Microsoft is thinking up a new way to make revenue from ads and share it with developers. Per a report from Business Insider, the company wants to launch a new ad program where brands could place their spots in free-to-play Xbox games.
Apparently coming in the third quarter of this year, these types of ads might show up on in-game billboards in racing games. It's also possible that avatar skins or video ads could be a possibility, too, though Business Insider says it is "unable to learn," if that is indeed in the plans.
Microsoft has been working on this plan since 2018 and is currently looking for adtech companies that can help with its venture. Business Insider's sources also claim that Microsoft will not take a cut of any of these ads, and is more interested in building out the Xbox ad network so that revenue will be shared by game developers who make free-to-play games.
As for the worries of this spreading to too many games, Microsoft also is said to be working on a "private marketplace" for these ads. This is so that only select companies could put their spots, without disrupting gameplay, and so that customer data can stay secure without gamers being targetted.
Microsoft already lets advertisers place their spots on the Xbox dashboard, or place in-game ads through Yahoo and Anzu. When asked about this rumor by Business Insider, Microsoft said it doesn't have "anything further to share," Instead, the company mentioned that it was " always looking for ways to improve the experience for players and developers."