So this is interesting: this RFP had been out for a long, long time, almost a year, as far as I know, and last I heard a few months ago, Massive almost got the deal. Now Massive is owned by Microsoft, and competitor IGA is well funded.
Anyway, the news: Electronic Arts has signed with the two rival in-game advertising firms. Massive will deliver ads that appear in up to four of its titles for PCs and Microsoft Xbox 360 console, starting with Need for Speed Carbon, a new version of EA’s best-selling racing game due out this fall. While IGA will distribute ads into a “portfolio” of EA games, including the PC combat game Battlefield 2142. The companies didn’t disclose financial terms.
EA is currently estimated to earn revenue in the single-digit millions from such ads, the story says. Chip Lange, EA’s VP of online commerce, quoted in the story, expects Microsoft competitors Google and Yahoo to enter the in-game ad field. Well, there are three main firms left: IGA, Double Fusion and WildTangent.
Reuters: It does look like EA has chosen to go a vendor-neutral route here: “You’ll see more agreements like this with other titles in the future,” said Lange, adding that the company plans to negotiate with all providers of online in-game advertising. “It’s too early for us to lock into a single solution,” Lange told Reuters.