Less than a week after announcing that it intended to start testing virtual reality ads, Facebook has collapsed: the game developer it initially announced it was working with has retired (via UploadVR). This comes after a considerable reaction from the community that saw the announced game, Blaston, flooded negative reviews.
Review bombing isn’t necessarily without merit, as Blaston is a pay-per-view game. At the time of purchase, players didn’t know they were going to be treated with virtual ads, so it made a splash. Everyone expects free ads to play games, except for something you've already paid for.
The developer, Resolution Games, has quickly appealed its decision to try ads on Blaston, though it has not ruled out exploring the idea in the future with its fishing game, Left!, which by chance is a free title.
Virtual fishing doesn’t seem like such a bad concept, though I’m not sure there are so many obvious opportunities for interactive ads by the river. Otters with Gucci handbags and toads carrying Barbour aren’t that common, though I guess anything is possible in virtual reality.
Let’s be honest, now that this particular advertising bottle has been opened, there’s nothing that can be put back on, whether the review bombardment continues or not. The question is: how invasive will this advertising be? Blaston's original concept required the user to click on the ad to interact with it, which, as Wes pointed out, is not something we are naturally inclined to do.