Microsoft has confirmed the reported closure of its Massive in-game ad company and the dissolution of the brand name. Posting on the Microsoft Advertising Blog, corporate ad VP Rik van der Kooi explained that the Massive technology would be integrated into Microsoft's first-party ad business, "focusing initially on gaming," including the Xbox Live and MSN Games properties. He added, "This also means that Microsoft will wind-down Massive's third-party in-game ad business and sunset the Massive brand name at year-end."
Microsoft purchased Massive Inc. in 2006 for between $200 and $400 million. Last year, the business suffered significant layoffs despite recording soaring revenues. Microsoft will retain a Massive skeleton crew to wrap up ad campaigns running through the end of 2010. "We will make the wind-down process as seamless as possible for them," Kooi said -- for the clients, that is. No word yet on whether any Massive employees will be transferred to the first-party ad division.