Facebook VR advertising partner pulls out amid video gamer backlash


Facebook Inc‘s (NASDAQ:FB) attempts to trial adverts in virtual reality (VR) through its Oculus headsets suffered a setback last night when the video game it was planning to test the technology on backed out of the arrangement following backlash from players.

In a tweet on Monday night, the account for the VR game Blaston said following player feedback it had decided that it “isn’t the best fit for this type of advertising test” and that it was not moving forward with the initiative.

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The move followed an announcement from Facebook last week that it was planning to start testing adverts on its Oculus headsets, with commercials to be run on Blaston as well as through games from other developers.

The key point of complaint from players appeared to be the fact that they would be subject to adverts despite paying for Blaston, with Resolution Games the company behind the title saying that it is instead “looking to see if it is feasible to move this small, temporary test” to its free-to-play fishing game Bait!.

The Blaston decision is a setback for Facebook’s efforts to grow revenues from its VR business, seeking to diversify away from hardware sales alone.

Shares in Facebook were up 0.3% at US$333.20 in early trading in New York on Tuesday.


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