Echo VR unofficially returns through a new mod, restoring online matches for the popular zero gravity sports game on PC VR.
Launched in 2017 on Rift before reaching Quest in 2020, Meta shut down Echo VR's servers back in August. Now, online service has been unofficially restored by David ‘Xenomega’ Pokora through the ‘EchoRelay’ mod, supporting both Echo Arena and Echo Combat. However, this only works for the PC VR version and no similar solution currently exists on Quest.
Detailed on the GitHub page, Xenomega calls this a "proof-of-concept" reimplementation designed for educational and research purposes. The modder’s page notes the project is "for educational/research purposes" and its aim "is not to enable unofficial matches for the public", which is standard wording for these kind of mods to avoid legal trouble. The page also encourages the use of a legitimately purchased copy of Echo VR, which has been delisted from the Rift Store.
Meta's decision to close down the servers remains deeply unpopular in the VR community. A petition to save the hit multiplayer VR title soon emerged with over 30,000 signatures, fans protested with an aerial ad over Meta HQ, we witnessed pleas from community members and former Oculus CTO John Carmack also weighed in.
Back in January, Ready at Dawn stated it was moving onto its "next project." We've yet to see what that is, though it's unclear if development was affected by Meta's layoffs in April. A tweet from Senior Engine Programmer Thomas Griebel confirmed 1/3 of the studio was let go and, in a now-deleted post on Twitter we referenced previously, said that was around 40 people.