Oculus Studios executive Mike Doran confirmed that the upcoming Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond release on Oculus Quest will support cross-buy. However, its multiplayer modes will not support cross-play between platforms.
Doran confirmed cross-buy in a Reddit thread on r/OculusQuest, meaning that those who own the PC VR Oculus Store version, which released last year for the Rift platform, will get access to a copy of the Quest version for free on release. This naturally does not apply to the PC VR Steam release of the game, which is outside the Oculus ecosystem.
However, while all Oculus Store owners will get a free Quest copy in their library, only those with the newer Quest 2 headset will be able to take advantage — just like Resident Evil 4, this release is exclusive to Quest 2 and won’t release on the original Quest.
However, Doran also confirmed potentially even bigger news in a separate comment — Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond’s multiplayer will not support cross-play between PC VR and the Oculus Quest release, unlike many other games. This means that the matchmaking pool and online play will be restricted to the player base of the platform you’re playing on.
In the current VR landscape, multiplayer games are particularly susceptible to high queue times and matchmaking woes compared to traditional games. Despite being more mainstream than ever, the VR user base still pales in comparison to that of traditional flatscreen platforms. Many developers opt to include cross-play in multiplayer VR releases to help combat this, as it gives the matchmaking system the biggest possible pool of players and can help stem increasingly long queue times or unfair MMR distribution through a game’s post-release life cycle.
In Medal of Honor’s case, the lack of support is reportedly a practical decision, not a voluntary one. Doran confirmed the news by replying ‘bingo’ to a comment that posited Medal of Honor cross-play wouldn’t be supported between PC VR and Quest “because of a few technical differences between the … versions.”
While understandable, the news is nonetheless a blow to existing and future Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond players. Quest users will be relying on their own platform to sustain a healthy playerbase post-launch, while matchmaking on PC VR won’t benefit from a boost in numbers from the Quest release. That said, Quest is thought to be the most successful VR platform at the moment, so it’s quite possible this version of the game can sustain a player base on its own.
Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond on Quest doesn’t have a release date yet (other than later this year), but we’re hoping to hear more at Facebook Connect later this month. If you are planning to play the game on Quest, you better clear some space — the 40-45GB game will only just fit on the original 64GB Quest 2 model.