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Explained by three people involved with the initiative, at present Sony’s plans to place adverts in free-to-play games are limited to menu screens, which developers and publishers can use to promote their PlayStation-supported titles.
However, Sony is reportedly investigating ways to take this further – including adverts that would appear in game worlds “like they’re part of the game”, with the company comparing them to billboards in sports arenas.
Some adverts may also incentivise players to watch them by giving out in-game rewards, such as character cosmetics, once the advert is finished.
Business Insider‘s article claims that Sony has been working on implementing adverts into games for the last 18 months, and aims to introduce them this year.
Sony is apparently in talks with partners regarding adverts, and is being strict about which companies it’s willing to work with. Collecting personal information has been ruled out internally, however one source has claimed that Sony is considering selling consumer activity data to developers and publishers.
Last week, it was revealed that Microsoft is also looking to implement adverts into free-to-play games on the Xbox platform. Unlike Sony, it’s unclear if Microsoft is already in talks with partners as the company is “moving cautiously” to avoid backlash from players.