Sony is reportedly working to bring advertisements to free-to-play PlayStation games, according to a report by Insider. The ads would appear in games and are meant to give game developers a way to monetize their work and encourage them to continue building free-to-play games.
The in-game ads are expected to launch by the end of the year and would appear in inconspicuous places within the game, like billboards. Players could also get rewards for watching advertisements, and the ads would be sold through a private marketplace, Insider reports. Sources told Insider that Sony hasn’t yet decided if it would take a portion of ad revenue but is considering having developers and publishers pay for consumer data.
Sony did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Reports of Sony’s plans follow news last week that Microsoft was reportedly planning on doing something similar with free-to-play Xbox games, also reported by Insider. Ads in free-to-play Xbox games are expected to roll out later this year, and Microsoft doesn’t plan to take a cut of revenue, sources told Insider.
As noted in the Insider report, advertisers may need some convincing to join the program. Ads that appear next to mature or violent content might be a concern, and tracking what users do after seeing an in-game ad could be difficult. The possibility of ads annoying gamers is also a concern for Microsoft, according to Insider.