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The one developer who publicly agreed to try Facebook’s VR ads is already backing away

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Resolution Games won’t test Facebook ads in Blaston anymore

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Last Wednesday, Facebook announced that it would begin testing ads inside of Oculus Quest apps and said that the paid title Blaston from Resolution Games and apps from “a couple other developers” would be the first to include them. For many fans of Blaston, that wasn’t welcome news, leading to a wave of negative reviews criticizing Resolution Games for planning to test ads in a game that they paid money for. Now, following the blowback, the studio has reversed course, saying that it actually won’t test ads inside of Blaston (via UploadVR).

“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 shared with The Verge. “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.”

While Resolution Games won’t test ads in Blaston, it may still test ads in another of its games — but it will be a free title instead of a paid one. “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.”

Facebook acknowledged Resolution’s decision in a statement to The Verge. “We offer a variety of tools and support for developers so they can choose to use what’s best for their business in the long-run — and we support them in what they choose,” a spokesperson said. “Ultimately, opening up new revenue streams for devs will help us to unlock new types of content on the Oculus platform and offer products at consumer-friendly prices. Ads within apps are just one of the things we’re exploring to help with this.” It did not confirm whether two other developers in the test program — neither of which was named last week — are still participating.

As my colleague Adi Robertson wrote last week, there are still some big questions about Facebook’s move to bring ads to Oculus Quest apps. Resolution Games’ shift doesn’t make the future of ads in Oculus apps much clearer.

Update June 22nd, 11AM ET: Added statement from Facebook.