— Massive’s interactive in-game ads: Massive has developed video and audio ads that go beyond the billboard or movie poster placements commonly found in video games; Ubisoft will be the first publisher to test drive the units, in its upcoming release I Am Alive. Andy Swanson, Ubisoft’s senior director, strategic sales and partnership, told Mediapost that streaming video and other animated ads would increasingly be plugged into games in the “near future.” Massive also tapped parent company *Microsoft* to craft around-game targeting that tracks players between online gaming sessions and when they sign in to various MSN properties.
— Ubisoft acquires Action Pants: The Paris-based publisher has bought out Action Pants, a Canadian studio set to release its first title this year. The deal gives Ubisoft its first studio on the North American West Coast, and team of more than 110 developers (though no word on whether Action Pants’ entire staff will stay on post-integration). Release.
— *Sony* to put consoles on Costa Cruises: Costa Cruises has inked a deal with *Sony* Computer Entertainment Italia to put PS2s and PS3s aboard all of their ships by the end of 2009. The consoles will be available in cabins and in the kids’ and teen clubs; ships that cruise Northern Europe and the Mediterranean will also have an area called “PlayStation World” where passengers can play together. No details on the finances of the deal, but the ships will also have consoles and games for sale, per Kotaku.