Microsoft interested in putting ads in Xbox gameplay

What are the ramifications of Microsoft inserting real-life ads into their games?

Kefan Chen
18th May 2022
Image Credit: Microsoft
While you can usally play a game from beginning to end without ever seeing an ad: Microsoft is considering introducing including ads in their Xbox gaming experience in the future. 
Pepsiman is one of the most famous examples of advertisement in gaming.
Image: KID and Pepsi

Business Insider claims that Microsoft is particularly interested in adding adverts in games, as discovered by Microsoft enthusiast journalist site Neowin. Ad agencies that can help Microsoft realise its vision are now supposedly being sought.

To achieve this, games will need to be able to support ads, and so Microsoft may be encouraging developers to think about how they may include this technology into new games. 

Mario Kart 8's Mercedes DLC brought some semi-realistic cars to the cartoony kart racer.
Image: Nintendo and Mercedes

According to Neowin, Microsoft is expected to test this technology in free-to-play games in order to see how well it works. It makes perfect sense; if the corporation targeted premium games, gamers may generate a commotion over being shown adverts in products they've already paid for, whereas gamers playing free content are more likely to be receptive.

Advertisements for Xbox are nothing new, according to Neowin. Ads may presently be shown on the Xbox dashboard, and gamers don't appear to mind them at the moment. 

Nathan Drake chows down on some Subway.
Image: Naughty Dog and Subway

However, when it comes to "advertising in games," you may be reminded of those annoying full-screen adverts that interrupt your gaming experience. Microsoft, on the other hand, is wary about interrupting a player's immersion in their game in order to display an advertising. 

As a result, the business plans to include adverts within the game itself. An in-world billboard that firms may pay to have their goods shown on was used as an example in the original article, replacing fictional corporations with real ones. Therefore there's a good potential that gamers won't even know they're being promoted to. Indeed, such innovation may even enhance the sense of immersion, making it a less obtrusive type of marketing.

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