For quite some time, there have been rumblings that platform owners and publishers are exploring new ways to monetize games with live ads. It doesn’t appear as if these rumblings will ever stop. The same is indicated by a recent patent application by Microsoft (noticed by Gamesual).
The method for “offering tailored material for an unobtrusive online gaming experience” is the subject of the pending patent. According to the filing, the method focuses on “identifying a location within the game environment for overlaying content during the time frame and identifying content for displaying to the user”; in other words, it will track your activities and deliver in-game advertisements that are tailored to you while you play in real-time.
As previously mentioned, this isn’t the first time we’ve heard about companies eyeing similar practices. Reports earlier in the year that Microsoft was working on an in-game advertising program for free-to-play titles, while it’s been claimed that similar plans are also in the pipeline at Sony.
While patents aren’t necessarily indicative of concrete plans and are often simply cases of companies protecting their ideas and technologies, if something along these lines were to be officially implemented, it would likely be met with skepticism- at best.
Microsoft recently confirmed that it will be pricing first-party Xbox Series X/S titles at $70 going forward, while the company has also said that it could also potentially raise prices for hardware and subscriptions at some point– so to see them go after even more aggressive monetization models would probably not go down well with the masses, no matter how hard companies try to convince audiences that in-game ads would somehow be “unintrusive”.
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