Google is in talks to buy AdScape Media, a small in-game ad firm, reports paidContent, citing a Wall Street Journal piece. A deal is expected to be announced this week.
Google ostensibly intends to integrate AdScape's technologies with its own contextual ad system in order to enter the console and casual game ad markets. Because rivals have already sewn up ad deals with major game publishers, Google would likely focus mainly on online casual gaming, at least initially.
Microsoft bought Massive, Inc. for a reported $300 million last year, buying its way into console in-game ads. Other competitors in the space include Double Fusion and IGA Worldwide.
Founded in 2002 by former Nortel engineer Dan Willis, San Francisco-based AdScape got a boost when two senior Sega execs joined in 2006.