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Facebook acquires Lone Echo VR game maker Ready At Dawn

Facebook has acquired Ready At Dawn Studios, the maker of the Lone Echo series of virtual reality games as well as console games like The Order: 1888.

The deal comes the same day that Facebook Gaming said it would accept transfers of streamers and viewers after Microsoft said it would shut down its Mixer livestreaming service on July 22. Taken together, both moves show that Facebook is committed to providing social networking for gamers and VR games on the Oculus VR headsets.

Mike Verdu, the vice president of AR/VR content at Facebook, announced the deal today in a blog post. He said that Ready At Dawn’s storytelling and innovation DNA were on full display in Lone Echo and set the standard for VR narrative adventure, showcasing how virtual reality offers players more immersive, memorable, and emotionally charged experiences.

Ready At Dawn has been a big advocate of VR and Facebook’s Oculus platform. Irvine, California-based Ready At Dawn started out in console games and shipped Sony’s 2015 alternate history shooter The Order: 1888. But when Facebook acquired Oculus and launched the Rift VR headset, Ready At Dawn dove into VR.

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As part of Oculus Studios, Ready At Dawn will continue creating making VR content for gamers as an independently operated studio. Oculus Studios has also acquired Beat Games, maker of Beat Saber, and Sanzaru Games, maker of Asgard’s Wrath.

And Ready At Dawn is still working on Lone Echo II. In addition to making good VR games, the studio has shown a deft hand with VR movement mechanics with the debut of Ready At Dawn’s locomotion system and full-body IK (inverse kinematics).

In a tweet, Ready At Dawn CEO and creative director Ru Weerasuriya said, “Nearly 17 years ago, we embarked on a journey to build a game studio. Along the way, we innovated on genres, experiences, games and platforms. Today, we’re excited to join the Facebook family as we open a new chapter in our story and continue to pursue our passions #WeAreRAD.”

The studio has made three titles for the Oculus Platform: Lone Echo, Echo Arena, and Echo Combat. I played those games and really liked how the company’s mastered movement in zero gravity in space without making you (or at least many VR fans) fell nauseated.

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