What you need to know
- Facebook-owned Beat Games is sunsetting its Beat Saber VR arcade cabinets on July 31, 2020.
- Facebook says Beat Games is going to use the time it once spent on customizing content for VR arcades to deliver additional music packs for home users.
- Beat Games' mappers say they are hard at work on new content that'll be released in the near future.
Late last week, rumors began to fly that Beat Saber would soon be pulled from VR arcades, with the information primarily coming from owners and affiliates of VR arcades. Many surmised that this decision could be due to licensing issues with music packs and could happen as early as July 31 when the contract with Springboard, who manages content for VR arcades, ends. A Facebook representative had this to say about the matter:
We found with the Beat Games team over time that involvement in customizing content for LBE arcades was taking the team's focus away from the consumer product and their efforts to bring numerous exciting new artist collaborations to life in Beat Saber music packs throughout the year.
While Facebook purchased Beat Games last November, it doesn't appear to have changed all that much at the studio until this point. Pulling the game from VR arcades is going to be a massive blow to the industry, and while there are plenty of other games that are still playable in VR arcades, Beat Saber is the most well-known VR game around. On the bright side, Beat Games seems to be doubling down on new music content packs for owners of Beat Saber on every platform where it's currently available.
Freeek works as an official mapper for Beat Saber and was hired by Beat Games in January 2019. The fact that he's been "Busy. Busy. Busy!", as he puts it, lines up perfectly with the statement by Facebook on why it's pulling Beat Saber out of VR arcades. Beat Games is still a small studio, despite being owned by Facebook, and only has a handful of employees that work regularly on content.
While VR arcades are sure to be upset with the decision, owners of Beat Saber on other platforms will likely be pretty happy with more new content being pumped into VR's hottest game. We haven't seen a new Beat Saber OST since last Fall, but have seen several music packs from popular bands and other artists come out since then. Whether or not it's an OST or a new music pack DLC that Freeek is currently working on isn't currently known.