Update #3 (12/2/2020, 7:58 PM EST) – Facebook has provided TechRaptor with one final update on the Sanzaru Games situation, specifically regarding the status of VR Sports Challenge.
As VR Sports Challenge is a purely single-player game with no online component, it will remain playable for the customers who have already purchased it. It will continue to remain unavailable for purchase or download from this point forward, though.
Update #2 (12/2/2020, 5:46 PM EST) – Facebook has responded to our request for comment on Marvel Powers United VR, clarifying that single-player gameplay will indeed be unavailable after March 1, 2021.
"MARVEL Powers United VR’s implementation is interwoven with online infrastructure, so we’re unfortunately unable to keep single player up and running," read a portion of Facebook's statement to TechRaptor.
Additionally, Facebook has noted that customers are eligible for a refund up to six months after their initial purchase of the game. The Facebook statement concludes by reminding players to delete the game before March 1, 2021, to avoid any "dead space" being taken up on their storage.
Update – Marvel Powers United VR does not appear to be the only game shutting down on Oculus — Ripcoil and VR Sports Challenge are also being shut down. Thankfully, it seems that customers can get refunds.
Road to VR reports that it got in touch with Oculus and learned that all three games are now unavailable for purchase, but they will be available to play through March 1, 2021. After that date, the single-player of Marvel Powers United VR and Ripcoil will be unavailable; it's not yet clear what will happen with the exclusively single-player game VR Sports Challenge. Gamers who picked up any of these titles will not be getting an automatic refund, but they can contact Oculus support and manually request a refund.
Our original story continues below.
The Oculus exclusive Marvel Powers United VR is reportedly shutting down early next year. It's already been removed from the Oculus Store, but that's not the worst of it — the single-player gameplay might be shutting down, too.
Marvel Powers United VR is a game where Oculus players could hop into an arena-style map and beat the crap out of bad guys using a team of iconic Marvel superheroes. These superheroes included Iron Man (who got his own VR game on PlayStation), Spider-Man, Wolverine, and even somewhat more niche characters like Rocket Raccoon.
Now, however, a new e-mail posted to Reddit (via UploadVR) states that the game will be shutting down on March 1, 2021. Critically, the e-mail insinuates (but does not clearly state) that the game's single-player gameplay may be coming to an end, too.
What's Going to Happen to Marvel Powers United VR Single-Player?
This e-mail posted to the Oculus subreddit has not yet been verified. If it is indeed real, however, it spells a troubling future for the single-player gameplay of this title.
"You are able to continue playing the game through March 1, 2021, but MARVEL Powers United VR is no longer available for new users to purchase or download," read the reported e-mail from Sanzaru Games and Oculus.
"We recommend that you delete the game prior to March 1, 2021, to avoid dead space taken up on your device," the e-mail concluded.
If Marvel Powers United VR is indeed shutting down, the reasons for the closure aren't made clear in the reported e-mail. One issue may be the fact that the game was never ported to the Oculus Quest (or the Oculus Quest 2, natch), Facebook's standalone VR devices that don't require a PC to function. It's also possible that a license with Marvel or Sony to use the characters in the game may have expired, necessitating a renegotiation or a shutdown of the game.
Either way, the tone and tenor of the e-mail indicates that it's not just the multiplayer service that will be shutting down — the entire game will reportedly be unplayable after March 1, 2021. We've reached out to Facebook on this matter and will update this article when we receive a reply.
Have you had a chance to play Marvel Powers United VR? What's the best Marvel game released in recent years? Let us know in the comments below!