Almost 15 years ago, gamers were introduced to microtransactions (sort of). Thanks to Bethesda’s horse armor in Elder Scrolls 4, Microtransactions and DLC in games are now almost an essential part in the modern day. While the exploitive nature of these microtransactions and DLCs have been criticized and discussed immensely, big game companies and publishers still make big chunks of their revenue through these controversial in-game services.
While, the curse of microtransactions and DLCs is still rampant in the gaming industry, publishers are exploring new ways of monetization. In-game ads for instance seems like the next big thing for publishers to explore. Mobile gaming is already using it a lot but when we talk about major AAA games, we haven’t seen much cases apart from the notorious in-game, unskipable ads in 2K 2021.
Different platforms are already in development for in-game adverts and different publishers are already patenting different concepts related to these ads. One such patent has also been filed by Sony Interactive Entertainment. The patent basically describes ways to adjust players camera angles so that the ads are shown to the players in their POV. These dynamic camera adjustments can increase the impressions of the ads which can eventually increase the effectiveness of those adverts. The patent reads:
According to embodiments of the present invention, in addition to movement initiated by user commands and a state of interaction with a simulated environment, movement may also be added to a camera path that directs the camera point-of-view toward advertising targets along encountered along the camera path. These movements may be configured to place the advertising targets within a field-of-view, referred to herein as a camera frustum, thereby increasing the likelihood of advertising impressions for those targets.
So it will be more like traditional advertisements around you including billboards, banners and other spaces. So today, while we see references to the game world and other informative elements in the game, tomorrow, we could be seeing advertisements of other entertainment products in the game world or during loading screens. I am not sure if that will be better than pay-to-win microtransactions or not but our console and PC gaming industry is definitely moving towards it.