PlayStation and Xbox may soon incorporate ads into free-to-play games

Sony and Microsoft are reportedly working on a way to implement ads into free-to-play video games.


The free-to-play gaming experience on consoles may soon see some major changes, as new reports have come out stating that both Microsoft and Sony are planning to introduce ads into free-to-play games on Xbox and PlayStation platforms. It’s currently unknown what form these ads will take and which games they will appear in.

We first learned earlier this week that Xbox was working on bringing ads to free-to-play games via a report from Business Insider. Now, a follow-up report from BI states that PlayStation is also looking to make a similar move as its competitor. Though there aren’t specific details on how the implementation will work, one example given by the source referenced in the report is sponsored billboards in racing games.

The implementation of ads will likely be different on a game-to-game basis, so we’ll have to wait until it actually starts rolling out to see how it impacts the user experience, if at all.

Microsoft responded to Business Insider’s request for comment by stating, “We are always looking for ways to improve the experience for players and developers but we don’t have anything further to share.” The company neglected to directly confirm or deny the reports of its new ad plans.

Free-to-play games make a large chunk of their revenue through microtransaction, whether they’re cosmetic or directly tied to gameplay. Making ads a mainstay in these titles would add another revenue stream for publishers. As major franchises and publishers go free-to-play, companies are likely looking for a way to up their monetization.

Ads are also quite pervasive in the mobile space, and may soon be making their way to consoles as well. As we await official word from Microsoft and Sony, stick with us here on Shacknews.

News Editor

Donovan is a young journalist from Maryland, who likes to game. His oldest gaming memory is playing Pajama Sam on his mom's desktop during weekends. Pokémon Emerald, Halo 2, and the original Star Wars Battlefront 2 were some of the most influential titles in awakening his love for video games. After interning for Shacknews throughout college, Donovan graduated from Bowie State University in 2020 with a major in broadcast journalism and joined the team full-time. He is a huge Scream nerd and film fanatic that will talk with you about movies and games all day. You can follow him on twitter @Donimals_

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  • reply
    April 20, 2022 9:55 AM

    Donovan Erskine posted a new article, PlayStation and Xbox may soon incorporate ads into free-to-play games

    • reply
      April 20, 2022 9:56 AM

      fuck ads

    • reply
      April 20, 2022 10:01 AM

      EA already does this in sports games don’t they? Not that that’s a good reason to do it.

      Parody ads and brands in games is often good for a laugh. Would be a bummer to get real ads slung at us instead and miss out on that.

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      April 20, 2022 2:30 PM

      Next level is going to be that we'll have to watch an ad before we buy the game. While we load the game. In a corner of the screen while playing the game (according to RPO it could grow to over 70% (I forget the number) before it kills the viewer. And every dialog box where you have to input some command/decision you'll have to view an ad before the game will accept your input. Then, if you decide to watch x2 ads you'll get a more favorable outcome.

      Agree to try the next product advertised and win a chance to skip the next 3 ads! <sorry, better luck next time>

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      April 20, 2022 2:33 PM

      Is it that time in the console cycle again?

      I swear we've heard this every generation since the original Xbox.

    • reply
      April 20, 2022 9:20 PM


    • reply
      April 20, 2022 10:13 PM

      Seems like just yesterday.

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