Last week we saw that Facebook was starting to test adverts inside various VR apps. One of those (and the only one mentioned by name) was Blaston, a paid-for VR game made by Resolution Games. Only… they’re not going to be participating any more.
It turns out, people don’t really take kindly to advertising being added to a product they have paid for. Customers seem a little resistant to being milked for more with absolutely zero additional value being offered. Who could have possibly seen this coming? Perhaps… anyone who has tried this before, like, say, Electronic Arts?
Facing off with Facebook
The makers of Blaston have decided, following a whole slew of negative reviews based around their decision to dump ads into their paid-for game, not to participate in Facebook’s test any longer.
Company CEO Tommy Palm said to The Verge, “We appreciate all of the feedback and thoughts on the Oculus ad test for Blaston and other games that was announced last week. 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.”
The company has left the door open to something that might spark a little less ire — should the social network be amenable, Resolution might conduct in-game ads tests in a title called Bait!. This game is free-to-play, which is where you expect a little advertising to turn up.
We can understand Facebook wanting to inject adverts in as many spaces as possible — that’s how they make their money. But it doesn’t benefit the end-user. The current understanding is that a paid-for product shouldn’t have ads included — typically, you pay extra to have them removed. But it’s in platform owner’s interests (and no-one else’s) to change that mindset, so you’re paying for a digital product and then someone makes additional cash by showing you ads through it. Which seems to be the business model Facebook is driving at.