- Sony is creating a program to allow advertisers to purchase ads in PlayStation games.
- It’s testing with ad technology partners to place ads within the game, similar to the initiative of its competitor Microsoft.
- The program is expected to start before the end of the year.
Three people involved in the plans said Sony is testing with adtech partners to help game developers innovate In-game ads Through a software developer program. The idea is to encourage developers to keep building free games, which have risen in light of the pandemic, by giving them a way to monetize it, they said.
Sources said that PlayStation’s current ad inventory is limited to listing ads such as game publishers promoting their own titles on the console store. PlayStation also displays ads on
Video of people streaming through their consoles through apps like
The new effort, expected to be launched by the end of 2022, will place advertisements within PlayStation games themselves, to be sold via a private market, the sources said. The goal is for ads to appear as if they were part of the game, like digital billboards in sports stadiums. Formats can include ads that reward viewers for watching ads and promotions for in-game items such as avatars.
Sources said Sony has not decided whether it will require a revenue cut; One said it was also considering charging developers and publishers for data about consumer activity on PlayStation.
Sony did not respond to requests for comment.
Sources said Sony started talking about creating PlayStation ad software about 18 months ago after releasing its latest generation PS5 console. One said it’s strict about screening ad tech companies, and excluding the collection of personal information such as emails or names.
Advertisers may be intrigued by the idea of placing ads in front of gamers, who are hard to reach with traditional ads, said Dario Rassetti, managing director of Zero Code, Omnicom’s gaming and esports arm. But he also expressed doubts that PlayStation and Xbox ad programs, as described by Insider, would be able to track players and measure the actions they took after viewing an ad. He said it would be difficult for ad tech companies to convince developers to allow them to place ads in popular games, while many advertisers would want to avoid appearing in games with mature or violent content.
“It’s something new, just like the metaverse, and everyone is rushing to try it out, but for people who have played and understand the gaming audience, we will be applying a wait-and-see approach,” Rachiti said.
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