Is Echo VR shutting down? Meta will stop supporting Echo VR on August 1, 2023. The CTO of Meta, Andrew Bosworth, explained that there are now only tens of thousands of users. Maintaining operations would waste resources that could be put to better use elsewhere. He stated that it was a difficult but necessary choice.
One of the most well-liked multiplayer VR headset games is Echo VR. It was initially made available for the Oculus Rift in 2017. Cross-play multiplayer between Rift and Quest players was made possible by the game’s move to Quest in 2020. Shortly after, Ready at Dawn, the company that developed the game, was acquired by Meta.
Despite being one of the top and most popular free games on the Quest store, Meta has announced it will end the game on August 1. According to the Ready at Dawn release, the studio is “getting together to work on the next project.” This is the main reason for the expected closure.
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What is Echo VR?
In recent years, Echo VR has quickly risen to the level of an e-sport. According to the Oculus website, Echo VR may be used with Meta’s Oculus Quest, Quest 2, Meta Quest Pro, and Rift S devices. After putting on the headsets, users are sent into a zero-gravity arena. They engage in robotic combat using a combo of gaming skills and athletic prowess.
According to The Verge, the game was one of the highlights of the Oculus Quest and Rift S launches. A petition on change.org called “Save Echo VR” has 9,848 members so far.
What happened to Echo VR?
Echo VR is one of the first VR games available for Oculus. By stating that it would be discontinued in August, Meta broke down its user base. After the announcement, users started a petition. They criticize Meta’s choice to stop the popular VR game.
The CTO of Meta, Andrew Bosworth, stepped up and justified the company’s decision through Instagram stories. But the Echo VR team did not adequately explain the reasons behind the shutdown. He also immediately concluded that the game could not be saved.
Bosworth said he was sad and understood the community’s feelings about the closure. The CTO agreed that investing company resources in Echo VR is not the “right place.” But added that this community-based game “was a major part of the history of VR multiplayer games.” But, it’s true that as time passed, the number of users and demand for Echo VR decreased.
He continued by saying that Meta has “certain legal restraints” that increase the cost of maintaining the game on the market. Bosworth recognized the value of return on investment as well.
Bosworth’s final thought was that there needed to be a way to sell the game. Several systems were closely connected with Echo VR. There also needed to be an economical way to do it. Besides, the makers of Echo VR, Ready at Dawn, will now concentrate on other projects that may affect more people.
Limitations of VR gaming given by meta
The former chief technical officer of Oculus, John Carmack, sent Meta a private message during the Q&A session. Carmack supported Meta as a virtual reality adviser till his departure in 2022.
According to Carmack, who finds Bosworth’s remark “honest and real,” there are other limitations at a company of Meta’s size. Carmack offers some arguments against the closure of Echo VR. It’s because there are some valid internal justifications for doing so. They are as follows:
- A single person for upkeep and neighborhood communication, much as Quake Live has in the past. Although Carmack typically favors cost efficiency, this would probably be a terrible idea for Echo VR. Still, it has enough value.
- A team member with alternative plans might take over the project. Carmack proposes a $10 million rights sale. But a company the size of Meta could face various issues due to such a “spin-off.” Although the move would benefit VR, it would be painful for Meta, who spent “many millions of dollars” to get Ready at Dawn.
- There was a display in the store that read “Unsupported.” Nonetheless, the game’s ending may elicit more rage than a brief passing.
- Also, small developers can publish on Github with a license comment header. That would likely create too many legal and technological problems for Meta.
The shutdown of Echo VR creates a significant concern: what will happen when Meta decides to close some of its VR exclusives? since it offers the end consumer great value? The development of Echo VR, in particular, continued the work done for Echo’s early versions. They were designed with the Oculus Quest and Go headsets in mind. Besides, these were unavailable because Meta/Oculus relied on its more recent products.
Considering the above, it is more complex than one might think to begin playing VR games in 2023. Echo VR may be the first of many upcoming games to be shut down should the business find them unprofitable. Closed systems, like those of Meta and Oculus, provide customers with a clean and streamlined experience at the cost of media control.
Meanwhile, followers of Echo VR can only believe that Ready at Dawn has a major surprise in store. At least Bosworth gave the impression that millions of gamers, not tens of thousands, could play the studio’s new, untitled project.