Sony scouting AdTech companies to insert ads within PlayStation games, just like Microsoft

Head to head banners for PlayStation and Xbox at some conference

Games for PlayStation consoles could contain subtly placed advertisements. Sony seems to be following in Microsoft’s footsteps in this endeavor. The Japanese tech giant is reportedly working with multiple AdTech companies but might prefer to control the ad placement as well as the distribution model.

As we recently reported, Microsoft may be building an in-game system for Xbox games that would allow brands and companies to serve ads. Sony could be contemplating a very similar strategy, indicated a report from BusinessInsider.

Microsoft might be placing digitally and dynamically rendered billboards within a game. However, these ads wouldn’t disturb gamers or impede their gameplay. Sony, on the other hand, seems to be working with AdTech companies to develop a dynamic platform that will help developers create (and perhaps distribute) in-game ads.

In other words, Microsoft could be building a platform that will allow more ad space. But the company won’t allow businesses interested in advertising their products and services to simply pay money and ensure gamers are served ads. Sony seems to be going in a slightly different direction, albeit with an identical agenda.

According to the report, Sony wants to “encourage developers to keep building free-to-play games”. This strongly suggests Sony wants to help developers make more money from their game titles by allowing them to serve ads to gamers. In other words, Sony could be developing newer avenues for enhanced monetization but would restrict the same to games that are free to download and play.

It is not immediately clear if Sony would charge a commission for allowing game developers and publishers to serve more ads to gamers. However, the report suggests Sony might consider “charging developers and publishers for data on consumer activity on the PlayStation” while respecting user privacy. Some of the suggested techniques include vetting AdTech companies and anonymizing user data.

Sony could increase monetization through promotional messages on its PlayStation 5 gaming console. The company could start pushing the new monetization techniques this year itself. Doing so could invite severe backlash, but if Sony does restrict ads to only free-to-play games, gamers and developers might not complain much.

It is important to note that Sony has neither confirmed nor denied that it is actively exploring options to include more ads within the PlayStation gaming ecosystem. Currently, the company serves ads within the in-game menus. Ads are also served to viewers who stream from gamers playing on consoles.

Source: BusinessInsider

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