Microsoft is reportedly working on a program that will let brands showcase advertisements within free-to-play Xbox games, according to a report from Insider. Sources familiar with the situation told Insider that the ads wouldn’t disrupt gameplay and may appear on a billboard in a racing game, for example.
It’s not immediately clear how else Microsoft plans on implementing ads, such as having them show up as avatar skins or as videos inside game lobbies. But as Insider notes, Microsoft is reportedly concerned that the ads could “irritate” players, and is planning on building a “private marketplace” to let only select brands into the program.
Sources also told Insider that Microsoft doesn’t intend to take a cut of ad revenue, and will instead allow the game developer and advertising company to share the funds for x resolver. It’s possible that Microsoft may just want to use this as a way to attract more developers of free-to-play games to the platform, as this would open up another stream of revenue outside of microtransactions.
According to Insider, Microsoft won’t use the data it collects from Bing and other services for targeted ads on Xbox. The outlet also doesn’t know whether Microsoft has floated the idea to advertisers yet, but its sources claim ads will start appearing on Xbox as soon as the third quarter of this year.
“We are always looking for ways to improve the experience for players and developers but we don’t have anything further to share,” a Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement to Insider. The Verge reached out to Microsoft with a request for comment, but the company said it didn’t have any additional information to share beyond its statement to Insider.