Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond (2020) was set to be the storied franchise’s first big push into virtual reality when it launched in late 2020, offering up some of its characteristic WWII combat missions alongside what hoped to be a robust online multiplayer. Now, less than three years since launch, EA’s Respawn Entertainment say they’re pulling the plug on multiplayer.

Arguably the best part of Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond was its online multiplayer, but that’s going to change before year’s end. The developers quietly posted this message on the game’s Quest page, appended above its original description:

“Multiplayer will be unavailable starting on December 1, 2023.”

The studio hasn’t provided any reasoning beyond the short message, although it’s fairly clear why the developers don’t want to pay for server space anymore. The well-funded and much hyped Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond suffered a pretty rocky launch, and never managed to gain the sort of sustained support either the developer Respawn Entertainment or Meta’s in-house publisher Oculus Studios were aiming for.

Originally released on the Oculus PC platform and SteamVR headsets back in December 2020, EA’s Respawn Entertainment was hoping to make a splash with its first VR-exclusive entry into the franchise, having worked on the WWII shooter for three years before launch. At $60 on PC VR when it first released, requiring a massive 180GB to install, expectations were set for what promised to be a true ‘AAA’ VR shooter. Alas, the game suffered from a host of issues at launch, which ranged from usability to gameplay polish, essentially rendering it a costly flop.

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Still, Respawn and Meta (then Facebook) pushed through the game’s middling launch on PC VR by slimming down the game to fit on Quest 2, offering up its eight-hour campaign and online multiplayer to a wider audience a year after it launched on Rift and Steam. In an effort to win back good will, the studio even reduced the price to $40 and slimmed down the file size on Quest to fit on the headset’s 64GB variant.

That said, you probably still won’t see a lot of love for Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond—certainly not on the scale of the now dearly departed Echo VR, Meta’s own VR sports game which was shuttered earlier this month. Medal of Honor VR’s last update was in late 2021, basically showing the studio abandoned the game long before it decided to shut down servers just short of its three-year anniversary since launch.

While this isn’t the first MoH title to see the axe, it is the youngest among the group. EA deprecated online support for a number of MoH titles in February 2023, including Medal of Honor (2010), Medal of Honor: Warfighter (2012) and Medal of Honor: Airborne (2007)—all of which benefitted from wide support across PC, Xbox and PS consoles throughout their tenure.

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 3,500 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • Nevets

    Would be great if the forthcoming (I reckon) GTA San Andreas has a multiplayer mode. That would at least partially explain the claim Meta made that the devs have spent years working on the game.

  • JanO

    I sorely miss the good old days… You know, when you actually onwed the games you bought and could host a game server on your own…

    • ViRGiN

      Existence of Steam basically killed such idea, as well as modding tools.

      • LMAO

        Ignorant troll alert!

        • Captain Dunbrody

          Just block him, everyone else see his presence merely as Content Unavailable.

    • Agreed. What the heck ever happened that game publishers now think it’s ok to just not allow people to host their own servers? echo and now this, what the heck

    • xyzs

      What happened is that we went from PC programs philosophy to Android/iPhone App philosophy…
      The smartphone ecosystems have been created from the ground up to cancel the PC (win/mac/linux) ecosystems and remove the freedom tech companies no longer wanted to leave to the users, like owning a license, modifying software files, no constraints regarding updates, improving and modding the programs etc.

      It ‘s much more lucrative to lock users in a controlling platform with a monopolistic store where the only unlocked feature is your credit card automatic payments.

      • Sven Viking

        I don’t disagree, although the shift away from player-hosted dedicated servers began earlier with consoles.

  • Rudl Za Vedno

    Sad state of SteamVR platform in general nowdays. While Meta is focusing on kids after Horizons PR disaster, we PCVR gamers are left in a desert hopefully not to die, but it sure feels like it. I’ve got a really bad feeling that PCVR has fallen in hybernation again and it won’t be woken up anytime soon :(

    • gothicvillas

      I have the same feeling. My hopes were on PSVR2 but now it seems the VR bleakness have spread on all platforms, psvr2 included.

      • Hussain X

        if PSVR2 doesn’t announce a first party PSVR2 title by Christmas, I may get also get the same feeling.

        • ApocalypseShadow

          Sony is publishing it. There’s your first party title after GT7, Horizon and most likely supported Capcom in launching RE8.

          Internal team games will come after.

