We've been hearing some buzz about Microsoft and Sony considering bringing ads to some of their free-to-play video games on Xbox and PlayStation.
It's no secret that we love our ads here at Adlive, so we're thrilled to see these companies taking steps to make advertising more accessible to gamers.
Last month, Insider reported that both Microsoft and Sony have been strategizing on plans to enable marketers to advertise on their free-to-play games. The aim is to have these ads unobtrusive so they won't be disruptive and alienate gamers. Among the popular free-to-play games on Xbox include Fortnite, Rocket League, and Apex Legends.
Insider also reported that Microsoft doesn't intend to take a cut of ad dollars—instead allowing game developers and ad tech companies to share in the revenue.
It's speculated that the ad revenue allocated for developers would be a financial inducement for them getting involved in the partnership (and maybe even incentivize them early). An ad supported launch could come as quickly as third quarter and Microsoft may already be reaching out to the ad community!
One potential hurdle facing marketers is the amount of gratuitous violence and mature themes in video games which may not be a suitable environment for some brands. This would not be Microsoft’s first venture with ads in video games.
In 2006 Microsoft acquired Massive, an ad tech company with plans to put ads in selected Xbox games. Four years later Massive was closed down. Nonetheless, there are current Xbox games that have ad messaging in one form or another.
Microsoft has been looking for ways to monetize its products on different platforms, which is why they are looking at creating a revenue stream from their gaming platform as well. They want to ensure that they have an opportunity to reach their target market through other means than just advertising; so they can reach all types of gamers and not just those who are willing to pay $60 all at once.
This strategy is seen as a win-win situation because both parties will benefit from this partnership: advertisers will receive more exposure and players will enjoy better games that are free of ads!