The trend: Advertisements could be coming to PC and console games in the near future. Last week, Insider revealed that Microsoft was seeking adtech partners and building its own systems to bring ads to free-to-play Xbox games. One day later, Bloomberg revealed that Sony had been working on a similar program for at least 18 months.
More on this: Bringing ads to free-to-play console games makes sense on paper. Advertisements have driven record revenues for mobile games, and the global audience for video games as a whole is only getting bigger.
The challenge: But while advertising interest is growing within the industry, consumers haven’t reacted so positively. Games have a long history with advertising from their inception, but the re-injection of ads into free-to-play games should be handled with care or risk alienating consumers.
The big takeaway: From licensed games dating back to the ‘80s to Fortnite’s lavish in-game concerts, advertising has been part of the gaming experience since the medium’s birth. But ads still aren’t baked into the medium the way they are for TV, and advertisers should be mindful of players’ wishes for a non-disruptive experience.