Barely a week has passed since Facebook began testing ads in Oculus apps, and the initiative has run into trouble. On Monday, one of the few developers involved in the first ad experiment said it was withdrawing from the test. Resolution Games tweeted that it had decided that in-app advertising for its multiplayer shooter game, Blaston, was unsuitable after “hearing player feedback”.
The developer had encouraged its user base to post their thoughts on an ad feedback channel on its Discord server. As Upload VR discovered, shortly after announcing its participation in the trial version, angry gamers also checked the bombed blaston on the Oculus Store and on Steam.
Resolution Games’ decision is a setback to Facebook’s burgeoning advertising strategy for Oculus. After adding more ads to Instagram and its main platform, the company risked annoying passionate gamers by bringing ads into VR. Unlike these other services, Oculus isn’t free: an Oculus Quest 2 headset alone starts at $ 299. While Blaston is also a paid game.
Resolution Games pointed out that the ad wasn’t entirely off the table and they were investigating whether the free title Bait! may be a better option for them – suggesting that free game developers may find it easier to implement ads in Oculus.
In a statement, Resolution Games CEO Tommy Palm suggested that VR advertising may be inevitable. “Our mission at Resolution Games has always been to help the industry as a whole advance VR for the benefit of everyone involved. Sometimes that means being the first to test some things to see what works and what doesn’t, ”he said.
“When advertising becomes inevitable in VR, as it is on other platforms, we want to make sure that while we have the chance to start over and do it right, we do just that. We look forward to any feedback along the way, so that we can have a constructive conversation about it and find the best way forward. “
Facebook has portrayed the advertising company as beneficial to developers, which gives them another opportunity to generate income. The final plan was to expand ads on the Oculus platform and associated mobile app. The tech giant also tried to address privacy concerns by promising not to use Oculus data, including motion and camera data, for targeted advertising.
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