PlayStation’s Free-To-Play Games Could Include Ads Later This Year

The prices of video games, and how much you can or even need to spend after you buy them, has been a hot-button topic for quite a while. The conversation was thrown into a brighter spotlight than ever when some studios revealed they would be upping the price of their triple-A releases to $70 as standard prior to the arrival of the latest generation of consoles. The thing is, if you really want to, you could get by without paying that, or anything for that matter, for a game ever again.

There are currently more free-to-play games out there than there are hours in the day to play them. Those games largely rely on in-game purchases and microtransactions to make money. However, according to Business Insider, Sony is planning on opening another revenue stream for free-to-play games on PlayStation. The implementation of in-game ads, something that could be put into action before the end of 2022.

Sources close to Sony told Business Insider that the company has been working with adtech for the past 18 months, so since around the time the PS5 launched. The number of people who have turned to gaming since the start of the pandemic has resulted in a significant boost to the player counts of various free-to-play games. Sony wants to figure out new ways to monetize them, especially since more casual players are less likely to spend on in-game items.

The news that free-to-play PlayStation games could soon have in-game ads comes a few days after similar plans were reported regarding Microsoft and Xbox games. The good news is it doesn't seem likely the ads will interrupt gameplay. It's more likely they will be akin to billboards you run and drive past in-game as opposed to full-screen ads you will be forced to watch as you would do in a free mobile game.

What remains unclear is how exactly revenue from these ads will be distributed. While PlayStation and Xbox are the ones trying to implement these changes, it's reported that the latter's revenue will go to the developers of the respective games, and the same is expected of PlayStation should this happen. Ads being implemented where they haven't necessarily been before is big news this week. Netflix is increasing its prices but also revealed it could introduce a cheaper ad version of the service in the future.

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