Facebook and Oculus are offering refunds for a select few of their first-party games, citing low activity and poor sales as factors for their sudden cancellations.
VR users will soon be unable to access Marvel Powers United, Ripcoil and VR Sports Challenge. Updates will also lock the games and make them unplayable for existing owners. This is where Oculus will be giving players a chance to uninstall the game to free them of dead space. Early buyers in the first six months of release will also get a full refund before each game is pulled. Players will have until March 1st, 2021 to enjoy the games until the single player and online experiences are gone (forever). However, users getting refunds would have to specifically contact Oculus Customer Support and prove their eligibility.
One of the more prolific games getting the axe is Marvel Powers United VR. Developed by recently-acquired studio Sanzaru Games. VR players were able to live out their childhood fantasies as heroes from the iconic Marvel franchise in a variety of scenarios. This is where players could become the Avengers, including Captain America, Hawkeye, Hulk, Spider-Man and Black Widow to fight waves of enemies and complete arena-based objectives.
The gameplay imbued players with physical abilities all tailored to each hero, particularly Doctor Strange who could use gesture-based magic or Deadpool’s various ranged weapons hidden across the body. Marvel Powers United VR was one of the games which showed off Sanzaru Games’ prowess for the platform, sparking an acquisition earlier in 2020. The studio would move on to create the successful VR Norse combat game Asgard’s Wrath exclusively for Oculus.
Despite the value of offline single player content in each game, Facebook told Road to VR those would also be removed with everything else. Ripcoil is another game by Sanzaru which was developed in 2016 – the year in which VR was starting to become a growing market for consumers through Rift CV1 and HTC Vive. It touted a Tron-like sports arena, with players bouncing discs at opponents to score points.
The game has also received a mixed reception while its player base shrunk since across the years. The more generically produced VR Sports Challenge was the Wii Sports for VR and gave players a collection of physical minigames. From Tennis, to Basketball, Baseball and Hockey, it was also created by Sanzaru in 2016 as they took a charge for some of the Oculus Touch’s content.
It’s heavily suggested that the Sanzaru acquisition will create a pipeline for new VR games as its older ones are dying off in the Oculus store. Players can still continue enjoying each game until they are completely taken down in March 2021.