Sony will offer in-game ads in free PlayStation games, as will Microsoft: report

Sony will offer in-game ads in free PlayStation games, as will Microsoft: report

Sony will offer in-game ads in free PlayStation games, as will Microsoft: report

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Sony plans to introduce ads for free games on PlayStation consoles – including the PS5 and PS4 – in a bid to help game developers generate additional revenue. Free titles have grown in popularity during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The news comes days after a report claimed Microsoft was considering monetizing free games with ads. Promotions could be located in-game, and publishers could reward players for watching ads with skins and other cosmetic items, while helping developers earn more revenue from their titles on top of in-game purchases. .


According to a Business Insider report citing three people familiar with the development, Sony is currently working with ad-tech partners for a software development program to help developers create in-game ads for free games. The company has yet to decide whether it will take a cut of the revenue generated by these in-game ads, according to the report.

Publishers can currently display promotions in game menus, directing players to other titles on the PlayStation Store. Some apps that allow users to stream videos may also serve ads. Meanwhile, new advertising opportunities being explored by Sony would allow developers and publishers to add promotional content directly into PlayStation games, encouraging them to continue making those games, which have reportedly grown in popularity during the pandemic.

According to the report, the PlayStation maker is working on non-intrusive ads that could be embedded in games, such as ads on digital billboards in sports stadiums. These ads would be sold through a private marketplace, but the company would be strict about which ad tech companies will participate in the initiative. For what it’s worth, the collection of personally identifiable information like names or email addresses will not be permitted.

Rival Microsoft is also working on a way to advertise free titles on its Xbox consoles that could go live as early as Q3 2022, according to a recent report. The Redmond-based company has been working on building an Xbox in-game ad network since 2018.

Meanwhile, the Insider report reveals that Sony started considering adding in-game ads to free games around 18 months ago, after the launch of its current-gen PlayStation 5. Support for in-game ads is expected to launch by the end of the year on PS5 and PS4.

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