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Next: Google Ads for your Video Games!

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TechCrunch recently announced that Google has made a $23 million acquisition of AdScape Media. Adscape is a San Francisco based company that is credited with developing the Real World/Virtual Word Gateway (shortly known as RVG). This acquisition means something significant to Google since RVG helps in taking dynamic ads to a new platform so far not ventured into by Google; Video Games!

In fact, this is not innovative thinking from Google anyway. Microsoft, in May last year, had announced acquisition of Massive, a well established company whose technology has already been taken up by popular gaming sites like Miniclip and SOE. Google had however hinted at such an acquisition a long time back.

Now that the two rivals have taken on the video gaming platform, it is interesting to see the advantages and disadvantages that the two companies shall hold in having made such an acquisition.

Microsoft and Massive

Microsoft's acquisition was very much a necessity owing to XBox Live and the MSN games. This is in the sense that Microsoft already had the necessary infrastructure in place for them to start reaping the harvests of the acquisition rightaway. This apart, Massive already has a huge list of partners of their
own. This has helped in proliferation of their advertising network straightaway.

That being said, the advertising model used on Massive is different from the Contextual advertising model used on MSN. The current advertising model on Xbox is quite the stereotypical ads that are served on the virtual real estates elsewhere, for example, on Billboards on the roads(inside the games, that is..),etc. that is accepted to taking the games close to real.

Google and Adscape

Adscape is intended to help developers of even freely downloadable games make money by serving ads. This also includes dynamic placement and control of the ads that appear in the games. However, I feel Google has much deeper intentions in having acquired Adscape. As put on TechCrunch, Google might take forward the Adscape technology for its SketchUp software.

SketchUp is a layman's tool to develop your own 3D design of homes and your neighborhood. This can be used in the virtual world developed on Google WareHouse. Simply put, WareHouse is a user-made world that can be otherwise be seen on Google Earth. With this acquisition Google has got hold of a technology which can be used to make even SketchUp a money making venture. But what is interesting to note is that for the first time, Google shall be venturing into advertising technology that is outside the conventional contextual-targetting. This is even more significant since unlike Massive, Adscape does not currently hold a client-base. This means that Google will have to take its advertisers' network to the new medium. The problem however is that the new form of advertising on video games, which, most probably might not be contextual-targetting, might not find favor with the majority of its existing
advertisers.

Only a statement from Google explaining how it plans to proceed further in this particular segment shall clear doubts in minds of advertisers as well as speculators like me alike.

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