Facebook is continuing its growth as a gaming and virtual reality company by bringing yet another studio into the fold. Today, the social media giant and Oculus owner announced it is acquiring Ready At Dawn, the developers behind Lone Echo and its multiplayer VR spin-offs, as well as the Sony-published PS4 exclusive The Order: 1886.
Ready At Dawn will join Beat Games (Beat Saber) and Sanzaru Games (Asgard's Wrath) as the newest developer under the Oculus Studios umbrella. Prior to this acquisition, Oculus Studios served as Ready At Dawn's publisher for all its VR titles, including Lone Echo, Echo Arena, and Echo Combat.
In a new press release, Facebook's Vice President of AR/VR Content Mike Verdu specifies that, like Beat and Sanzaru, Ready At Dawn will still function as an independently operated studio. "The tight-knit community at the studio and their focus, in turn, on cultivating passionately engaged gaming communities are aspects of the company we admire and intend to maintain," says Verdu. "They will continue to build amazing game experiences as an independent studio operating out of their current offices in Irvine, CA, and Portland, OR, with the full support of Facebook and the Oculus Studios team behind them."
Initially founded by veterans from Naughty Dog and Blizzard, Ready At Dawn spent much of its time prior to the creation of the Lone Echo series working on portable titles for Sony, such as 2006's Daxter and the PSP God of War titles Chains of Olympus and Ghost of Sparta. The studio's last major release prior to the release of Lone Echo, 2015's The Order: 1886, pushed the capabilites of the PS4 but was met with middling to average reviews.
The Echo games have been one of PC VR's few breakout hits, with the original earning effusive praise for its storytelling as well as its unique and intuitive zero-gravity movement scheme. A sequel, Lone Echo 2, was announced last year and is targeted for release later in 2020. Facebook is not yet ready to comment on whether or not Lone Echo 2 or future Ready At Dawn releases will come to the Oculus Quest, the company's popular standalone VR product.