    • Hussain X

      These kids will turn into future VR gaming adults in 6 to 8 years. Meta may have abandoned pcvr funding as you say, but you forgot to say so has Valve, which is much worse. When Meta’s heavily funded MOH VR sells multiples times more on Steam than on Rift (where it’s cross buy too), despite more than half of headsets on Steam being Meta subsidised headsets, then of course Meta will lose interest funding any more pcvr content. PCVR gamers voted Steam as the main platform, and President Valve abandons them just as quickly as it won the easy votes. Much worse than Meta abandoning them which tried much harder to win PCVR votes. I still remember Meta paying Codemasters to develop VR mode for Dirt Rally 2 in the later days when Valve still couldn’t do a deal to get ready made RE7 VR over from PSVR despite selling flat version.

      Plus when pcvr games like Cooking Simulator VR get significantly better returns on devs’ investment over something risky like MOH VR (based on a well known franchise), why will other devs take on risky pcvr projects? So what MOH VR wasn’t perfect and didn’t meet the high expectations. It was still a really good game compared to what’s out there and offered a lot more than some simple VR games. When MOH VR isn’t given a chance, why will other devs take on more risky pcvr projects? Even Hitman 3 PCVR got slated ending hopes of further hybrid AAA PCVR titles (hybrid games which over time could’ve turned into proper VR ports like RE 8 VR on PSVR2).

      • ViRGiN

        He didn’t forget to mention valve. As a pcvr elitist, saying anything bad about valve is like asking for knuckle sandwich.

        People do not want to believe a simple fact that steam deck generates more sales per day than steamvr since 2016 combined.

    • ViRGiN

      Pcvr has been dead for long, and apparently main use case of vr isn’t strcite gaming, but virtual fitness.

      • LMAO

        Ignorant troll alert!.

  • Naruto Uzumaki

    160 gb game i bet they lost lots of money

  • Dragon Marble

    This is why we will not get AAA games. How can any studio still want to touch VR after stories like this. The VR crowd are extremely hard to please. Some carry unrealistic expectations from traditional gaming, others insist that every object can be picked up for it to be VR worthy. They expect the studios to just throw money at a tiny niche market while they are outraged at a $60 price. Never mind VR is still new; people just expect perfect AAA games to be there.

    So, instead of being rewarded for being the first of its kind, MoH got review bombed. But it’s one of the best on the Meta store. Yes, things can always be improved. But I love MoH because there’s nothing else like it. Other FPS are either wave shooters or online only. None has such a rich campaign, variety of game play, and many memorable set pieces. The only thing that comes to mind that is the same caliber as MoH is RE4.

    • I agree.. I enjoyed the game very much. Would have been fun to play that as a co-op with friends in your squad.

      As far as AAA titles.. I get why the VR community wants it so bad.. after playing flat-screen games and watching them improve overtime and then jumping into VR and taking a hit on graphics, it gets tough. You can deal with it for a time.

      Regardless, I’m pretty much just a VR player now. I have a hard time going back to flat games. It’s a shame that MoH didn’t get more love.. I played it all the way through and had a blast.But I think the tech has to catchup before games can truly get better.

      However with that said, I have seen some impressive PCVR titles from single person studios. That Vertigo game is impressive to be one person building it.

      • LMAO

        Well said.

    • Hussain X

      Totally agree. Similar points I made elsewhere on this comment section.

    • Ben Lang

      I don’t think blaming the audience for not liking the product is the right way to think about this.

      • Dragon Marble

        That’s the only way. If we want AAA games now instead of maybe 10 years later, VR needs a reset. The audience need to recalibrate their expectations, both in price and certain aspects of the games. Throw away the baggage from flat gaming. When the industry hasn’t even settled on a agreement on what work best in VR, we need to be more tolerant of minor gripes. While it remains a niche (and by extension a luxury), we need to be willing to pay more! Otherwise big studios will not develop for VR. It’s a free market.

        By the way, I don’t think people actually hate this game. They just like to vent their minor frustrations after spending $60.

        • JanO

          With evermore powerful tools at their disposal, developers should rather become more efficient and games prices should decrease. I think you drink the capitalist kool-aid a bit too easily.

        • Christian Schildwaechter

          The audience need to recalibrate their expectations, both in price and certain aspects of the games.

          They already have recalibrated their expectations. No AAA length, no long campaigns, instead easily consumable smaller experiences that emphasize the physical aspects of VR and do not try to be VR versions of what people play on flatscreens.

          From the Top 20 lists posted three days ago:

          Best rated:
          1. We Are One
          2. The Room VR: A Dark Matter
          3. Moss: Book II
          4. Puzzling Places
          5. Walkabout Mini Golf
          6. I Expect You To Die 2
          7. Swarm 4.81
          8. Vermillion – VR Painting
          9. I Expect You To Die
          10. COMPOUND

          Most new ratings ~ most selling:
          1. GOLF+
          2. Blade & Sorcery: Nomad
          3. BONELAB
          4. Beat Saber
          5. Among Us VR
          6. Five Nights at Freddy’s: Help Wanted
          7. Into the Radius
          8. Walkabout Mini Golf
          9. Job Simulator
          10. The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners

          The only titles at USD 40 are BONELAB and The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners, everything else is USD 30 and less, with most of the highest rated games at USD 20.

