Sony Interactive Entertainment is reportedly forging an advertisement program to inject adverts directly into free-to-play PlayStation games.
According to a report by Business Insider earlier today, anonymous sources close to the matter have confirmed that Sony is already conducting internal tests with affiliated advertisement partners.
The goal is to encourage developers to create more and more free-to-play games for PlayStation consoles by giving them the ability to create and place in-game ads as an additional monetization option.
The program is expected to launch by the end of 2022 and will include in-game billboards for real-life brands, and digital rewards for watching adverts just like players do on mobile games to unlock progression boosters or in-game items.
The report also points out that Sony is being strict about greenlighting advertisement companies for the program. Sony is adhering to security concerns and will not allow its partners to collect personal information of players such as real names and emails.
Sony has apparently been discussing in-game adverts for nearly two years now. It should be noted that Sony has plans to release around a dozen live service games before March 2026 in a bid to expand its PlayStation brand to cover staunch multiplayer franchises. The reported in-game advertisement venture appears to fit right into that ambitious plan.
The report about Sony creating an in-game advertisement program for PlayStation comes just a few days after Microsoft was reported to be doing the same. Both console makers are said to be boosting the development of free-to-play games, which have grown immensely popular after the COVID-19 pandemic.
It remains to be seen how Sony and Microsoft will be earning from in-game advertisements. The former apparently considering either taking a cut from each ad displayed or charging a flat fee for sharing player activity data on PlayStation consoles.