With an initial release date set for 2019, Oculus told us last year that the highly anticipated Lone Echo II had been delayed to Q1 2020. Earlier this year developer Ready at Dawn said the game’s development was “significantly impacted” by the Coronavirus pandemic, but still expected to ship in 2020. With three weeks remaining in the year and no release in sight, Q1 2021 looks like the earliest we’re likely to see the game.

Update (December 7th, 2020): While the Coronavirus pandemic threw a wrench into just about everybody’s gears this year, it wasn’t the only major disruption for developer Ready at Dawn. Two months after announcing that it still expected to launch Lone Echo II in 2020, the 17 year old studio unexpectedly announced it had been acquired by Facebook.

The entire studio staff was said to be part of the deal, which could have made for a reasonably smooth transition. However, we’ve heard almost nothing about Lone Echo II from the studio since. The studio has been occupied to some extent with porting Echo VR (a multiplayer spin-off of Lone Echo) to Oculus Quest, though that work was ostensibly completed by August.

Since then we’ve seen the release of the Quest 2, and the announcement that Facebook plans to discontinue the Rift product line in early 2021. With Facebook’s sharpened focus on its standalone headsets—and new ownership of the studio behind the project—one plausible explanation for the extended delay is that Lone Echo II is now being developed for simultaneous release on Quest in addition to Rift. However this remains speculation for now.

Update (April 30th, 2020): While the once-delayed Q1 2020 release window for Lone Echo II had quietly come and gone, developer Ready at Dawn today acknowledged the additional delay, saying that development of the game has been hampered by the need to adopt to a studio-wide work from home policy.

In the last several weeks, we’ve all had to adapt to a new reality. Here at Ready At Dawn, we switched from the day-to-day collaboration of working in the studio, to everyone working from home. Since mid-March, we’ve had to find ways to reconnect and no method has been more impactful and effective for us than VR. As work progresses on our games, this new reality and dynamic has caused us to rethink some of our game development methodology. Development on Lone Echo II has been greatly impacted.

The studio still expects the game to launch in 2020, and is promising to share “more news on Lone Echo II very soon.”

The original article, which overviewed what was known about the game’s delays at the time, continues below.

Original Article (March 18th, 2020): Though GDC 2020 (which would have been held this week) was cancelled, Oculus has still been sharing a smattering of VR news this week. Last year the company told us the game had been delayed to Q1 2020, so we had expected to finally hear more about Lone Echo II this week, but Oculus tells Road to VR that it has no news to share.

With less than two weeks to the end of Q1, Lone Echo II looks certain to be further delayed beyond Q1, though Oculus hasn’t given us any further information on when to expect the game.

Developed by Ready at Dawn, Lone Echo II, is set to launch exclusively on Rift. The game was announced back in 2018 as the followup to one of the most lauded Oculus exclusive titles, Lone Echo (2017).

'Lone Echo II' Roughly 50% Larger Than Its Predecessor, E3 Demo Reveals New Gameplay

Oculus and Ready at Dawn had shown us a polished preview of the game last year at E3 2019, so why the initial delay and now this further delay? It’s hard to say, but we have a few guesses.

For one, the game was announced well before Facebook launched Oculus Quest in May 2019. In the months since then, Facebook seems to have shifted much of its VR focus away from its PC-based Rift and toward the standalone Quest. The company also announced that Ready at Dawn would be bringing Echo Arena—the multiplayer sibling of Lone Echo—to Quest, and this project may have been given higher priority than getting Lone Echo II out the door. Ready at Dawn indicated as much back at the initial delay telling us:

“Today we confirmed that Ready At Dawn is bringing Echo Arena to Quest. In consideration of that project, we decided to push Lone Echo II out to 2020 so that we can give all our attention to that title once [Echo Arena on Quest] is out. We’re taking the time we need to do these titles justice,” Ru Weerasuriya, Ready at Dawn’s CEO and Creative Director, told Road to VR.

With Echo Arena only just reaching the closed testing phase next week, it makes sense that Lone Echo II has yet to launch.

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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."
  • Alextended

    They’ll probably give us an update tomorrow, the last day of their Games Developers Showcase, so why not wait to write the theory until then (even if it’s a no show)?

    • benz145

      Because we asked them and they told us there was no news on the game to share this week.

  • Gonzax

    It’s pretty clear Oculus doesn’t give a shit about PCVR anymore.

    • PJ

      It’s as clear as frosted glass

    • GOAT42

      why would the? every time they make a vr headset people just buy there games on steam, there making little to no profit by selling pc only vr cause evryone use steam to buy their games

      • MeowMix

        Bingo. The PCVR crowd (especially Rift/RiftS owners) made their decision by buying on STEAM which forced Oculus/FB to move to a market they could survive in. Fortunately for us, the Quest2 can do PCVR very competently (90hz, I’m running 2200×2200 screen resolution which just looks so much sharper than my RiftS); and the standalone features are a huge bonus !

