According to reports, Microsoft wants to advertise free-to-play Xbox games

Microsoft is reportedly working on a program that will allow brands to feature advertisements in free-to-play Xbox games, according to a report by insider. Sources familiar with the situation told insider that the ads would not interfere with gameplay and could appear on a billboard in a racing game, for example.

It’s not immediately clear how Microsoft plans to implement ads, such as avatar skins or videos in game lobbies. but insider Notes that Microsoft is reportedly concerned that the ads may “irritate” players and plans to build a “private marketplace” to only include select brands in the program.

Sources also told insider that Microsoft does not intend to cut advertising revenue, instead allowing the game developer and the advertising company to share the funds. It’s possible that Microsoft just wants to use this to attract more free-to-play game developers to the platform, as it would open up another revenue stream outside of microtransactions.

Corresponding insider, Microsoft does not use the data collected by Bing and other services for targeted ads on Xbox. The outlet also doesn’t know if Microsoft has already pitched the idea to advertisers, but its sources claim that ads will appear on Xbox as early as the third quarter of this year.

“We’re always looking for ways to improve the experience for players and developers, but we have nothing further to share,” a Microsoft spokesman said in a statement insider. Microsoft did not immediately respond The edge‘s request for comment.

In-game advertising on console games isn’t a new concept – game companies experimented with it quite a bit in the mid to late 2000s. At this time, EA games partnered with the (now defunct) Microsoft-owned advertising company Massive, where businesses can place ads Madden NFL, skate, NHLand NASCAR franchises, as well as in burnout paradise. If you played one of those games back then, you might remember seeing it digital obama ads paved into digital sports arenas or onto billboards. Saint row 2 even had real ads on billboards, such as this one for Netflix.

In-game ads for real-life products might have been a novelty back then, but with some Next-gen games cost almost $70, gamers expect an ad-free experience – which is probably why Microsoft is reportedly rolling out the initiative for free-to-play games only. More recently EA attempted to inject a full-screen, non-skippable commercial in UFC4 in 2020. Fans who paid for the $60 game were obviously not happy, leading to EA pulling the ad. According to reports, Microsoft wants to advertise free-to-play Xbox games

Fry Electronics Team

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