PlayStation Plans To Bring Ads Into Free-To-Play Games, Rumors Claim

Rumors suggest that PlayStation is experimenting with bringing ads into free-to-play titles as a way to increase profits. While in-game advertising is a big part of the mobile gaming sphere, it has yet to become prevalent in mainstream AAA gaming. Death Stranding did include Monster energy drinks as a form of product placement, though, and PlayStation's experimental system could possibly work in a similar way.

As the gaming industry moves away from physical releases and towards purely digital distribution, free-to-play games have become increasingly common. Successful free-to-play titles, including battle royale shooters like Fortnite and Call of Duty: Warzone, typically make their money through microtransactions in an in-game item shop. Actually playing the game is entirely free, but new weapons or cosmetics can only be obtained by spending real-world cash. Free-to-play games can also be distributed through a streaming service like Xbox Game Pass, allowing the creator to earn money through subscriptions. Sony's overhauled PlayStation Plus will launch in June, giving gamers access to a massive digital library of games through a single monthly payment.

Related: New PlayStation Plus: All Subscription Tiers & Prices

As reported by Business Insider and Push Square, PlayStation apparently wants to inject ads into free-to-play games. The experimental new advertising technology can reportedly bring ads directly into a game world in the form of billboards or posters, and old ads can presumably be replaced by newer ones over time. Players could be rewarded with experience points or in-game currency for viewing these ads, which are meant to encourage the development of more free-to-play games without concerns of financial viability. Apparently Sony is also thinking about charging developers and publishers for data on consumer activity, which could hurt the industry overall.

As part of the ever-evolving rivalry between the two companies, it has been reported that Xbox might put ads in free games too. The recent report indicates that Xbox, like PlayStation, is looking into a system that would seamlessly place ads directly into the worlds of free-to-play games. However, this system is apparently intended for the sole benefit of free-to-play game developers, and Xbox is reportedly uninterested in profiting off the experimental technology. These ads would reportedly be unobtrusive, having no effect on gameplay, and advertised brands would be very carefully selected before being added into a game.

The popularity of free-to-play games has grown wildly in the last few years, so PlayStation and its rivals are naturally interested in increasing the profitability of these titles. While in-game advertisements may sound obstructive to an effective gameplay experience, carefully-implemented product placement might not be too jarring. This technology is only rumored, and reported to be experimental, so only time will tell whether ads eventually pop up in free-to-play PlayStation games.

Next: Oculus Quest Apps Will Have Ads Soon Because Facebook

Sources: Business Insider, Push Square

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