A group called Fight for Echo has purchased a sky banner in support of the ill-fated VR game.
It was recently announced that the popular VR esports game Echo VR will be shutting down on August 1st, 2023 at 10:00 am PST, much to the dismay of the VR community. Originally launched back in 2017 on Oculus Rift, Ready at Dawn’s zero-g sports game has served as a staple for competitive VR experiences for the past six years.
The news hit hard among players, so much so that one group, Fight for Echo, took it upon itself to purchase a sky banner encouraging Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg not to shut down the beloved VR game. The message, which read “ZUCK, DONT KILL VR ESPORTS FIGHTFORECHO.COM,” circled the skies above Meta headquarters in Menlo Park for three hours yesterday, March 1st, 2023. The group even hosted a live stream that garnered about 3,000 viewers.
“This event is a plea to Mark Zuckerberg to reverse Boz’s decision to shut down one of the most popular and well-loved VR games in history,” said Duncan Carroll of Fight for Echo, in an official release. “The community believes that Echo VR is not just an e-sport, it’s a part of gaming history.”
“Echo was a landmark in VR and therefore in gaming as a whole,” said Carroll while speaking to VRScout. “It was the first popular VR game to really solve the locomotion problem in VR, and when you put on your headset you truly felt like you were stepping into another world complete with its own physics. People talk about “presence” a lot in VR, and Echo VR just nailed it.”
“When you’re in a space like that, your brain really believes it’s real, so it’s assigning real-world importance to it just as if it was a real, physical place with real people,” added Carroll. “So when Meta announced they were shutting it all down, it felt less like they were taking away a game, and more like they were taking away my home. And I know a lot of other players feel this way too. I do feel this is unique to VR, and it’s going to be something that companies like Meta need to find a better way to handle moving forward.”
Echo Arena is available to download and play on Quest, Quest 2, Quest Pro, Rift, and Rift S headsets now until August 1st, 2023 at 10:00 am PST. For more information on the Fight for Echo initiative visit fightforecho.org.
Feature Image Credit: Duncan Carroll (Fight for Echo)