In-game ads are, realistically, a hate-them or ignore-them kind of affair, with only the occasionally inventive advert for Overclocking Vitamins ever actually grabbing anybody's attention.

Still, that doesn't seem to stop the onslaught of adverts into our beloved games, such as Quake Wars: Enemy Territory, which recently fell prey to the advertising bug. Now EA and Microsoft have announced an in-game advertising partnership too for EA games on the Xbox 360 and PC.

The deal, which covers Madden, NASCAR, Tiger Woods, NHL titles as well as the upcoming Skate, will be handled by Massive, a company which Microsoft bought last year for $200 Million. Google, who also bid for the EA contract, bought rival ad company Adscape for $23 million in March according to GamesIndustry.biz.

"The real issue here is that we're making a network play. If I just had 'Madden,' while great, it would be of limited value to advertisers," said Cory Van Arsdale, chief executive of Massive told Reuters.

"We need to build an overall network and this is a major stepping point to have us do that."

The financial dealings involved in Microsoft's bid haven't been disclosed yet, but it's a timely deal for both Microsoft and EA, who have recently traded some high-level employees after Peter Moore left Microsoft for EA Sports.

Hate in-game adverts, or are they a required evil? Let us know in the forums.

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