Friday, April 19, 2024
VR&AR

One of Meta’s Most Well-funded VR Games is Shuttering Multiplayer



Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond (2020) was set to be the storied franchise’s first big push into virtual reality when it launched in late 2020, offering up some of its characteristic WWII combat missions alongside what hoped to be a robust online multiplayer. Now, less than three years since launch, EA’s Respawn Entertainment say they’re pulling the plug on multiplayer.

Arguably the best part of Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond was its online multiplayer, but that’s going to change before year’s end. The developers quietly posted this message on the game’s Quest page, appended above its original description:

“Multiplayer will be unavailable starting on December 1, 2023.”

The studio hasn’t provided any reasoning beyond the short message, although it’s fairly clear why the developers don’t want to pay for server space anymore. The well-funded and much hyped Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond suffered a pretty rocky launch, and never managed to gain the sort of sustained support either the developer Respawn Entertainment or Meta’s in-house publisher Oculus Studios were aiming for.

Originally released on the Oculus PC platform and SteamVR headsets back in December 2020, EA’s Respawn Entertainment was hoping to make a splash with its first VR-exclusive entry into the franchise, having worked on the WWII shooter for three years before launch. At $60 on PC VR when it first released, requiring a massive 180GB to install, expectations were set for what promised to be a true ‘AAA’ VR shooter. Alas, the game suffered from a host of issues at launch, which ranged from usability to gameplay polish, essentially rendering it a costly flop.

Still, Respawn and Meta (then Facebook) pushed through the game’s middling launch on PC VR by slimming down the game to fit on Quest 2, offering up its eight-hour campaign and online multiplayer to a wider audience a year after it launched on Rift and Steam. In an effort to win back good will, the studio even reduced the price to $40 and slimmed down the file size on Quest to fit on the headset’s 64GB variant.

That said, you probably still won’t see a lot of love for Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond—certainly not on the scale of the now dearly departed Echo VR, Meta’s own VR sports game which was shuttered earlier this month. Medal of Honor VR’s last update was in late 2021, basically showing the studio abandoned the game long before it decided to shut down servers just short of its three-year anniversary since launch.

While this isn’t the first MoH title to see the axe, it is the youngest among the group. EA deprecated online support for a number of MoH titles in February 2023, including Medal of Honor (2010), Medal of Honor: Warfighter (2012) and Medal of Honor: Airborne (2007)—all of which benefitted from wide support across PC, Xbox and PS consoles throughout their tenure.



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