Microsoft Xbox console games will contain ads, but they could be subtle in-game “promotions”


Microsoft seems keenly interested in developing and rolling out an in-game advertising marketplace within the Xbox universe. Although the ads are visible in a few games, they are said to be subtle, non-intrusive, and most importantly, not visually distracting.

Microsoft is reportedly building a gaming system for Xbox games that will allow brands and businesses to serve ads. Ads, however, will be “placed” and not played. Simply put, gamers don’t have to worry about ads hindering gameplay, just to deliver a promotional message, a report from Business Intern. The Windows operating system maker seems to be considering several AdTech companies as potential partners.

The AdTech company that Microsoft ends up partnering with to serve ads in its Xbox universe couldn’t just set up a standard marketplace. In other words, companies interested in advertising their products and services could not simply pay money and ensure that players receive advertisements.

Microsoft seems interested in offering more “ad space”. For the Xbox gaming ecosystem, this means adding more games that brands can advertise in and allowing more game developers or publishers to sell advertising space in their own creations.

As for the actual advertisements and how they would actually be delivered, the report shows digitally and dynamically rendered billboards in a game. In other words, these advertisements would not impede gameplay. It’s not immediately clear, but Microsoft could offer other promotional tactics such as avatar skins or video ads running in game lobbies.

Needless to mention, Microsoft has neither confirmed nor denied that it is actively exploring options to include more ads in the Xbox gaming ecosystem. The company currently allows limited forms of advertising on Xbox. Advertisers can purchase ads that appear on the Xbox Dashboard. Additionally, agencies may purchase in-game advertisements that appear in certain games. Microsoft also works with third parties such as yahoo and Anzu to increase ad revenue.

Ads, in game titles that players play on dedicated game consoles, are not as common as those in mobile games. Microsoft must be acutely aware that pushing visually intrusive ads into console games would cause a huge backlash. Therefore, it is highly likely that the company will start inserting subtle advertisements in some freeware titles. However, it is amply clear that Microsoft wants to build a large ad network that it owns and controls.

Source: Business Intern


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