        I’m honestly impressed Oculus were able to accomplish all this on a single USB 3 cable; pretty amazing. No longer do we need to shell out $60+ for a replacement PCVR headset cable, when a $20 USB cable does the trick

        • NukeDukem

          standalone is the main feature of the quest 2 lol

      • Gonzax

        And reasonably so. Why would they buy on the Oculus store when you can only play those games with a Oculus headset and they are most of the time more expensive than the same game on Steam?

        I used to buy everything on the Oculus store, then bought an Index and found myself having to use a 3rd party app in order to play all the games that I had bought til that moment. If that wasn’t the case I would happily keep buying from Oculus but I don’t like to be forced to use a certain headset, especiall when there are better options somewhere else.

        If people buy on Steam, Oculus is the only one to blame for it. They buy on Steam for the freedom it offers, something you don’t get with Oculus, let alone with the recent Facebook login requirements.

        I also have a Quest 2, mind you, and I love it, but it’s Oculus that made me move to Steam with their limitations.

      • shadow9d9

        There are over 20 oculus exclusives thay aren’t on steam, and they are of high quality, unlike most on steam. Facebook is currently pretty much the only company throwing money at vr game development.

  • mfx

    I think that it’s after they saw/tried HF:A, they might face some new higher expectations levels, leading to reworking some stuff.

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  • PJ

    As long as the game is the best it can be, I’m happy to wait

  • Stark Reality

    I suspect this has more to do with not wanting to compeat with Alyx or even a BIG pancake game like Doom

    • TechPassion

      There will be more aaa games in the next years so competition will be more tough. I think there is place for many many games in VR. People would buy this and that and…that as well. No a problem.

      • shadow9d9

        “AAA” just means big companies throwing money and people at a game rather than passion. It translates to bloat and sterile games.

  • Кирилл Alto

    I’m just happy that the game is in development. And when the development ends, it doesn’t really matter.

    • TechPassion

      Duke Nukem re-make was crap after 16 years :) Just saying.

      • Jistuce

        I don’t think there’s ever been a Duke Nukem remake.

        You might be thinking of Duke Nukem Forever, which was a sequel(and the fourth mainline game in the series).

      • Jonathan Winters III

        Not crap to me – it was very enjoyable. To each his own.

    • gothicvillas

      What if it ends in 100 years? I know I’m stretching, but it does matter a bit when development ends :)

  • TheOrangeMatty

    Loved the first game I can’t wait for the sequel…

  • wheeler

    I can only imagine that their resources have been moved to something Quest 2 related. Hard to tell if that’s a standalonization of LE2 itself, a port of LE1, or something else entirely.

    Btw, while I really wish there were a way to separate the comments out into sections pertaining to different revisions of the article, an interesting benefit of these updated articles is that you can see how well or poorly some comments have aged.

  • Pablo C

    We already know it will be best played in a non-Oculus headset.

    • MeowMix

      Not so fast. The Quest2+Link can perform PCVR at a very high level (90hz, max default render of ~2700×2700). I too was skeptical until I tried it. Now I have the full power of a RTX 3080 pushing my base default render resolution of 2200×2200; and it looks great !

      • Gonzax

        Even via VD I have to admit the Quest 2 is a very amazing headset for PCVR. I own an Index and Q2 and though I still think the Index is better overall the Q2 is the one I’d recommend to new users without a doubt, it’s a pretty impressive headset.
        If a future Q3 offers a big FOV and decent audio that will be my only headset for the future.

        • Pablo C

          Good to know, but I think the fact stands for now (we´ll check Q3 vs HPRV3/Index2 in about 2 years).

      • Pablo C

        Which other HMD are you comparing it to? Which other do you own?

    • jimmy

      wtf you talking about shit face

      • Pablo C

        Fanboys already? a certain point for Facebook!

        • martin

          thats one of the worrying signs of VR getting bigger, theres going to be more unpleasant people in the community.

  • I just hope they don’t do a downgrade in order to make it run on a standalone Quest 2. Proper PC version that can be played on other headsets as well is what i want.

    • johann jensson

      Keep dreaming. FB is a lost cause.

  • It is being delayed to the 20never

  • johann jensson

    I’m glad that i left VR for now. What a mess.

  • David Cook

    what a joke.. original was designed for the rift and to be run on a pc… now it has to port to the quest and quest 2… It CAN”T be the game it was.. and that’s the delay… they have to invent shit to appease FB and port it to their social media platform (q2)if it was originally scheduled for q1, covid would have virtually no effect on dev and production.. this is all FB bull..FYI..before you start bashing me, I own Rift, Go, Q1 & Q2 I only bought the Q2 with anticipation of Lone echo being released shortly thereafter…