Xbox Reportedly Planning to allow advertisers to Feature Ads In-Game
According to reports, Xbox is intending to allow advertisers to place adverts in video games. In-game advertisements aren’t a new notion. With games like Fortnite including skins and crossover events for new films, they’ve been included in a less obtrusive way in recent years. For the past few years, this has been an extremely successful marketing strategy for a number of film companies, and it adds a fun dimension to the game.
There were games before that that was a little more brazen about it. Billboards bearing adverts for real-world objects appeared in games like Saints Row 2 and Burnout Paradise, the latter of which had a campaign advertisement for Barack Obama in 2008.
Sources tell Business Insider that the traditional method of in-game advertising may be making a comeback on Xbox. Xbox is apparently looking into generating in-game billboards in free-to-play games so advertisers can use them, with plans to have it ready by Q3 2022. (around fall). The idea is that the developer will profit from this rather than Xbox, which will not take a portion of the cash.
Microsoft is also concerned that this may irritate players, so it is being picky about which businesses can take advantage of these ad possibilities without interfering with gameplay. Microsoft has no intentions to allow advertisers to collect data about players in order to produce targeted advertisements. The platform’s owner did not confirm these plans in a statement to Business Insider, but did say that they are “always exploring for ways to improve the experience for players and developers.”
Unskippable advertising and blatant product placement have been lambasted in games like NBA 2K21, and gamers have expressed their displeasure with cramming ads into a game. It’s difficult to picture something as inconvenient as a poster on a wall, a billboard in the backdrop, or anything that isn’t interrupting gameplay and filling the screen being too inconvenient. It’s a game-breaker at worst, but if it helps devs make money and keeps them from pushing nasty microtransactions, it’s a win.