Microsoft reportedly wants to sell ad space in free-to-play Xbox games

You may not be happy with In-game advertisingbut you may soon see more. Insiders the source (sub-required) claims Microsoft is developing a program to help marketers place ads in free-to-play Xbox games. Companies can buy from an ad pool to secure space on virtual billboards. It’s unclear if this will extend to character skins or video reels, but it’s clear Microsoft is creating a “private market” to limit advertising to brands that won’t disrupt gameplay.

Microsoft is said to be still identifying the ad-tech companies that will build the catalog and collaborate on placement. However, the premiere may not be long since the show could launch in Q3 (ie in the summer).

The company refused to confirm or deny the plans. In a statement to InsidersA spokesman said Microsoft has been constantly working to “improve the experience” for developers and players but doesn’t have “anything more to share.”

The show can make gamers nervous about promoting real-world products that are making their way into fictional universes. However, the focus on free-to-play titles could prove important. This could help developers monetize free games without relying too much on paid content like skins and season tickets. In turn, that could convince creators to make Xbox-centric games rather than build for PlayStation or Switch.

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