You may be feeling a sense of déjà vu at the news that social virtual reality platform AltspaceVR is shutting down. This happened almost once after the developer announced it in 2017. I didn’t have enough money to keep the serverShortly after they were rescued by Microsoft, it acquired AltspaceVR and appeared to be a response to Facebook’s pivot to VR. Its new life is coming to an end. Announcing that AltspaceVR will be shutting down on March 10th (opens in new tab).
In a Team AltspaceVR post, “Looking to the future, we see an opportunity for VR to expand beyond the consumer and into business, and now it has an even bigger goal: a more open, accessible, and secure immersion. To achieve this, we made the difficult decision to retire the AltpaceVR platform on March 10, 2023, shifting our focus to supporting immersive experiences with Microsoft Mesh.”
microsoft mesh is a hologram-based mixed reality communication platform that uses 3D capture to enable people to collaborate as if they were in the same space. A partnership between Microsoft and OceanX has created a hologram lab on the research vessel OceanXplorer, allowing scientists wearing HoloLens headsets both on board and on land to collaborate and explore data sent back from the submersible .
However, this is not the social experience AltspaceVR provides. It hosted club nights with live DJs, book launches, fashion shows, church meetings, language exchanges, stand-up comedy nights, and many impromptu parties and gatherings. Microsoft Mesh is clearly a business-oriented VR application, meant for work, not hanging out. VRChat has a more memetic quality and Kmart Replica and Waffle House on the Moon.
“Over the next few weeks, we invite the many creators and developers who are part of the AltspaceVR community to hold a final event and download content.” If you have souvenirs, please click here. Microsoft FAQ for data downloads (opens in new tab).