Microsoft is planning to sell ads in Xbox games, and this could mean big changes for gamers. According to two people who spoke to Business Insider, Microsoft wants to work with adtech companies to create a system that will allow brands and advertisers to buy and place ads in free-to-play Xbox games. This new ad system is expected to launch around the third quarter this year. So what does this mean for gamers? Will we start seeing ads in our favorite Xbox games?
What is Microsoft planning to do with Xbox ads?
According to two people who spoke with Business Insider, Papa Microsoft wants to work with companies in the advertising technology space to allow the purchasing of ads in Xbox games.
Right now, the intent is to only place them in free-to-play games.
But let’s be real—if they’re successful in free-to-play games, it’s only a matter of time before Microsoft rationalizes putting them in all games.
The two who spoke with Business Insider are apparently involved with the program’s ongoing planning, so we have reason to believe them.
The ads will potentially appear as something like a digitally rendered billboard in a racing game. Or maybe the next time you’re walking through post-apocalyptic Manhattan.
Surprisingly, even though they are clearly moving forward with this, Microsoft is concerned about angering gamers who don’t expect ads in console games. You know you’re onto a great customer-focused idea when you have to take steps to minimize how angry the customer will be when they’re introduced to it.
To make sure it hurts as little as possible when Microsoft sticks it in, a “private marketplace” will be created. Only particular brands will given access to ensure the maximum gentleness as they violate our field of view.
What do experts think about the potential impact of Xbox game ads?
Look, I’m not an expert, but I do pretend to be one when I’m writing.
I think this is a terrible idea.
What do you mean, why?!
Who WANTS ads in their games?!
On a real note, this is going to cause a greater rift between developers and the gaming community. The fakery was so obvious whenever a developer answered a question about micro-transactions. They had no good answer for why they were there when EVERYONE hated them.
This is going to be another awkward talking point that will come up in interviews and Q&A’s. The devs or community manager will have to use corporate PR speak to answer the question about ads, and we’ll trust them a little bit less as a result.
Are there any aspects of Microsoft’s proposed plan that would benefit both advertisers and gamers alike?
No! It’s a cash grab! Marketing and advertising make the world go round!
We don’t want MORE reminders of it when we’re playing games to take a break from that world.
I hope you enjoyed this angry nerd’s report on yet another terrible business practice introduced into our wonderful community against our will!
Although, it’s not entirely against our will if we continue buying their games and financially rewarding their greedy business practices.
What do you think about Xbox game ads—would you be less likely to buy a game if you knew that there were ads in it? Does the idea of ads in your games not bother you? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
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