It was reported a month ago that Sony and Microsoft were looking into the idea of advertising in free to play games. Considering free to play games don’t force people to buy in game items, it does seem like a quick easy way to provide for developers rather than making more microtransactions or season passes.
We already have in-game adverts
We have already seen advertisements in games such as Death Stranding where you could drink monster and it would be subtly placed on a desk for a cutscene while going to the shower. Final Fantasy 15 did the same with Cup Noodle as Gladios was obsessed with it and it even had a mission-based around it. Although these product placements weren’t in your face or annoying. They were there and Final Fantasy 15’s was actually funny at stages. Battlefield 2042 attempted in-game adverts, but when you bring out a game that has gotten awful reception seeing extra adverts wouldn’t help the player base.
What are companies thinking of doing with them?
EA CEO Andrew Wilson spoke on the matter saying “What we’ve seen generally though in entertainment media and even in games, particularly in mobile games right now, you see that there is a place for advertising when done right. And there is a portion of the community that when given the choice will participate in advertising where it benefits their gameplay experience”. If advertising is done right then it could fit in. How could it work? Well, Microsoft has already confirmed they won’t take a cut of the profits. Meaning the developers will receive more, which would most likely mean the game would have more money to work off.
In-Game adverts could work similarly to TV adverts such as while you’re loading into a game you could have an advert pop up. Or, they could be immersed within the game. So how could it be placed within a game without breaking gameplay? Billboards in-game could advertise real things rather than fictional items. There are other ways for promotion through in-game items such as a free skin that has product placement.