Sony has started working on a plan to place ads in PlayStation games through a software development program, according to a new report.
Sources speaking to Bloomberg say Sony started working on the project 18 months ago and is currently testing with adtech partners on ways to help game developers place in-game advertising in their titles. , with particular emphasis on their use in free-to-play games. By using the system, developers could be incentivized to create more F2P games that could be monetized in this way, as these titles have surged in popularity during the current pandemic era.
Sony’s plan is similar to the one Microsoft reportedly began development on, which is also working on methods to insert ads into Xbox games. If all goes according to plan, Sony would launch its new effort by the end of 2022 and sell ad space for its own PlayStation games through a private marketplace.
The goal of the project is to make the ads look like they’ve been organically inserted into a game, much like a digital billboard in a sports stadium. Such content may include viewing advertisements and promotions to earn in-game items such as avatar skins.
Bloomberg’s sources said Sony isn’t set on cutting revenue, but is considering charging developers and publishers for data gathered from consumer activity on PlayStation. Sony is also said to be strict about which adtech companies can qualify for its program, as it wants to avoid companies that collect personal information from gamers.
As for interest, Zero Code chief executive Dario Raciti told Bloomberg that advertisers would be interested in reaching new audiences, as long as they can convince developers of family content to let them in. “It’s a new thing, just like the metaverse, and everyone is rushing to try it, but for people who have played the game and understand the game’s audience, we’ll take a wait-and-see approach,” Raciti said. .
While video games have largely avoided advertising over the years, especially games with mature and violent content that advertisers prefer to avoid, there have been some notable examples of in-game promotions. Fortnite ran Air Jordan campaigns, Nike shoes were featured in NBA 2K22, and Burnout: Paradise even featured ads for former US President Barack Obama’s presidential campaign in 2009.