          If we want AAA games now instead of maybe 10 years later, VR needs a reset.

          Or, alternatively, recognize that AAA games are not the only valid games, and that the chances to get some developed for VR are rather slim. USD 60 or 70 is now the price for a AAA selling (tens of) millions of units, so with VR unit sales being less than 10% of that, USD 60 cannot pay for the same type of production, even if users were willing to pay it. So until there are way more actively buying VR users out there, it’s would be more like get AAA for USD 120 or AA+ for USD 60.

          As you said, it’s a free market. Users play what they like and pay what they consider appropriate, developers produce what will be sold. The audience has already recalibrated expectations, both in price and certain aspects of the games, as have developers.

          The VR crowd are extremely hard to please. Some carry unrealistic expectations from traditional gaming, …

          Indeed. They keep insisting that VR absolutely needs AAA style games, and demand that those that are making the best of the situation and obviously really enjoy the already existing games should instead pay much higher prices and buy games featuring longer campaigns instead, so other developers may be motivated to create more of these.

          But maybe Puzzling Place and Walkabout Mini Golf get those very high ratings compared to MoH, because they are already great VR games that people already enjoy and that make enough money for the developers to release tons of DLC or successors. Looking at sales there already is a sustainable market for A/AA games that sell way better than the few highly subsidized AAA titles, decided by majority vote/wallet. I can guarantee that recalibrating the expectations towards what actually already works has both a much higher chance of satisfaction and actually happening than expecting others to subsidize the development of the type of games you want while not getting the same quality for quite some time.

          AAA will come when the market has grown large enough to pay for AAA, but not before. And the few AAA releases we saw didn’t seriously impact user numbers (with the sole exception being HL:A), so subsidizing AAA development to quickly grow the user base has basically already failed as a concept.

          • Dragon Marble

            AAA VR games could be the Porsche limited edition in the gaming world. It has missed that opportunity now because the initial prices were set based on terribly miscalculated market expectations. When consumer expectation of cheap prices sets in, it becomes very hard to get out of it.

          • Dragon Marble

            You estimate sounds about right. Set AAA VR price at $120. I am sure there are buyers, and no one needs to subsidize anyone. Both long and short games can coexist. That’s a much healthier situation than right now, where no one gets to play AAA games.

          • patfish

            It didn’t failed! :D …It only would have needed more investments 1:1 like Meta does it with mobile VR since 2020. HL:Alyx has sold 2 Million copy’s only in 2020 and with it a lot of new PCVR Headsets …if we would have got ever ~3 month from there on a single AAA Game we would have already way bigger VR player base than now, 20 new AAA VR Titels and it would have cost only a 1/3 of the cost that Mata has already put im mobile VR. And the best thing would be Meta could have taken all that AAA on a mobile platform when VR Clousldstreaming is a working thing <3 . Low-End VR Gaming will never get big because nearly no one is willing to pay 600€ to play such games in VR. We have no to wait until VR Clouscomouting is a working thing and than VR Gaming will grow again to a big thing – sadly that will need another ~6 years

      • JanO

        I always thought flat screen AAA titles would just start by including a simple VR view implementation as an option, at least on PC… I still have fond memories of playing Half-life on my DK2 in the early days, when Valve & Oculus were still “friends”… Even just with mouse & keyboard, it was still waaayyy more immersive.

        The sad thing is that the VR community itself is both very vocal & badly divided and the few games that have done this have been review bombed… So in a sense the audience might have a part of the blame… See Grid Legends’ reception on Quest…

        But in the end, we all know It’s just about money/return on investment.

        • That IS the final arbiter, yes.

      • Dragon Marble

        @benz145:disqus , I hope you can write an article about this. It’s a much bigger topic than people’s opinion about one game. Howe do we get AAA games? Markets are typically very efficient in finding the right middle ground, a price point both profitable for the studios and acceptable for the gamers. How did we end up having this unbridgeable gap for VR games?

        I have some thoughts. When consumer VR first came out, people though it would blow up. So the first high-budge VR developers set their prices using flat games as benchmark. They knew that wasn’t profitable then, but the believed it would be soon.

        Now we know the reality. VR will continue to be a niche for a foreseeable future. The problem is, consumers have come to expect a VR game to cost about the same a flat game. Now it becomes almost impossible for the studios to increase prices, so the biggest ones simply leave the market. That is a terrible situation for nascent industry. How do we get out of this?

