Meta is killing off two first-party original Oculus Quest launch titles next year.
The company sent out emails to all owners of Bogo and Dead And Buried II on Friday to inform them that these apps will "end services" and "no longer be supported" after 15 March 2024, five years after they launched.
The Meta Quest platform policies require developers to give customers at least 180 days notice before shutting down an app, so this appears to be Meta complying with its own policy.
Meta announced the deprecation of the original Oculus Quest back in January. It stopped releasing feature updates for the headset in February, and will no longer maintain it with security and bug fixes after August 2024. Developers will no longer be able to ship new apps for it after January 2024.
Bogo was a free virtual pet app designed as a demo of Oculus Quest's wireless room scale tracking and hand controllers. It's one of the few VR apps that adapts to the size of your playspace, keeping the interactable area reachable for small rooms while encouraging physical walking for those with larger rooms.
Bernie Yee, a former Meta manager who hired and led the 'Oculus REX' team that developed Bogo (as well as Dreamdeck, Toybox, First Contact, and First Steps), lamented the death of Bogo on X, tagging Meta's CTO Andrew Bosworth to ask that it be preserved on App Lab. Yee was let go in the first wave of layoffs in November last year, alongside multiple of the REX team.
On Reddit, Yee said the initial version of Bogo demoed by Mark Zuckerberg at Oculus Connect 4 was built in just four months. He went on to say that almost none of the original development team are still at Meta, except for the 3D artist and animators. He and others from the REX team founded a new virtual creatures startup called Windup Minds "to follow through on all the product implications that Bogo showed us".
Bogo was built in Unreal Engine with a very old version of the Oculus SDK, and uses the original Oculus Avatar SDK that was replaced almost two years ago by Meta Avatars. The Meta Avatars SDK still isn't available for Unreal Engine though, despite that originally being announced as coming in 2022.
While Meta hasn’t commented on the decision, the use of now-obsolete SDKs and the lack of a team to update the app likely contributed to the decision to kill it, but it's not clear why it couldn't have been demoted to App Lab.
Dead and Buried II on the other hand was a $20 multiplayer shooter - one of the first FPS games available on the Oculus Quest.
It launched with two game modes, a team vs team 'Shootout' and a free-for-all 'Deathmatch'. An update just under a year later added three new modes: a 1vs1 'Quickdraw' mode and two co-op modes, Survival and Horde.
Given Dead and Buried II is a multiplayer title, Meta may be sunsetting so it no longer has to maintain the servers and related online services, as it also did with the much more popular Echo Arena back in August.