Officials from Sony Online Entertainment (SoE) have announced that in-game advertising, as provided by Massive Incorporated, will be added to massively multiplayer online (MMO) role-playing game The Matrix Online
Real world advertisements will begin appearing on billboards around the in-game 'Mega City' after the next scheduled update to the game (number 38) goes live. These adverts will change over time, although existing in-game adverts for virtual products such as Slumberil and The Sentinel will remain part of the game.
The inclusion of Massive's in-game advertising for the title, which SOE purchased from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
earlier this year, is also expected to allow for player advertising, with contests being run for selecting player created adverts to be shown in the game. An official announcement on this feature is expected over the next few weeks.
SoE already uses Massive's ad technology
for the more action-based MMO PlanetSide
, and the decision to include it in The Matrix Online
may in part be facilitated by the game's real-world setting, but may show SOE exploring alternative financial tactics to help mitigate reportedly disappointing sales and critical reception to this point. Massive's advertising technology is also used
in FunCom's free-for-basic-play MMO Anarchy Online