In the Echo Arena update this week a blocked off section of the new lobby says ‘Echo Combat – Under Construction’, suggesting that the upcoming zero-G VR FPS would remain an expansion of Echo Arena rather than a separate game. Oculus has indeed affirmed this is the case, and says to expect more details at E3 in June.

Echo Arena is one of the Rift’s most acclaimed multiplayer games, and fans have been anticipating the upcoming Echo Combat, which is planned to be an FPS take on Echo Arena’s signature zero-G locomotion. Oculus first teased Echo Combat in October 2017, but has remained tight lipped since.

An update to Echo Arena launched earlier this week totally revamped the game’s social lobby, and also included a huge new section that’s currently cordoned off with a sign that reads: ‘Echo Arena – Under Construction.’

While Oculus had described Echo Combat as an “expansion” of Echo Arena when it was first announced, it wasn’t until the next month that news broke that Echo Arena would become permanently free, at which point it became unclear if Echo Combat would would remain as an expansion (and thus free), or if it would be made into its own paid experience as an offshoot of Echo Arena.

An Oculus spokesperson today told Road to VR that Echo Combat will indeed remain as an expansion to Echo Arena and players will launch into matches from the shared lobby space. That’s good news because it means that players are almost certain to be getting that new content for free, thanks to Echo Arena having been made free back in November.

Exclusive: Designing 'Lone Echo' & 'Echo Arena’s' Virtual Touchscreen Interfaces

The spokesperson also said that players can expect to hear more about Echo Combat at E3, the annual games industry event held this year from June 12th–14th. Road to VR will be on the scene.

Back during the 2017 announcement of Echo Combat, Oculus had also teased that developer Ready at Dawn is working on the next chapter of Lone Echo, the critically acclaimed single-player sibling of Echo Arena. At the time the company said to “wait for a big announcement shortly,” but more than six months later there’s been no followup. Thus, we’re expecting to also hear more about what’s next for Lone Echo at E3 in June.

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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."
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  • twattermaster

    I love what RAD is doing with Echo series. New lobby is absolutely amazing, surpassed my expectations in how to make Echo Arena better experience. Add to that it will now be shared with Echo Combat where everybody could meet before choosing to play together one of the games variants. Also Lone Echo expansion -> take my money!

    • HomosDeusVR

      Totally agree. Lone Echo is the best VR game yet.

      • twattermaster

        Since Echo Arena (beta) release my usual VR gaming session consists of around 90% Echo Arena and 10% other VR games. If they would to shut it down I would have to go on rehab lol. I just can’t wait until Echo Combat…

  • Luke

    I hope for Lone Echo italian localisation!

  • PJ

    Lone Echo is jaw droppingly incredible, I can’t help but talk about it all the time to friends when we’re discussing games, one of the best games I have played.
    Yet strangely I couldn’t get into Echo Arena, I enjoyed it, but it didn’t pull me in, still looking forward to Combat

  • Joe Hendrey

    I’m not sure why you would assume an expansion to a free game is also likely to be free. I would be surprised. Although maybe they would make it “free” with the purchase of the new single player chapter