Following the recent announcement that social VR platform AltspaceVR would be permanently closing its doors after running dry of VR funds, the company has revealed that the service will live on, in a heartfelt message of thanks posted on the official blog. The team explained that the turnaround is due to “an outpouring of support,”, and are now “deep in discussions with others who are passionate about AltspaceVR who want to guarantee that our virtual oasis stays open.”
While AltspaceVR is currently keeping details close to its chest, the venture-backed company appears to have found a solution to their recent financial difficulties, where they were unable to secure additional venture funding.
In a message to Road to VR, a spokesperson for AltspaceVR stated “We are now in discussions with third parties to develop a sustainable solution to continue development and growth for the future. We look forward to communicating more when possible over the coming weeks and months.”
Since establishing itself as one of the first social VR platforms in 2013, the market has become increasingly diverse, with the likes of Bigscreen, Facebook Spaces, JanusVR, Rec Room, and more offering different social experiences. Despite the competition, AltspaceVR says they’ve been able to retain about 35,000 active users per month, some of whom were passionate enough about the platform to talk about their memories and connections they had made, offering donations and encouragement to the team after the closure was announced.
“In the meantime, AltspaceVR is up and running for our user community and SDK developers with the help of a skeleton crew”, AltspaceVR tells Road to VR. “We will be rebuilding the calendar of events over the next few weeks. The staff will serve during peak times and certain other select hours to welcome new users, moderate as needed, and help with troubleshooting and technical questions.”
The surprise announcement of the closure would have surely piqued the interest of potential investors; indeed Oculus founder Palmer Luckey asked the public for their thoughts on whether he should ‘save’ the platform. It’s unclear whether he is actually involved in the turnaround, but his most recent tweet is about AltspaceVR’s good news.
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