AltspaceVR will close its doors next Thursday, August 3, because it ran out of money.
“We can’t afford to keep the virtual lights on anymore,” the company said in a note posted last night.
I’ve been writing about the company since it released its first closed beta in early 2015, and have met with their executives. I’ve used their platform with the Oculus Rift headset, with the Gear VR, and through their desktop viewer, and was impressed with their technology and business strategy.
In fact, I was thinking about launching a new community for a project I’m planning on the AltspaceVR platform.
The company was a leader in creating shared virtual reality spaces, attracting celebrities, holding high-profile events, supporting causes I care about, and making it easy for users to find things to do.
It’s absence will leave a big hole, unless a new investor decides to step in and provide more funding.
I’m actually surprised that funding fell through, given the huge amount of interest in virtual reality from venture capitalists — more than $2 billion over the last 12 months, according to Digi-Capital, and $800 million of that in the last quarter alone.
Where to go now
So if you’re an AltspaceVR user, or are just starting to get interested in social virtual reality, where do you go now?
Here are the leading alternatives:
vTime: My best pick. This platform has received a lot of media attention, and supports the widest variety of devices of any platform. It’s had more than 100,000 installs on Android alone — by comparison, AltspaceVR had fewer than 50,000 installs on Android. The vTime destinations can be accessed with Oculus Rift, Gear VR, and Daydream headsets and with Google Cardboard-compatible viewers via iOS, and Android apps.
Watch the vTime preview video below:
Facebook Spaces: Use your own photograph to create a virtual reality avatar of yourself, then hang out with your Facebook friends. Currently only works with Oculus Rift headsets, but there’s a similar platform called Oculus Rooms for Gear VR, which doesn’t have the same kind of integration with Facebook.