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Massive Strikes Ad Deals with Activision, Blizzard

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Massive Inc., Microsoft’s in-game advertising subsidiary, has inked a pair of multi-year ad deals with game publisher Activision and its corporate sibling Blizzard Entertainment., a company specializing in Web-based multiplayer games.

The deal with Activision will see Massive deliver live ad placements within 18 individual games, including the latest version of Guitar Hero (Guitar Hero: World Tour) and the recently released James Bond: Quantum of Solace.

The agreement is limited to games issued for Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and PC games and marks an extension of Massive’s previous relationship with Activision. To date, Massive says it’s managed more than 330 campaigns for more than 225 advertisers in Activision titles such as Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock and Tony Hawk’s Proving Ground.

Meanwhile, the Blizzard partnership represents the first time Massive will work with the MMOG (massively multiplayer online games) giant, which is behind the ever-popular World of Warcraft. Massive will become the exclusive ad provider for several of Blizzard's gaming sites, including Battle.net.

In addition, Microsoft said it has installed J.J. Richards as the new head of Massive. Richards was most recently general manager, platform services, Microsoft advertiser and publisher solutions, and was previously the general manager for Xbox Live.

Richards’ appointment coincides with Massive’s first advertiser upfront event, scheduled to be held in New York on Dec. 3.