Google Acquires Adscape Media, Industry Veteran Bernie Stolar

By Chris Faylor, Mar 19, 2007 8:01am PDT As rumored earlier this year, Google has officially acquired Adscape Media. Formally announced in early 2006, AdScape Media specializes in in-game advertising, with former Sony Computer Entertainment America and Sega of America president Bernard "Bernie" Stolar acting as the company's chairman of the board.

Google refused to elaborate upon the terms of the acquisition, describing them as "confidential" and the deal "officially closed."

"Over the past few years, the video game experience has become richer and more interactive," read Google's statement. "We think this rich environment is a perfect medium to deliver relevant, targeted advertising that ultimately benefits the user, the video game publisher and the advertiser."

Posting on the Official Google Blog under the title Dean of Games, Stolar related the high cost of game development, claiming "it can cost $25M [USD] to produce a game." Stolar then explained Google and Adscape's strategy of "non-intrusive and targeted advertising" as a way "to make gaming accessible and affordable for all."

"Our charge at Adscape has always been to honor the game that was developed and find new ways to enable that game to continue so others can enjoy it," he continued. "That's why we are so stoked to join Google--because these guys get it, and are committed to helping us continue our mission."

In the past, Stolar has been supposedly involved in many controversial decisions within the gaming industry. As the former president of SCEA, many attribute him with the oft-rumored policy against 2D games in the PlayStation's early days. After joining Sega of America, he was quick to axe the Saturn platform, leaving many fan-favorite games in Japan while focusing on the upcoming Dreamcast hardware. Furthermore, many believe losses caused by his announcement that the Dreamcast hardware would retail for $199 USD resulted in the company's eventual decision to restructure and pursue third party development. Stolar and Sega parted ways three weeks before the launch of the Dreamcast.

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