Sony is reportedly working to bring ads to free PlayStation games, according to a report by Initiated. The ads would appear in games and are meant to give game developers a way to monetize their work and encourage them to keep making free games.
In-game ads are expected to launch by the end of the year and will appear in inconspicuous places in the game, like billboards.. Players could also get rewards for watching ads, and ads would be sold through a private marketplace, Initiated reports. Sources said Initiated Sony has yet to decide whether it will take a chunk of ad revenue, but plans to charge developers and publishers for consumer data.
Sony did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Reports of Sony’s plans follow news last week that Microsoft was planning to do something similar with free Xbox games, also reported by Initiated. Ads in free Xbox games are set to roll out later this year, and Microsoft doesn’t plan to cut revenue, sources said. Initiated.
As noted in the Initiated report, advertisers may need convincing to join the program. Ads that appear alongside mature or violent content can be a problem, and tracking what users do after seeing an in-game ad can be difficult. The possibility of ads annoying players is also a concern for Microsoft, according to Initiated.