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End of the Road: What really led to Echo VR Shutdown?

It's the end of an era for virtual reality fans. After six years, Echo VR, a popular multiplayer game, is shutting down its servers this August. This news has come as a shock to many who have been devoted to the game since its launch in 2014. Ready at Dawn and Meta have given their reasons for the shutdown but it still leaves many questions unanswered. What could be so important that it requires them to turn off such a beloved game? Read on to find out more about why Echo VR is being shut down. 

Ready at Dawn and Meta’s plan to shut down Echo VR explained

Ready At Dawn and Meta's plan to shut down Echo VR has been explained through the official press release. The two studios (Echo Arena and Echo Combat) have recently declared that their upcoming project requires more focused attention than they can spare on maintaining Echo Arena and Echo Combat any longer.

In a recent Instagram AMA, John Bosworth answered someone who asked if there was any way Echo VR could remain running. He responded with a clear "No". Bosworth pointed out that despite having a reliable fan base, the decision had to be made as player numbers have " dwindled " to low tens of thousands. He went on to explain that keeping something alive takes dedication and focus which is not worth the return when looked at from an investment standpoint. Furthermore, the resources needed could be put to better use by contributing other products which may benefit those who now have access to virtual reality.

Additionally, Bosworth mentioned that other alternatives were considered such as selling or open-sourcing the game, however, they could have been more realistic in actually achieving their intended goals.

Though there is sadness among many fans due to Echo VR's shutdown, Ready at Dawn and Meta believe they are doing what's best for the now tens of millions of people who are in VR by focusing their attention on their next major project.

John Carmack would not have shut down Echo VR

Recent news that John Carmack was leaving both Meta/Facebook and the virtual reality business overall has been bittersweet for many in the industry. While it is sad to see such a talented mind end his tenure with the company, his departure provides some perspective on current happenings in the VR world.

In particular, this includes recent news that Echo VR - a popular virtual reality game - would shut down in August. Many followers of Carmack have wondered what he would do about this decision were he still at the company.

It seems their musings were answered when Meta CTO Andrew Bosworth confirmed “John would not have shut down Echo VR” in response to questions about Carmack's input on the old decision. This is confirmed further by Bosworth’s blog post 'Theory of Mind' which reveals that even prior to his departure, Carmack had messaged Bosworth regarding this decision.

Ultimately, it seems as if we now have an idea of how John Carmack felt about certain decisions being made within his former company, such as shutting down Echo VR. He routinely set an example as one of virtual reality's most passionate champions and without him around it looks like there are sure to be many changes ahead for both Facebook/Meta and its top VR games.

Final offerings

To lighten the blow of the Echo VR shutdown, the Ready at Dawn team is offering all passionate people of the Echo community an array of in game rewards that will be available until August 1, 2023. All that is required to unlock these rewards is playing just one match of either Echo Combat or Arena.

Players can collect all Epic + Superb rarity chassis/booster/bracer sets from Echo Pass seasons 1–6, with Season 7 rewards to be released at a later date. They can also unlock all Chassis Variants and All non-3D rewards from Echo Pass seasons 1–6, again with Season 7 rewards to be released at a later date.

Additionally, players can collect all Echo Shop items—including the Starter Bundle—and all previous event rewards, and some previously unreleased rewards as well!

The shutdown of Echo VR marks the end of an era for many virtual reality gamers, who have enjoyed the game for six years. It is a sad moment to see such a beloved game come to an end, but it also serves as a reminder that technology and gaming are constantly evolving. With John Carmack's departure from Meta/Facebook, it is interesting to ponder what other changes may be in store for the virtual reality industry. What will be the next big project from Ready at Dawn?

Ready At Dawn will shut down the servers taking Echo Arena and Echo Combat to an end on August 1st, 2023 at 10 PT  Further play is not possible after that.

Thank you for reading!
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