Officials from NCSoft North America have announced a strategic partnership with in-game advertising firm Massive Incorporated to integrate dynamic advertising into the North American and European versions of PC title Auto Assault
The racing themed massively multiplayer online (MMO) game has been created by Colorado based developer NetDevil and is due to for release this April. There is, however, no indication of whether the new partnership with Massive will be extended to any of NCSoft's other MMOs, including City of Heroes/Villains
, Guild Wars
and Lineage I
"We've been interested in the concept of in-game advertising for a long time, but only wanted to do it when it made sense for the product and enhanced the game world for our players," said Dorothy Ferguson, vice president of sales and marketing for NCsoft North America. "This is a great fit for Auto Assault. Massive understands games and has the most seamless and sophisticated process for integrating ads that fit within the game environment. We share a deep commitment to the highest quality game experience for our customers."
"As the world's leading creator of online computer games, NCsoft is a great addition to the Massive Network and is further proof that we're bringing to market the single largest, most comprehensive, and popular network of global games for dynamic advertising," said Nicholas Longano, CMO of Massive Incorporated. "We're excited to team with NCsoft to incorporate real-life advertising into this cutting-edge, highly anticipated game."
According to Massive, this increases its game base to more than 35 publishers and developers, with over 100 games using or intending to use their service, as it competes with other emerging in-game ad firms including Double Fusion and IGA Partners, which are also signing major publisher deals.
Although MMO titles are one of the most obvious beneficiaries of in-game advertising, the fantasy setting of many make it largely impossible, although the Massive Network is used in sci-fi titles such as Anarchy Online
and The Matrix Online
. Recently, though, the company has signed deals with more traditional publishers and developers, including THQ
and Spark Unlimited