Non-traditional money making in the video game world is strange. We live in a time where a certain expectation is held, where players often prefer free content, but are also averse to things like direct advertising. Microsoft appears to be looking into one of the oldest methods of free-to-play monetization: in-game ads.
According to a report by Business Insider
, multiple sources have been cited claiming that The owners of major gaming company Xbox are looking into integrating real world advertisements into their free-to-play titles.
We dont mean having to watch a 30-second pop-up, like what you commonly see with mobile games. Theyre focusing on a system that puts the ads inside of the games the people are playing. The example given was with Burnout Paradise, which featured billboards promoting Barack Obama during his 2008 presidential campaign.
Though weve seen concepts like this remain prevalent throughout the gaming world since, with things like ad spots on wrestling mats and soccer game sidelines.
But Xbox doesnt appear to plan on hoarding all of the wealth from such an idea. The sources claim that Microsoft isnt currently interested in collecting a cut of ad revenue because it wants to provide more money-making opportunities to developers who make free-to-play games.
Its possible this is more about encouraging developers to produce more free-to-play titles, which are a proven popular concept in the modern era, for the Xbox ecosystem of games. Given how much money Xbox has pushed into things like Game Pass, which have yet to turn a profit, this follows their mindset as of late.
When we stop and think on it, methods like this are probably our ideal method of advertising. Intrusive ads that take over the screen or pull away from gameplay are nothing short of annoying. Integrating the ads into the game environment in a way that doesnt take away from the experience sounds much better. Granted, we will always prefer to just pay full price for a quality game without any ads.
How Microsoft will implement these ideas, and when, remains to be seen. But we will be watching carefully. We wonder if we will see any of this happen within Halo: Infinite Multiplayer, as well.