Meta is shutting down one of its biggest VR games – but only for Quest 1 owners

Around the same time Meta increased the price of its Quest 2 headsets, it also announced that it was ending support for Quest 1 for Population one, a popular Battle Royale shooter set in virtual reality. BigBox VR, the Meta-owned developer behind the game, shared the update in a blog postnoting that owners of Quest 1 will no longer be able to launch or play the game from October 31, 2022.

BigBox VR says the shutdown is necessary so it can focus on developing new experiences “that will push the boundaries of multiplayer virtual reality.” The developers note that you can still play Population: one by air link – a feature that lets you play games wirelessly on your PC from your headset – but that means repurchasing the game on Steam if you haven’t already. Players using Quest 2, Oculus Rift, and Oculus Rift S will still have access to the game.

While Meta is offering Quest 1 owners a refund for Population: one, there’s a catch: you had to have purchased the game from the Quest Store within the last six months. The policy seems a bit unfair for a game that launched on Quest nearly two years ago and will likely leave a number of players with a game they can’t even play (unless, of course, upgrade to Quest now at $399.2 or use Air Link, which requires an expensive VR-ready PC).

Population: oneMeta’s shutdown also raises the question of whether other developers will soon drop support for the three-year-old Quest 1. Meta spokeswoman Caiti Sullivan said in a statement to The edge that the company is “currently working on the details of an ecosystem-wide end-of-support process” and that “other developers who choose to end support for apps on Quest 1 can do it”. Meta declined to comment further when asked if more games will end support for Quest 1 in the near future.

I know games can’t support all older systems forever, but giving a price increase, along with an announcement that will soon leave Quest 1 owners with one less game to play, is like a double punch in the gut. As my colleague Jay Peters points out, Meta could raise the price of the Quest 2, and perhaps even push users towards it, to stem the losses its VR arm has reported both in the first and second quarter of 2022.

About Dorie Castro

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