Recently Oculus announced their intent to start allowing developers to add Advertisements into their apps, as you can imagine the community took this news badly, from what I have seen, most people think this will end up like some kind of Ad overkill, the most popular quote and image I have seen referenced is from the hit film Ready Player One…
I mean, seriously, do they really think this will happen? I do understand where people are coming from, we currently have android/iPhone games where once a level is completed you have to watch a 30 second clip or Ad to progress, this does annoy me and hopefully we not be the route Oculus goes down.
So why will advertisements be a good thing?
Mimicking real life
Firstly I think that advertisements are part of our every day real life, if one of the objectives is to provide a life like experience in VR then why would we not expect a level of advertisements in VR as well? Think about sporting events, or driving down the road, we see Ads all the time…
Would it really be that bad in VR? I mean wouldn’t a billboard in a shooting game add an aspect of real life to the game, there are a number of games where I can pick up can’s or bottles at the moment, wouldn’t adding a branded label on them give us that extra level of immersion?
Extra Developer Revenue
We know not all developers are making money from VR at the moment, lets face it, although Facebook/Oculus has been amazing for the VR market its still not in every home and therefore the audience is still not as many people as most would like, this means some developers struggle to make a living from developing VR games and stick to pancake (2D/traditional) games.
If you ask me. giving developers a way to make additional money and encouraging them to develop more VR content would be a good thing for them and for the entire VR market. More developers = more content = more users = more headsets sold etc.
Advertisements need to be added correctly
I know you are going to get extremists in any subject and the people stating they will sell their devices if Oculus starts Advertisements I think is maybe a little too far, we all want to make sure this is done correctly and I think Oculus is doing that by introducing the feature for developers and slowly adding this ability and gaining feedback and refining based on feedback. Let’s try to help them down this route and give constructive feedback to ensure there is a happy equilibrium here. If you want, you can make your voices heard on the Oculus user voice forum.