Microsoft reportedly wants to show ads in free-to-play Xbox games

Ads are reportedly coming soon to your favorite Xbox games. According to a report from Business Insider, Microsoft wants to allow select brands to display ads in Xbox games. Ads won’t disrupt the gaming experience and may only appear in select places, the report notes.

Sources tell Insider that Microsoft is building a program that will let brands buy and place advertisements in Xbox games. Ads will only be shown in free-to-play games, and Microsoft doesn’t want them to get in the way of the gaming experience. The report says these ads could appear as digital billboards in a racing game, but it’s unclear whether there would be other types of in-game ads such as avatar skins or video ads that play in lobbies. The ad program is reportedly set to go live in the third quarter.

Microsoft is apparently concerned about irritating Xbox users who aren’t used to seeing ads on consoles. As such, the company is “moving cautiously and intends to create a “private marketplace” and would only let select brands display ads in Xbox games.

Xbox currently allows advertising on the platform in limited form. For example, advertisers can buy ads on the Xbox dashboard and in-game ads on select titles via third-party ad companies such as Yahoo and Anzu.

Two of the sources familiar with Microsoft’s plans told Insider that the company isn’t considering taking a cut of ad revenue — it will be shared between the game developer and the ad company. At the moment, Microsoft is only interested in building the Xbox ad platform and providing more money-making opportunities to developers of free-to-play games, the report says.

According to Insider, Microsoft isn’t planning to use data collected from Bing and its other services for targeted Xbox ads. It’s also unclear whether Microsoft has pitched the Xbox ad program to advertisers yet.

When asked for a comment, a Microsoft spokesperson said “We are always looking for ways to improve the experience for players and developers, but we don’t have anything further to share.”

Source: Business Insider

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