Previously, we reported on Microsoft’s move to put ads in Xbox games. While it would only affect free-to-play games, it’s still a big push as ads in console games isn’t exactly a common occurrence. Now, though, it looks like Sony is trying to get in on the action, too, by putting ads in PlayStation games.
New report says Sony wants to encourage developers to put ads in PlayStation games
A new report from Business Insider’s Advertising Insider section says that sources shared Sony’s plan to put ads in PlayStation games. Insider says that three sources familiar with the plan have shared that Sony is working with ad tech partners to find a way to create in-game ads. The sources also said that Sony expects to launch the service before the end of 2022.
If successful, it could result in users seeing ads in PlayStation games that have been out for a while, as well as newer games. Based on the reports, it sounds like Sony is trying to encourage developers to create free-to-play games. With ads, it would open a new avenue of monetary value for the developers.
The sources say that Sony has been working on this plan to put ads in PlayStation games for at least 18 months, now. That means that it could have been in the works shortly after the launch of the PlayStation 5. One of the sources also told Advertising Insider that it is being very strict about how it vets ad tech companies. This would allow it to rule out the collection of private information users don’t want to share.
How will these ads be shown to players?
I talked about this a little in my previous coverage of Microsoft’s Xbox ad plans. Personally, I don’t think that putting ads in PlayStation games is a bad idea. As noted above, it opens a new source of profit for developers. For some developers, that extra avenue could be the difference between success and failure as a studio.
But, it also all comes down to how Sony places those ads in PlayStation games. Are we talking about ads that mimic those of mobile games? Immersion-breaking ads that pull the player from the game? Or, are we talking about ads that make sense within the context of the game that people are playing?
Sources told Advertising Insider that Sony plans to incorporate the ads through more immersive means. That means things like billboards, in sports stadiums, and possibly even ads that reward viewers for watching them. No matter how they slice it, though, it might take people a while to get used to seeing ads in PlayStation games.