Microsoft is reportedly working on a program that would allow brands to buy in-game ads within free-to-play Xbox games.
A report from Business Insider cites sources familiar with the project, who claim that these type of adverts won’t disrupt gameplay in any way.
One suggestion given was that the program could look to sell ad space on a billboard within a racing game, for example.
The report goes on to suggest that Microsoft is well aware that these ads could potentially “irritate” its players, so it is trying to be careful with how they implement such a system in their games.
In the past, in-game advertising has often created strong backlash from fans.
The most recent example being EA Sports who added unskippable, full-screen commercials into UFC 4, before eventually listening to fans and removing the feature entirely.
In addition, Insider notes that the company could look to create a “private marketplace” so that only select brands are allowed to advertise.
Whilst this project is still being worked on, the report states the company is aiming to have it implemented by the third quarter of this year, which means it might be working somewhere between July and September.
It’s also suggested that Microsoft might not take a cut of ad revenue, instead giving the money to the game developer and advertising company to share.
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As The Verge suggests, this could be a way for Microsoft to create another stream of revenue for free-to-play games outside of Microtransactions.
As you might imagine, the company has declined to comment on the rumoured plans.
“We are always looking for ways to improve the experience for players and developers but we don’t have anything further to share,” a Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement to Insider.