AltspaceVR is being acquired by Microsoft, assuring the future of the social VR company, it was revealed at a special event in San Francisco yesterday. No information has been released regarding the value of the deal.
The Californian start-up connected with Microsoft’s top tech-head, Alex Kipman and as stated in a company blog, "Found a natural overlap between his goals for Mixed Reality and their hopes for the future of AltspaceVR”. With the Redmond giant launching its range of third party Windows Mixed Reality headsets this month, the acquisition delivers a pre-baked social platform with an established community.
AltspaceVR is keen to stress that the deal does not include platform exclusivity and that it will continue to work on PC and Mac in 2D mode, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Daydream by Google, and Samsung Gear VR. There are no plans to bring AltspaceVR to HoloLens.
Microsoft said in a statement that the company is, “Excited to incorporate communications technology into our mixed reality ecosystem. AltspaceVR takes social networks, combines them with real-time experiences, and leverages immersive presence to transcend beyond sharing posts to sharing situations. Situations of people, places, and things have deeper meaning and in turn, are more memorable.”
News that AltspaceVR was in financial difficulty came at the end of July this year, with the firm announcing it was to close the doors on the 3rd August, as we reported here.
Two weeks later, we covered an intriguing blog post on the company’s website declared that, "AltspaceVR is going to live on". If that wasn’t clear enough, the blog also said, "AltspaceVR is not closing down".
The firm also revealed in Mid-August that, "We’re now deep in discussions with others who are passionate about AltspaceVR who want to guarantee that our virtual oasis stays open". This prompted speculation that Oculus co-founder, Palmer Luckey, might make good on his social media poll, asking the public if he should save AltspaceVR.