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Microsoft, MSN game devs to share in-game ad revenue

Ross Miller

Developers for titles hosted by MSN Games can now expect to have an extra outlet of income, care of Microsoft. The House of Gates is promising to share portion of the revenue earned from in-game advertisement generated by a title to the respective game maker. The model is divided between two tiers:

  • Level I: developer will be given ten percent of the ad revenue, no obligations necessary
  • Level II: developer will earn 20 percent of the revenue, but their game must be submitted to the ESRB for a rating. The title must also provide a "deluxe experience" lasting at least 10 hours.
Of course, if a developer is willing to place advertisements within its title, then there's no reason to avoid an ESRB rating and not earn the extra ten percent -- we imagine "deluxe experience" is a subjective term, as we could theoretically make Text Twist and ten hour game.

There's an added bonus for Microsoft concerning this business model, in that the more ESRB-rated games it has, the easier it will be for Windows Vista to properly filter content in tune to the Parental Control settings. The only outlet currently mentioned is MSN Games, but how long until this business permeates through Xbox Live Marketplace?

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