Roblox in-game ads are coming soon, and while advertisers are heralding the platform as a leader in such technology, major players like Microsoft and Sony are reportedly set to follow suit soon. For Roblox, such in-game ads offer an opportunity for its thousands of independent game developers to earn extra cash for their free-to-play games by allowing in-game ads. However, Microsoft and Sony are looking to introduce similar technology into their free-to-play live service games, many of which already benefit from the monetisation of battle passes and cosmetic item sales.
Roblox’s two major immersive advertising forms include in-game billboards and other forms of virtual ads, which will allow advertisers to advertise across multiple experiences at once, and portals, which will teleport from a developer’s game to a different experience, presumably run by a brand. Both will allow the development team behind each of the sandbox game‘s experiences to earn a share of the ad revenue. It may seem ironic that this is the type of advertising Ready Player One warned against in the book that spawned many of the concepts surrounding today’s metaverse rhetoric. However, some Roblox developers, including the developer of one of Roblox’s most popular games, have recently been complaining about the disproportionately low amount of revenue they receive from their games when compared to the gross total.
It seems Roblox’s immersive advertising rollout is only the start of a bigger trend, as Microsoft and Sony are strategising how to incorporate advertising into their free-to-play games as well. A recent Insider article reports that Microsoft is working on adapting its own technology to allow in-game billboard advertising within Xbox games, citing two unnamed sources who expected such advertising to be live by the third quarter of the company’s fiscal year. One of the sources suggested that the advertising isn’t explicitly meant to increase Microsoft’s bottom line but rather to provide an additional revenue source for developers of free-to-play games.
Still, as console gamers can often be hostile to what they interpret as corporate greed, Microsoft is instead creating a private marketplace of select brands that can insert in-game ads in a way that doesn’t impact the game experience itself. However, the sources say Microsoft, which holds a significant amount of user data due to cross-device behaviour on its various properties, has no plans to let advertisers target users based on their data.
As a follow-up to the Microsoft article, Insider also reported on Sony’s plans to include advertising inside PlayStation games. Insider’s unnamed sources suggest that Sony’s reasoning is similar in that it hopes to provide another revenue stream for the developers of free-to-play games. The article claims that Sony’s immersive advertising will launch by the end of 2022. The sources also suggested Sony might expand its advertising plans to offer rewards for watching ads or promotions for in-game items such as advertising skins. However, unlike Microsoft, Sony is said to be considering charging developers and publishers for information about user behaviour.
Roblox’s immersive advertising will be a good testing ground for user reactions to such advertising. However, partially due to Roblox’s heavy mobile focus and historically younger audiences, its users have become more accustomed to pay-to-win mechanics and microtransactions. As a result, Roblox’s audiences may be more receptive to immersive advertising than console gamers and those who play more traditionally ‘hardcore’ games, who often voice concerns about monetisation strategies such as those in the recently released Diablo Immortal.
Ultimately, it may not be an issue to see more advertising in the best Roblox games of 2022 if the developers are the ones who serve to benefit the most. Players can also support developers by investing in avatar gear, but they can also get free goods by checking our Roblox promo codes list for September. Music-loving Robloxians can also get music from today’s top artists with our Roblox music codes for September.