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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.

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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.

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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.

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • Gerald Terveen

    It only shows the importance of Reisse’s work, may he rest in peace.

    I find it interesting, that a lot of the work is done on the site of Oculus VR, I guess getting support for the Oculus in AAA cases is actually implementing support through Oculus VR.
    I admit it is a bit disappointing, in many cases like EVR, GoD Factory or WarThunder the developers implement the support, I was expecting AAA to have the same kind of initiative. But now I wonder how often it actually is that AAAs only agree to let Oculus VR do an implementation. No risk, just a bit of support for Oculus VR developers needed (and of course giving them a bit of access) – in return “maybe” an extra target audience.

    Those 16 Mio will be needed I guess if Oculus is to add support to many AAA titles.

  • zoost

    I guess there’s more to “Rifting” an big title than we thought. Although Valve was pretty successful with “Rifting” their titles. Wonder why Doom 3 was not “Rifted” by JC. Maybe the same reasons?

    • Mageoftheyear

      I believe it had to do with the perspective of the player in the world – meaning that the environment was not built to scale for a VR experience. In simpler terms; doom guy is really really short and it’s a kind of weird feeling because you’re not supposed to be a gun-slinging midget.

      I’m intrigued to find out how comfortable it’ll be to play as a toddler in Krillbite’s upcoming “Among the Sleep.”
      I suspect that the same issue won’t exist due to us believing we are supposed to be small.
      The mind is a funny thing eh?

      Side note: I’ve read every article on Road to Vr since it started but this is my first post.
      So I just wanted to say hello to the community *waves hello…* and give a massive thank you to all the contributors for the awesome work put into this site! :)

      • Ben Lang

        Welcome and thanks for jumping into the conversation!

        • Mageoftheyear

          Thanks Ben! :)