Sony May Start Putting Ads in PlayStation Games

Sony is reportedly planning to offer a method for free-to-play games on PlayStation consoles to display advertisements in-game.

Increased monetization in every aspect of video games is something that players have been forced to get used to over the years. Outside of new services like PlayStation Plus and Xbox Game Pass, platforms have managed to avoid new systems of monetization. That may be changing soon, however. A new report claims that Sony has plans to introduce advertisements into free-to-play games running on playstation platforms, with a tentative launch window of late 2022.

The report comes from Business Insider, citing sources familiar with the subject. The basic idea is that Sony will make a system available to game developers allowing them to further monetize their free-to-play games. The system will integrate advertisements into their games, described as akin to putting billboards up featuring real-life advertising. While the report implies that PlayStation’s advertising won’t be forced onto free-to-play game developers, the use of the advertisement platform is said to be encouraged.


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To go even further, since the advertising system will be built in at the platform level, Sony’s advertising system is said to be exploring ways of rewarding players for interacting with advertisements. Examples include asking players to watch ads, perhaps akin to monetization in many mobile games, and then reward them with in-game items including skins. The ways that advertisements are shown and integrated would ultimately be decided by game developers. Sony would be supplying the ads.

As for what the system would provide, it’s simply an additional option for monetizing a game. The revenue from the advertising would go to game developers, though Sony is said to be evaluating whether to take a cut of said revenue or not. Sony would, however, have full access to the data behind the advertising, which it could potentially then sell to developers for an extra cost.

Few free-to-play game players on PlayStation would argue that their favorite game doesn’t already have enough monetization. Yet given the profitability of hyper-monetized games on mobile devices, perhaps it was always inevitable that consoles would add more options for developers to consider. That doesn’t mean console players will be happy with a game introducing new advertisements, however. This decision seems prime to explode into controversy.

The bigger question is whether this is something most gamers even need to worry about. It seems unlikely big games like Fortnite, Call of Duty: Warzone, Apex Legends, or other large free-to-play titles, would be willing to use a PlayStation advertisements platform. If they wanted advertising in their games, they could manage it perfectly fine themselves, after all. Smaller, more ethically dubious titles, on the other hand, would be more willing to try out playstation‘s offer. Expect more information on this subject before long.

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