Microsoft may not be the only console maker hoping to put more ads in games. Sadly. Inside sources say Sony is testing an initiative that would sell and place ads in free PlayStation games through a private marketplace. This would include billboards and other environmental advertisements, but also character skins and collectibles.
Some details would not yet be settled. Sony isn’t sure if it will take a cut of ad revenue, for example, and it might ask studios to pay for data instead. However, the PS5 creator is apparently “strict” about screening the ad-tech companies he works with and won’t allow the collection of personal information such as email addresses.
If all of this is true, the leak compels Sony to launch the PlayStation adware program by the end of 2022. Microsoft reportedly planned a similar strategy last week. The idea is that the easier it is for developers to place in-game ads, the more likely they are to release free games. While this may annoy some gamers who prefer not to see product plugins, it could also help companies release free-to-play games that aren’t as reliant on paid skins, season passes, and other gated content. So it could well work.