Google to Buy Adscape?

Google to Buy Adscape?

The Wall Street Journal and other online reports say Internet giant Google may be entering the in-game advertising market with the acquisition of San Francisco-based Adscape, a provider of in-game ads.

The Journal report says that Google’s entry into the in-game ad market would be in line with its strategy to expand advertising efforts to various different types of media. According to the WSJ, Google is expected to make $10 billion for 2006 thanks to online ad sales and has plans to get into TV, radio and newspaper advertising as well. Videogames would be a natural extension of its ad brokering efforts.

No official announcement has come from Google or Adscape, although Next-Gen’s sources indicate that the deal is highly likely to come to pass. WSJ says that the two companies could seal the deal as early as this week.

Details about what kind of games Google ads would appear in, whether casual or core, are unclear.

A deal with Adscape would also underline further competition between Google and Microsoft, the latter of which itself entered the in-game ad market with the purchase of in-game ad provider Massive last year to the tune of around $200 million.

Google has reportedly been seriously looking into in-game ads for "months," even before Microsoft bought Massive, unnamed sources told WSJ.

WSJ also speculates that Google could form a deal with Microsoft videogame rival Sony.