If you do a log of gaming on your phone or tablet, you’re very accustomed to seeing ads on your games. While it’s not a typical feature of gaming consoles, Microsoft has reported plans to add ads to the Xbox, as early as this fall. Read on to learn about how this could affect your gaming.
Microsoft Exploring Ads on Xbox
According to sources, Microsoft is currently in the exploration phase with the plan to add ads to Xbox by the third quarter. It’s taking a closer look at placing the ads in free-to-play games and determining which adtech companies could be used to create an ad inventory.
The sources of this information gave an example of ads showing up on digitally-rendered billboards in a car-racing game. It’s unknown whether Microsoft’s plans will also include avatar skins or video ads in gaming lobbies.
A disclaimer is warranted at this point: Microsoft has not confirmed these plans. It will say only on the subject: “We are always looking for ways to improve the experience for players and developers, but we don’t have anything further to share.”
Certain forms of advertising are already being used on Xbox. Purchased ads can appear on the Xbox dashboard through Yahoo and in certain games through Anzu.
Advertisers could use this platform to message Xbox users in the midst of their gameplay. Game developers would be provided the tools to sell ads.
Microsoft Not Interested in Ad Revenue
The sources claim Microsoft isn’t interested in the revenue this advertising would bring. The revenue would go to the game developers and adtech companies. Microsoft’s goal, it’s believed, is to build an Xbox ad network. The company wants to provide revenue to free-to-play game developers.
The sources added that these plans have been in the works as far back as 2018 or 2019. The release of the Xbox X and S in 2020 brought greater focus to these plans.
Yet, Microsoft is still moving cautiously, as there are concerns that adding ads to Xbox games could lead to irritation with users. According to the sources, the ultimate goal is to only add advertising that doesn’t disrupt gameplay.
Additionally, Microsoft doesn’t want to compromise customer data. While it has collected data on Bing, other sites, and software, the current plans are to not allow advertisers to use the data in the ads, as there are regulatory controls, and they’re not compatible cross-platform. One of the sources believes there is a 10-year-goal overall.
Microsoft isn’t alone in its journey along this path. NBCU is beginning a partnership with Angu. Similarly, Microsoft has recently acquired Activision Blizzard and adtech platform Xandr.
OE Studios CEO John Higgins believes this is the direction all gaming companies will move in. Microsoft, if it follows through on these plans to add ads in Xbox games, would be preventing Sony and Amazon from collecting some of that revenue.
If you want to skip out on the gaming console and game on your mobile, read on to learn how to connect an Xbox controller to an Android device.
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