MARVEL Powers United VR (2018) and other Oculus Rift exclusives developed by Sanzaru Games are officially going offline next March.
Marvel Powers United VR, Ripcoil (2016), and VR Sports Challenge (2016) are no longer available for purchase or download, however Oculus says current owners can continue playing through March 1st, 2021.
After that date, the company tells Road to VR that it’s making the entirety of Marvel Powers United VR and Ripcoil inaccessible, which also includes any single-player content. Oculus suggests uninstalling the games afterwards “to avoid dead space taken up on your device.” It’s uncertain if the same is true for VR Sports Challenge, as it’s a single-player collection of minigames with no online play component.
If you purchased any of those games, it’s important to note that refunds are not automatic. Users need to reach out to Oculus Customer Support to specifically request a refund for the games.
Update (December 2nd, 2020 – 5:49PM ET): Facebook reached out to clarify that refunds are only available to customers who have purchased within six months of the refund request.
Marvel Powers United VR was no doubt one of the most expensive games to secure as a Rift exclusive—it was featured in the original Rift’s first retail bundle back in 2018—so the decision to take it offline and refund its users couldn’t have been an easy one to make. Considering how the game was rated at launch though, having received middling scores across Metacritic and the Oculus Store itself, it seems the game suffered from the same ailment as all mediocre online VR games, namely inconsistent concurrent user numbers. You could chalk it up to its overall gameplay loop; it was essentially just a super hero-flavored wave shooter.
And like a self-fulfilling prophecy, when user numbers are consistently low, people tend to not stick around for long before writing off a game entirely. It’s notoriously tough to lure players back once the damage is done and initial opinions are formed, even after multiple updates and rebalances.
Ripcoil was one of Sanzaru’s first VR games, arriving alongside VR Sports Challenge (2016) for the launch of Oculus Touch back in December 2016. Ripcoil is a futuristic VR sports game that is a bit like Pong, albeit it in the first person. It’s been long criticized in user reviews as being essentially dead though, and also features a questionably uncomfortable sliding locomotion scheme which may have turned off a good percentage of players from the get-go.
Update (December 2nd, 7:35PM ET): Oculus has confirmed that VR Sports Challenge has also been removed from the store but will continue to be playable indefinitely for existing owners.
In any case, it seems Facebook is cleaning house somewhat following the company’s decision to sunset the Rift hardware platform entirely. Sanzaru Games was acquired by Facebook earlier this year, so purging underperforming first-party Rift content may simply be a cost-savings measure moving forward to a near future dominated by the company’s second standalone headset, Oculus Quest 2.