Xbox gaming CFO Tim Stuart suggests that Microsoft could offer free game streaming over xCloud in exchange for ad viewership.
Ads could be the next phase step evolution in Microsoft's gaming content and services roadmap. Experts believe that a cheaper ad-supported Xbox Game Pass subscription tier could be offered, and we've heard Xbox president Sarah Bond discuss topics like ads and Xbox offering "slices of gameplay" to users.
Now we have very interesting quotes from Xbox chief financial officer Tim Stuart on the topic of ads, and how they could be used for Xbox cloud gaming. The following was transcribed with Stuart's interview at the Wells Fargo TMT Summit held late last month.
"It also helps us, maybe lastly, on geographic expansion. 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?'
"Africa is, you know, 50% of the population is 23 years old or younger with a growing disposable income base, all with cell phones and mobile devices, not a lot of high-end disposable income, generally-speaking.
"So we can go in with our own business models and say...there's millions and millions of gamers we would never have been able to address there, and now we can go in with our business models."
Whether or not this strategy will actually show up for xCloud remains to be seen, however we know that advertisements will continue to be featured in Activision Blizzard King games like Candy Crush.