Report: Microsoft is Building an Advertisement Program that Lets Brands Advertise in F2P Xbox Games


The title's not wrong, and it certainly isn't a dream. It seems like Microsoft is basically leading the charge in terms of advertisements when it comes to Free to Play games on the Xbox platform. According to a recent report, the gaming/computing giant is essentially working on the way to make brands advertise stuff to Xbox users in Free to Play games.

This report comes from Business Insider and, in essence, says that we're going to get ads inside of F2P titles at some point in the future as Microsoft is developing technologies to do so. This new program will boost Xbox's limited ad inventory by adding more games that brands can advertise in and allowing more developers to sell ad space.

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According to BI's sources, Microsoft could implement this feature as soon as this year's third quarter. The ads could be manifested as digitally rendered billboards in a racing game or open-world adventure game. Of course, there are other ways in which ads can be delivered, from non-intrusive to fully intrusive, but there's no word if Microsoft will tackle these avenues.

When asked about this new venture in ads to Xbox, a spokesperson told Business Insider that "We are always looking for ways to improve the experience for players and developers, but we don't have anything further to share."

What's interesting is the revenue side of things, both of the sources from BI have essentially said that Microsoft isn't intent on taking a cut of ad revenue and that it seemed more interested in building out the Xbox ad network. Ad revenue will be shared by the game developer and the ad tech company that places the ad. In other words, it wouldn't benefit Microsoft themselves.

Of course, not just anyone will be able to put an ad on Xbox's Free to Play games. The sources said that Microsoft is currently worried about how intrusive these ads can be to players. As such, it's moving cautiously and intends to create a "private marketplace," where only select brands can insert ads into games in a way that doesn't disrupt the gameplay experience.

And for those worried about the consumer data already being picked up by Bing (and other apps) through Xbox. The sources also mentioned that Microsoft has no immediate plans to let advertisers use that data to target people on Xbox. It seems like the tech will let F2P game developers get more revenue through their games. Whether or not this works depends on the players' reception and the community at large.

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