Service for Echo Arena and Echo Combat will end on August 1st, 2023.
Originally released back in 2017 on Oculus Rift, Echo VR has over the years cemented itself as one of the most popular multiplayer games available on VR headsets. Unfortunately, developed Ready at Dawn and Meta this week announced that they are shutting down the long-running free-to-play experience.
According to an official release, service for both Echo Arena as well as Echo Combat will officially end on August 1st, 2023 at 10am PT. Until then, new and existing players can download and play Echo Arena on Quest, Quest 2, Quest Pro, Rift, and Rift S headsets.
Unfortunately, Echo Combat has already been removed from the store. That said, existing players can still reinstall the game and play until August 1st. The team will continue to support both games until the servers are shut down later this year. Game admins will also be there to manage the community space.
In an effort to soften the blow, the team is dishing out a generous amount of free goodies. This includes all Epic and Superb rarity chassis/booster/bracer sets from the past six seasons, all chassis variants, all previous event awards, and some previously unreleased rewards. For a full list of items, visit here.
“The entire Ready At Dawn team is grateful to each of you for your help in taking Echo Arena from a small passion project to one of the top VR games on the Oculus Store over the last five years,” said the Echo VR team in an official release. “We’ve been absolutely floored to see the community that has grown around Echo and grateful to all the passionate people we’ve been able to meet online, in the arena, and at events.”
“From our humble beginnings with the ESL’s first few tournaments, to the VRML’s multiple massive seasons and other fun leagues, many fond memories have been made over the years,” they added. “Remember throwing snowballs with Sakurabot? How about finding the theremin in the customization room? And no one forgets their first full-court goal! We hope to see you all in our next project and can’t wait to share it with you in the future.”
As for the reasoning behind the shutdown, the official release states: “Ready At Dawn is working on our next project and are consolidating studio support to work on it.”
Moving forward, it’ll be interesting to see which, if any VR games step up to fill the void left by the popular multiplayer experience. Echo Arena has established itself as one of the most popular VR games within the VR esports community. In the past, the game has partnered with organizations such as the VR Master League (VRML) to organize major competitions. Hopefully, we’ll begin to see more VR sports titles step up to the plate.
Image Credit: Ready at Dawn