If you’ve been following the Oculus Rift saga since the beginning, you’ll recall that Hawken (2012, Meteor/Adhesive) was said by the developers to have Oculus Rift support as of the open beta launch on December 12, 2012 — even before the Oculus Rift would start shipping to Kickstarter backers. Many months later, the VR community was left wondering what happened to the project when it failed to materialize. Now, Oculus tells Road to VR that the project is still in the works, and reveals the unfortunate reason for its delay.
Having played a build of Hawken with Oculus Rift support at GDC 2013, it seemed that the time was near for a release, even if they didn’t launch with support on the aforementioned date of 12/12/12. Shortly thereafter, the community wondered along with us what happened to the Hawken Oculus Rift project, but in the last few months, most questions of it have ceased.
Yesterday I reached out to Oculus one last time to ask what happened to the project. Several times in the past we’d reached out to both Oculus and Meteor/Adhesive, but never heard back. Here is their response in full:
Our close, late friend Andrew Reisse was our lead Unreal developer, and led the Rift integration for Hawken VR. His tragic passing set us back.
The teams at Adhesive and Meteor have been fantastic (including helping us pull off an awesome Hawken VR showing at GDC), but the project is very much a collaboration and Oculus’s efficiency has slowed without Andrew’s talents. Senior engineers on both sides (Oculus + Hawken) are still working on Hawken VR, it’s just taking longer than expected.
We’d like to thank everyone for their patience. Hawken VR is coming — Stay tuned.
Reisse was “a lead on the Oculus SDK, the Unreal Engine integration, Hawken VR, and nearly every demo we’ve shown since the company inception,” wrote Oculus in a post on their official blog after Reisse’s passing.
In addition to setting up a memorial fund and scholarship in honor of Reisse, he was commemorated by Oculus in the Unreal Engine 4 ‘Oculus Elemental Demo’, one of his final projects, which was shown at E3 2013.
Oculus also wrote that Reisse’s code “is embedded in thousands of games played by millions of people around the world.” When Hawken VR arrives, let’s not forget Reisse and his contribution to gaming.