It looks like the rumors last week were true as Microsoft has officially
bought out Massive Inc. This is an interesting play for Microsoft as it instantly makes them a player in the game advertising world. The press release mentions that Microsoft will be extending the services to MSN and MSN Messenger. The best line from the release is this one:
Massive and Microsoft will continue to prioritize gamer satisfaction, applying very rigorous standards to ads before they can be included in a game. These standards allow for only those ads that add realism and entertainment value to the overall game experience, not those that might detract from gameplay.
I hope that's the case but we'll see how things shape up in a few months. It will also be interesting to see if Microsoft incorporates the service into Xbox Live, perhaps even offering a free, ad supported version of the service.