when you were hearing projections years ago on how in-game advertising would be a big thing. I honestly think a lot of it was based on data collected via things like Second Life. It's just that companies lacked the imagination, and game developers were doing a horrible job of selling the idea properly even if they tried.

Done correctly an advertiser pays a game developer a bunch of money to create the content, but then received a return through increased traffic and interest in their products. The issue of course being that if an ad is not interactive it doesn't exploit the medium properly. Also effort has to be taken not to harass the gamers the way a lot of pop ups do. You want to get people to say head to the company event looking for a free item or some buffs or whatever, not be teleported there, spammed, or circle jerked until they finally go there so the bloody thing will go away. That's why you lure a user with free content, and presumably something they would want to use, nobody is going to want to have their super hero or single-player race car to sport a giant glowing neon company logo for you, but with some creativity worthwhile rewards can be created.

I can't say I'm very unhappy that one way for advertisers to rape my face has been closed off.

Jamash:
That's a shame, I liked the dynamic, real life adverts on the billboards in games set in a city, it help with the sense of immersion.

I hope they'll leave an advert on the billboards, or replace the Massive adverts with an advert for an in-game product, because I think a big blank billboards would stick out like a sore thumb and look horrible, detracting from the immersion as it would be all too apparent that a real life event has effected the game world.

Hopefully every game that incorporates this already has stock advert textures for an occasion such as this, like if you're not connected to the internet and can't receive the Massive data.

Nah, the system should be implemented so that you can play off-line because you cant download the latest advertisements yo enrich you gaming-experience. Think how horrid it would be if I couldn't be eable to see a pepsi soda machine instead of some random made up on.
(joke)
(Sorry I got bit of an asshole day today)

I like in-game advertising.

In theory.

If used properly it equates to a lower purchase price for me.

"sunset"? Jeebus...

Is it not PC to say "We're closing it"? =P

Always a shame to hear that people will be losing their jobs. Good luck Massive employees.

Ive been "let go" before because of company closures. It sucks, but it's a necessary part of business

 

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