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Google Acquires In-Game Ad Company Adscape

The search engine is expected to integrate Adscape's technology with its AdWords and AdSense programs.

Google on Friday said it had acquired in-game advertising company Adscape Media for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition was first rumored back in January 2007.

"[W]e think there is great value in video game advertising," Google explained on its Web site. "As more and more people spend time playing video games, we think we can create opportunities for advertisers to reach their target audiences while maintaining a high quality, engaging user experience."

An acquisition of Adscape could pay for itself relatively soon. The in-game advertising market is poised for explosive growth, garnering more than five times the current market value to reach $732 million by 2010, according to an April 2006, the Yankee Group estimate.

Presumably, Google will integrate the ability to buy in-game ads to its online ad platforms (AdWords and AdSense), though Google said it had no plans to announce at this time.

Google is not alone in its interest in in-game advertising. Last May, Microsoft said it would acquire Massive Inc., another in-game advertising company for nearly $200 million.

Google also announced another acquisition Friday: Gapminder's Trendalyzer data visualization software and the developers behind it. Terms of the acquisition and purchase price were not disclosed.

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