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Developer set to use Facebook’s Oculus VR ads drops plan following backlash

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A hot potato: Facebook’s announcement that it would begin testing ads inside of Oculus Quest apps was met with the kind of heated reception one would expect. A barrage of criticism was aimed at Resolution Games, maker of paid-for VR shooter Blaston, which was to be the first app to show the ads. As such, the developer has decided against being part of the experiment.

Facebook last week revealed it would soon be testing ads within the Oculus Quest headsets’ apps—the initial pilot plan announced a month earlier involved only showing ads within the Oculus mobile app.

News that the $9.99 Blaston was to be the first app to implement the ads led to the game’s Oculus Store and Steam listings being review bombed, with one of the most liked comments reading: “Paid titles should not introduce advertising. It is wildly unacceptable to do so months after purchase.”

UploadVR reports that the wave of negativity has seen Resolution Games decide that placing the ads in Blaston is probably a bad idea.

“We appreciate all of the feedback and thoughts on the Oculus ad test for Blaston and other games that was announced last week,” Resolution Games CEO Tommy Palm said in a statement. “Some good points have been made, and we realize that Blaston isn’t the best fit for this type of advertising test. Therefore, we no longer plan to implement the test in Blaston.”

However, Resolution isn’t abandoning the ads completely. The developer is considering testing them in another of its games, but this one has the important distinction of being free. “As an alternative, we are looking to see if it is feasible to move this small, temporary test to our free game, Bait! sometime in the future,” Palm said.

“We love this domain as much as the most avid players,” Palm continued. “If ads in VR become inevitable as it has on other platforms, we want to ensure that while we have this chance to start over and do it right, we do just that. We welcome any and all your feedback along the way so we can have a constructive conversation around this and create the best path forward.”

It will be interesting to see if Revolution Games’ backtracking influences other app makers who are set to introduce the ads, especially if their applications aren’t free. As 2K Sports discovered after it briefly added unskippable ads in loading screens for NBA 2K21, adding them to a game people have paid for is always going to cause justifiable outrage.

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