In the mobile sector in particular, it has been common practice for years for Free2Play games to be financed with advertising. Be it through pop-ups or commercials that we have to watch before we can continue playing. As can now be seen from two current reports on the Business Insider site, Sony and Microsoft are now said to be planning to equip Free2Play games with in-game ads.
This is what in-game currency could look like in Free2Play games
Or in other words: Advertisements in Free2Play games should not annoy you while gambling.
Speaking of free, have you checked out the latest PS Plus and Game Pass games?
Sony is therefore allegedly working with adtech partners to find creative ways to integrate advertising as naturally as possible into Free2Play games. And Microsoft is also working on it. As Business Insider reports, the company behind Xbox is very “concerned” that ads could “irritate” gamers.
Business Insider does not say exactly how advertising could be implemented in F2P games in the future. However, it is possible, for example, that Sony and Microsoft could allow advertising to be displayed on boards or billboards in sports games. These could then be adapted live and changed depending on the advertising deal. True to the motto: Today a chocolate brand is advertised in a game for 24 hours and tomorrow a car manufacturer.
Perhaps in the future advertising will also be displayed on avatar skins such as jerseys. After all, in reality we are also used to footballers displaying certain brands on their jerseys.
It is also interesting that at least Microsoft does not intend to take a piece of the advertising cake. Any advertising revenue should then allegedly only be divided between the development studio of the corresponding Free2Play title and the brand that is being advertised. Microsoft’s role in this? Possibly the Xbox makers only want to allow advertising in Free2Play games to win over more Free2Play developer studios and lure them onto the platform.
Reward for watching ads?
As Business Insider also writes, Sony could even reward gamers for watching ads in games. If you watch an advertising clip in a game, you could then be given free skins or in-game items.
When exactly and if the advertising initiatives in Free2Play games will be initiated at all is unclear. As Business Insider writes, Sony started planning 18 months ago and may want to launch the advertising initiative by the end of the year. At Microsoft, on the other hand, Business Insider is unsure whether the company has just pitched such plans or is already seriously in the planning phase.
So keep in mind: This is just a rumor anyway and neither Microsoft nor Sony have officially announced such plans.
Incidentally, in-game advertising in video games is not entirely new. In 2020, EA caused heated tempers because the company installed disruptive commercials in UFC 4 – a full-price game. This was only removed after criticism. In the Free2Play area, advertising should still be bearable. But of course it also depends here how corresponding images and clips are implemented.
What’s your opinion? Would in-game ads in free games bother you or not? How do you think this ad should look like so that it doesn’t bother you?