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Patent shows Sony interested in placing ads in games

by Ethan Powers on May 25, 2012

If the DRM system and concept of expensive and necessary DLC has not made you slightly cynical about the gaming industry over the past few years, wait until you hear about Sony’s bright new idea.

Discovered by a user on NeoGAF, a Sony patent was evidently filed in July 2011 under “Advertisement Scheme for use with interactive content.” Essentially, the technology would work just as commercials do with cable television. Your gameplay gradually slows down as a message warns you that your game will be momentarily interrupted.

The patent itself uses the example of, “BEST BRAND SODA. You’ve got to try it!” After this short ad rudely interrupts what was probably an important boss fight or car chase, another message appears telling you that the game is about to resume. You are then returned to your regularly scheduled game which is already in progress.

Though it’s possible that Sony would more than likely generate a hefty profit from selling paid advertisement content to companies willing to risk the reputation of their products by disrupting gamers’ digital lives, the backlash from the gaming community would ultimately trump whatever extra revenue Sony thinks they can grab. Adding in-game ads is one thing, but interrupting the game itself for a commercial, reminding players that they are in fact playing a game, is something worthy of revolutionary reaction.

Just imagine being forced every 30-minutes to watch the insincere, abrasive voice and smile of Flo from the Progressive commercials or listen to those no talent a**holes from the band. Yeah, I believe such technology will be ruled unconstitutional on the grounds of cruel and unusual punishment.

Source: Eurogamer

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  • Brevs

    huh, leave it to Sony to do this… And I thought Miscrosoft would be that low to do such a thing.

  • Brevs

    Ehh, sony isnt know for trying to milm money. It’s just that they lost billions of dollars because they were doing the complete opposite of milking money.

  • Brevs


  • bigjershby

    i see issues and im not talking about the article lol

    we talking about patent? not the software but the patents?patents?

  • McVities

    Typical gaming press try and strir up Sony hatred by identifying patents that MIGHT be one day implemented in exchange for cheaper games.

  • Cool dude

    Its all patents. Im pretty sure Sony wont implement this. Theyre not THAT stupid.

  • njb

    Smart move. They own the rights to it. Doubt they will implement it themselves. Everyone pushes Ad’s these days. Im surprised psn is ad free.

  • Frank

    Plus, you guys have no idea how this is going to work. Don’t get me wrong, I hate the idea, but who knows when ads will show up? Maybe during a loading screen? The only way is support this is if games are cheaper as a result, and if the ads don’t interrupt important parts of the game. And @ hipsters, M$ doesn’t milk you guys? Is that why you’ve got the only pay to play console? Hell, you need gold to watch netflix! You need to pay to use something you already pay for! And don’t give me that bs that it keep them afloat and that it helps live because Sony, Nintendo, and PC have shown that free online gaming won’t break the bank.

    • Valhalla



      I believe allen is worse than that.

  • Dan Radler

    This would completely ruin any immersion a player feels in a game. The only feasible moment I can see an ad being effectively placed (and not totally piss off the gamer) is during a loading screen. Anything else could ruin the fun of a game.

  • WADE13x

    They might be just patenting this but not using it. So that no one else can do it

  • F3ck

    Yeah, I’m not thrilled about the sound of this either – but seems they’d most likely put the ads in cut-scenes or something. Or like Wade13x says; just to own the idea (though this feels like wishful thinking just typing it).

    Actual product (Coke, Marlboro, etc) placement in SOME games might actually add to the immersion (irradiated Pepsi vs. Nuka-Cola…or the like) and if it did reduce the game’s price might therefore be tolerated.

    But the notion of “We interrupt this boss-fight to bring you a special offer from Bowflex” makes me want to rage-barf.

  • Heavenswarrior121

    Sony isnt dumb to do this but then again it is money,lets say if they do try it if its successful then im pretty sure the other platforms will follow up but only way they could be successful with out hurting there customers is by showing the adds during loading screens! Other then that there gonna piss us gamers off and we will stop buying video games which will lead to less sales

    Less sales=less money

    Less money=trouble

  • Mike McMack

    Relax people, they wont have ads in games we pay for. This is going to be for PSN games which typically cost $10 but will now cost nothing other then the time it takes to watch commercials. Everyone is assuming that their Call of Duty campaign or online MP will be interrupted by commercials when the patent only states an idea. If they try to put ads in games I pay $60 for then it’s pretty much guaranteed that Sony will flop next gen because no body in their right mind is going to pay to watch commercials.

  • mrhertz

    just imagine GTA with commercials you see on tv, daily… it gives the sense that the game world is in motion. things are changin and if they play the right strings, it might be interesting for us players, where will we will ride and rediscover the game in many aspects

    if i will enter on a game like forza horizon, open world and such, and i see billboards changing weekly with different advertisements, or ways for me as a player to take advantage by getting codes, coupons and using it in real life, im all good with that.

    its something that wont break the game flow, and will link the videogame with real world.

    if things are done this way, im ok with it.


    Hasn’t there always been product placement in games? I’ve seen a lot of it.

  • momo

    like every 1 says its just a patent but if they do implement it im surely moving over to xbox, and i cant believe i just said that…

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