Troubled Twinity bought by Exit Reality

Metaversum, the developers of the 3D mirror world Twinity, today announced their acquisition by 3D Internet company ExitReality.

Twinity has been having some problems recently. It hasn’t had any news announcements since May 2011, and only two blog posts this year — in one of which, the CEO attempted to dispel rumors that Twinity was going under.

“Our main inventors did leave Metaversum — the company behind Twinity — end of 2010,” wrote Christian von Hardenberg, CEO of Metaversum.

In order to make ends meet, the company had to stop showing city exteriors, which the company had previously licensed from map data providers.

Meanwhile, members have been complaining about falling usage.

“Is it just me, or is this game dead?” asked one member in the site’s forum. “I’ve been playing for about two weeks, and the most people I’ve ever seen on at one time is 11.”

By comparison, as of this writing, IMVU claims 100,559 users online, and more than three million active monthly users.

Twinity is a room-based, mesh-based environment similar to Blue Mars or IMVU, with the unique hook that these rooms are supposed to be located inside virtual copies of New York, London, Berlin, Singapore, and Miami.

It makes money by selling virtual currency, which users use to buy virtual goods, and in renting virtual real estate.

Decorating a virtual apartment in Twinity.

Twinity reports that more than 56,000 locations have been built inside the virtual world, but many of them are free starter apartments, and usually empty.

Like the other two platforms, Twinity members can create content by uploading images and mesh objects, and then sell them to other users.

Christian von Hardenberg

“Twinity has been a successful venture for us. We have attracted a vibrant community of citizens living, creating and transacting in 3D cities,” said von Hardenberg in today’s press release.

The company does have a recognizable brand name, however, which is more than you can say for anything else in ExitReality’s portfolio, like Scrubs 3D, Learnbrite, vSide, the Browsotopia 3D search engine, and Surroundus.

ExitReality originally launched in 2008 as a way to turn websites into 3D environments — a cool gimmick, but nothing to really get excited about. Since then, it has developed a browser-based 3D plugin that they’ve used to create 3D applications, such as the vSide music-themed virtual world, and the Scrubs 3D medical training environment.

“ExitReality have proven experience in the web 3D industry,” said von Hardenberg in a statement. “I am confident they have embraced the vision for Twinity and will continue to build on its many strengths.”

Danny Stefanic

“Twinity has a passionate community of socializers and creators,” said Danny Stefanic, CEO and founder of ExitReality, in the press release. “I’ve seen thousands of user created virtual items, everything from furniture to luxury yachts. Virtual-goods is now a multi-billion dollar industry. The combination of Google Earth features and a unique business model that generates revenue from virtual goods and real estate is exciting. I am impressed with what the Twinity team have achieved. Building an inhabited virtual planet that mirrors Google Earth and runs profitably is a fantastic achievement.”

The companies did not disclose the terms of the deal.

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Maria Korolov

Maria Korolov is editor and publisher of Hypergrid Business. She has been a journalist for more than twenty years and has worked for the Chicago Tribune, Reuters, and Computerworld and has reported from over a dozen countries, including Russia and China. Follow me on Twitter @MariaKorolov.

7 Responses

  1. Madden Nick says:

    most excellent news thank you for the heads up…i do play twinity myself and hope it will continue and get better ty evolast(nick madden)

  2.' Mish says:

    Looking forward to bigger and better things for Twinity. I love the game and the options it has provided its players!

  3.' Joe Nickence says:

    The idea of occupying a default world city virtually is probably still ahead of it’s time.  If Twinity can hold on, I’m thinking it will really catch on when Google releases it’s HMD.  Then you can actually be in that city both physically and virtually, combining the best digital features as AR.

  4.' FredMadrid says:

    In the last party that I was in Twinity where in some moment 26 avatars… Twinity is growing… but very slowly. Several bugs and lags dont give the first good impression when you are a new member.  But even like that… it is the better virtual world that I know if you want to create user content.. to build yourself the house of your dreams and have enough cheap space to have a nice garden.   Ask about prices to buy virtual space… that is the key.    Kaneva give free space… but I tried and never was able to upload nothing without import bugs to my place there.

  5.' kadoxie says:

    wow is it tht awesome
    nd it is boring try zwinky knw thts nice

  6.' KarIbdys says:

    This sounds like Vzones… a lot of beautiful ideas and no technical backup. Another dead world.

  7.' Chris says:

    ExitReality and Danny purchased vSide right after Doppleganger closed it years ago, and they’ve ruined it letting it fall apart. They’ll probably do the same for this.