Microsoft is looking at ways to implement ads into its Xbox Game Pass subscription. The company claims it will aggressively target the expansion of Xbox Game Pass “to every screen that can play a game”. That means finding ways to deliver the service in different formats including an ad-tier subscription.
Speaking at the Wells Fargo TMT Summit, Xbox’s chief financial officer Tim Stuart says that one potential route for expanding the service is to include ad-supported game streaming to players in emerging markets.
Stuart suggests that in countries which aren’t “console-first” such as Africa, a 30-second ad before two hours of game streaming would work.
“The vision I like to talk about is we have xCloud game streaming, so you can subscribe to Game Pass Ultimate and you can stream hundreds of games to really any endpoint that has a browser experience. For models like Africa, or India, Southeast Asia, maybe places that aren’t console-first, you can say, ‘hey, do you want to watch 30 seconds of an ad and then get two hours of game streaming? So, we can go in with our own business models and say — there’s millions of gamers we would never have been able to address, and now we can go in with our business models.”
While this ad-supported tier might sound like an early prototype for what is to come, Windows Central suggests the business model is actually quite far into production already. The report says that the ad-tier Xbox Game Pass service might be introduced as early as next year.
A data miner also claims that Microsoft has already started implementing code into the latest Xbox OS that references adverts. There are references to 15-minute blocks of Game Pass access on an “Earned Time” basis.
The question still remains – How will this work? If a user watches an advert before launching a game that should be fine. However, implementing adverts during a game stream might prove to be cumbersome. Nothing stops users from sticking to one game for hours on end. To interrupt a session with an ad won’t work.
Source: Windows Central