Google Buys In-Game Ad Firm

Google Inc. has acquired software and developers to broaden its expertise in the areas of interactive video game advertising and statistics visualization.

The U.S. search giant bought Adscape Media, an in-game advertising company based in San Francisco, for an undisclosed sum, Google announced Friday on its Web site.

Adscape offers technology for placing advertisements in video games for PCs, gaming consoles and mobile phones. It is an area where Google said it could add value for users and publishers of games as well as for advertisers, but it declined to say what its ads would look like and whether they will be integrated into its advertising platform.

As demand for video games continues to grow, in-game advertising has become a hot area at several software companies, including Microsoft Corp., which last year acquired in-game ad company Massive Inc. for US$200 million.

Separately Friday Google said it greed to buy Trendalyzer, software that generates moving graphics and other "novel effects" with the goal of displaying facts, figures and statistics in a way that's easy to understand.

Financial terms of the acquisition, which involves some of Trendalyzer's developers coming to work at Google, were not disclosed.

The Trendalyzer software was designed by a team of developers at Gapminder, a nonprofit foundation based in Stockholm.

"Gathering data and creating useful statistics is an arduous job that often goes unrecognized," Google said in its blog. "We hope to provide the resources necessary to bring such work to its deserved wider audience by improving and expanding Trendalyzer and making it freely available to any and all users capable of thinking outside the X and Y axes."

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