Barack Obama caused a stir in October when the candidate put “Obama For President” ads inside the Xbox 360 racing game Burnout Paradise. Expect more campaigns like that: Microsoft’s (MSFT) Massive advertising network announced a deal today with THQ (THQI) to be the exclusive provider of ads into THQ’s Xbox 360 and PC games like the “Saint’s Row” series. No terms were disclosed.
The ads-in-video-games business, like mobile ads, is seen as wide-open territory for growth but remains tiny. Worldwide spending for in-game ads is still below $200 million, according to research firm Yankee Group, which expects it to approach $1 billion by 2011. Which is a decent revenue boost for the gaming industry, but still an insignificant slice of the $3 trillion global ad industry.
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