        People tend to believe cheaper is always better for consumers. But price competition can develop into a downward spiral and kill a new industry before it has chance. It happened before.

        • ApocalypseShadow

          I think Sony has figured it out somewhat without actually coming out and saying so. The industry just has to follow that lead.

          PSVR got a decent amount of games but not a lot of big AAA releases. Games like Skyrim, Hitman, Borderlands, GT Sport, RE7, Star Wars Squadrons, Wipeout, Dirt Rally, Doom, etc were great and fit the bill. It just could have gotten more. There were a lot of great indie games or VR specific versions of main games. Only, gamers wanted more AAA. So how can both be accomplished without a developer spending through the nose? More Hybrid Games.

          Sony will still get its share of indie games and spin offs based on main games on PS VR 2. Only, I think more hybrids are coming and in higher fidelity than what PSVR could ever accomplish. Right off the bat, Sony’s headset gets GT7 and RE8 which are hybrids. RE4 Remake coming out is a hybrid. Games like NMS update are hybrids.

          The only way for developers to not lose money until VR grows from niche to standard play is by going in this direction and having funding behind it. Which I think Sony helps companies like Capcom in the background.

          PC can also do it too but I think there’s not really a lot of big develop support. Just Mods. It may get games like Assetto Corsa, F1 or FS. But more is needed there too. Which leads to cross platform development across console and PC to soften the blow for a developer if a game doesn’t do well in VR. That game will still get flat game sales.

          Quest might be generating a lot for indie developers making these small games on small budgets. But that’s not enough to hold gamers interest. Which is why there’s a low retention level with the headset. Bite sized snacks only go so far until you want a real meal. Which is why there are many that bought the headset to use on PC over Index. It’s cheaper to buy. But allows you to play bigger games Quest 2 can’t handle.

          Hopefully, Quest 3 has enough power to at least be somewhere between PS4 1.8 teraflops and PS4 Pro. With a CPU that can crunch some numbers for physics and more objects onscreen while having advanced shaders. Then, we’ll all get cross platform releases of full games that were flat but now can be played in VR. VR gamers will rejoice by having more, bigger games. And flat gamers will see that they have a path to more immersion with the same game they purchased already.

          We’ll just have to see how things go.

    • Chris Meeks

      My parents bought the Atari 2600 Pacman in ’82 for $40.

  • wheeler

    The comments here are truly sad. Rather than accepting that the product/service was just bad, we’ve resorted to blaming the consumers themselves. It’s not like there haven’t been AAA VR efforts that were extremely well received by consumers. Perhaps one that had to live up to higher expectations than any other game in the medium…

    If the big corps become weary of subsidizing VR altogether and it just becomes another accessory or niche socialization tool, will the commenters here also blame the consumer for VR’s “failure”?

  • It is sadly a badly executed VR game nonetheless.

  • Chris

    MoH is like a small Christmas present boxed inside a much larger Christmas present. The name, presentation, and cutscenes fill you with expectations of a great war shooter, but the scenarios are a bit small and unimaginative. Some feel like they are on rails. the boundaries are small and the scenarios feel crusty and dated.

    If studios don’t want to fund long story-based FPS campaigns going forward, that’s fine imo as VR modders are filling those gaps and stepping up where studios are failing… Half Life 1 + 2 series mods are fantastic – long, story-based campaign shooters fully realized for VR you can get lost in. RE mods similar. More engines being worked on all the time.

    • Dragon Marble

      That’s what I call flat game baggage. You are measuring a VR game against traditional gaming standards. If you think MoH is “small”, show me a built-for-VR game that is bigger.

      I played RE2 and RE7 in VR; it’s not the real thing. I’ll choose most of the standalone VR games before any mod.

    • Jonathan Winters III

      But you’re missing the point – MOH has the MOH flavor. This is not Call of Duty, or anything else. If you don’t like that flavor, no problem.

  • Jonathan Winters III

    WOW – the article’s writer sure isn’t hiding his hate-on for the game – which is actually an excellent game.

  • Well, I guess no one is surprised by this news

  • Lulu Vi Britannia

    I’ll say it again, and I’ll say it no matter who it aims: FUCK WHOEVER THINKS THIS PRACTICE IS OK.

    It IS possible to host servers locally, as long as the program allows it. A game’s multiplayer DOES NOT have to close, if the developers were not fucking stupid and actually cared about the customers that pay them. It costs NOTHING to have a built-in LAN server creation system.

    But hey, what did I expect from a company that thought a game that weights 180GB would sell?

    I hate this industry, ffs…