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Microsoft is reportedly working on allowing ads that will appear in free-to-play Xbox games. According to a report from the Insider, sources close to the company say ads will appear in games but will not interfere with gameplay.

Instead, Microsoft will place the ads within natural places within the games. For example, a billboard in a racing game, a poster on a wall in a first-person shooter, and so on.

It is unclear Microsoft’s overall plans, and potentially the ads will also appear in-game lobbies The report suggests Microsoft understands the ads could annoy and frustrate gamers if not placed well. The company will also gatekeep brands that can have ads in games through a new “private marketplace.”

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While this seems like a money-making exercise by Microsoft, sources say the company will not take any cut from ad revenue. So, if not for money why is Microsoft doing this? Well, it seems it simply wants to add another way to entice developers to the Xbox platform.

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Another interesting thing Microsoft won’t do is use the data from use ad interactions on its Bing search engine or other products. In other words, information will not be used to target more ads to you on other Microsoft services.

It appears Microsoft’s motives are unclear, although the source says the ads will start appearing in the third quarter 2020. So, in the coming months, we should find out Microsoft’s intentions.

Building on the original report, The Verge reached out to Microsoft for clarification. Of course, the company was not forthcoming on details, but did say the following:

“We are always looking for ways to improve the experience for players and developers but we don’t have anything further to share,” a Microsoft spokesperson says.

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