Sony is reportedly working with partners in the ad industry to introduce ads in free-to-play games on PlayStation consoles. The news comes from Business Insider, which previously revealed last week that Microsoft was working on a similar plan for free-to-play Xbox games.
According to the report, Sony started discussions about this new ad program 18 months ago, right after the launch of its PlayStation 5 consoles. Details about the program sound quite similar to what Microsoft is reportedly working on, meaning non-disruptive ads that could appear on in-game billboards. However, these ads could also be used to reward players who watch them with bonus content.
“The new effort, expected to launch by end of 2022, would put ads inside PlayStation games themselves, to be sold via a private marketplace, the sources said. The goal is for the ads to appear like they’re part of the game, like digital billboards in sports stadiums. Formats could include ads that give viewers rewards for watching ads and promotions for in-game items like avatar skins,” Business Insider wrote.
Just like Microsoft, Sony is already displaying ads across the PlayStation OS, and the company is also interested in giving developers of free-to-play games a new way to monetize their games. If Business Insider previously reported that Microsoft may not be interested in taking a cut of ad revenue on these ads, Sony is said to be still ambivalent about that.
“Sony hasn’t decided if it would take a cut of the revenue, the sources said; one said it’s also considering charging developers and publishers for data on consumer activity on the PlayStation,” Business Insider explained, adding that Sony declined to comment on the report.