Microsoft creates new Xbox advertising technology for games

Screenshot of Fortnite characters looking at a blank billboard with the Xbox logo.

picture: Xbox / Epic / Kotaku

Raise your hand if you’re excited to see more ads inside your favorite video games? I don’t see any hand. Well, bad news: a new report claims that Microsoft is building an ad program to give “select brands” the ability to purchase ads that will then appear for free. Xbox games. And while the report says Microsoft and Xbox are careful not to “stir up” players or disrupt games, it’s unlikely that most people will enjoy starting to see in-game ads.

interested in trade Reports Microsoft wants to work with ad technology companies to create a system that will allow brands and advertisers to buy ads and place them in free Xbox games, according to two people who spoke to from the inside They are said to be involved in the planning and ongoing negotiations of the programme.

According to these sources, ads can appear as digital billboards in an open-ended racing or adventure game. However, it is currently unknown in what other forms these free ads can appear, or whether they will include video or audio. interested in trade He was also unable to confirm whether Microsoft and Xbox had started promoting advertisers and brands on the new ad platform. Regardless, it is expected to launch around the third quarter of this year.

A Microsoft spokesperson said Kotaku That while it is “always looking for ways to improve the experience for players and developers,” the company had nothing else to share about the reported ad system.

Read more: Top 24 Games on Xbox Game Pass

as pointed out interested in tradeMicrosoft does indeed sell some limited ad space on its consoles through dashboard ads and certain in-game ad deals through third parties. However, this new program is Microsoft and Xbox’s attempt to expand to more brands that are looking for ways to advertise to a growing gaming audience, many of whom are younger, don’t watch cable, and are getting harder and harder to reach. It is also suggested that Microsoft wants to attract more free-to-play developers X-Box using these ads.

Interestingly, Microsoft is apparently very concerned about upsetting gamers who wouldn’t normally expect to encounter ads in console games. This has led to a more cautious approach where, in an effort to ensure that ads are not disabled during gameplay, Microsoft will create a “private marketplace” that only select brands are allowed to access.

Of course, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen companies trying to push ads into video games. Sarcastically, Saints Row 2 Already tried to do everything “real world billboards” It was a very funny and awesome experience. But as free-to-play games get bigger and bigger on consoles and it becomes more and more difficult to advertise to younger players using current methods, it’s no surprise to see companies looking to place ads in more and more video games.

And since consoles are closed gardens, unable to easily access mods or hacks, that means you can’t just install an ad blocker to hide these ads like you do when you visit Kotaku.

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