Microsoft is shuttering its social virtual reality platform AltspaceVR, setting back its goals for the so-called metaverse. The platform that resembles a metaverse has had difficulties in the past, but this time things appear hopeless.
This is due to the significant spending cuts Microsoft is making, which will have an impact on thousands of its employees. It is cutting off 10,000 employees, with its game division suffering significantly due to personnel reductions at studios including The Coalition, Bethesda Game Studios, and 343 Industries. Additionally, it is disbanding teams within its AR and VR division.
AltspaceVR, one of the most well-known social VR networks, admitted in 2017 that it needed the cash to keep its servers running, but Microsoft jumped in and bought the business (via PC Gamer).
Large major corporations have recently invested in R&D for the metaverse, a shared virtual reality realm, including Tencent, Google, Alibaba, Amazon, ByteDance, and Facebook, which even changed its name to Meta to signify how serious it was about the project. Microsoft was among companies showing interest, but as the IT industry struggles and experiences significant layoffs, perhaps the novelty of the idea is starting to wear off.
Our run in the sun may be ending on March 10th, but until then we're gonna keep celebrating our community and its creations. Speaking of, don't miss @BRCvr's award-winning virtual Burning Man experience. Awesome events, all weekend long in #AltspaceVR.https://t.co/L97LWsRyhB
— AltspaceVR (@AltspaceVR) January 25, 2023
In a blog post on its website, AltspaceVR stated that the platform would be discontinued as of March 10. The post begins, “Our ambition for AltspaceVR when it originally started was to create a space where individuals from all over the world could interact and socialize in real-time.
But as AltspaceVR looks to the future, it appears that retiring its platform and refocusing on Microsoft Mesh support is the best course of action.
According to reports, Microsoft Mesh, the new name for the company’s metaverse initiatives, allows users to share experiences via mixed reality applications from any location and on any device. Similar to AltspaceVR, it uses 3D holographic capture to let users collaborate as if they were in the same room, but it is a lot more business- and professional-oriented offering.
With club nights with DJs, fashion presentations, book launches, stand-up comedy, parties, and meetings for a variety of niches and hobbies, the VR platform was renowned for its vibrant and dynamic settings. Before it shut down, AltspaceVR urged users to stage closing events and download their content.