Microsoft shutting down AltSpaceVR on March 10th
Roger Stringer • January 24, 2023
3 min read
AltspaceVR, a social VR platform founded in 2013 and acquired by Microsoft in 2017, has just announced that it will be closing permanently.
The platform, which featured user-generated spaces called “Worlds” and hosted live virtual events from a magic show to a red carpet premiere, connected people across the world. In an email to users, AltspaceVR cited the closure due to its parent company Microsoft’s decision to shift its focus onto launching Microsoft Mesh, a VR experience for Microsoft Teams, the company’s video conferencing platform. AltspaceVR will shut down on March 10.
When AltspaceVR first launched, our vision was to create a place where people from around the world could connect and socialize in real time. We knew virtual reality (VR) could be a fun place for immersive games, and much more importantly, we believed in the power of social VR to bring people together, build connections, and create share experiences. It was a bold vision, and with the help of our passionate community, the platform became a place where users made lifelong memories, formed cherished friendships, found love — and even married in IRL (in real life).
As we look to the future, we see the opportunity for VR expanding beyond consumer into business and now have an even greater goal: a more open, accessible, and secure version of immersive experiences in the metaverse. To achieve that we have made the difficult decision to sunset the AltpaceVR platform on March 10, 2023, and shift our focus to support immersive experiences powered by Microsoft Mesh.
The decision has not been an easy one as this is a platform many have come to love, providing a place for people to explore their identities, express themselves, and find community. It has been a privilege to help unlock passions among users, from educational opportunities for personal growth to the development of unique and wonderful events, groundbreaking art, and immersive experiences — enabling this community to achieve more. With Mesh, we aspire to build a platform that offers the widest opportunity to all involved, including creators, partners and customers.
We look forward to what is to come, including our launch of Microsoft Mesh, a new platform for connection and collaboration, starting by enabling workplaces around the world. In the near-term, we are focusing our VR efforts on workplace experiences, learning from and alongside our early customers and partners, and ensuring we deliver a foundation that enables security, trust and compliance. Over time, we hope to extend to consumer experience a well.