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AltspaceVR u-turns on closure

Inspired by outpouring of support from its community, social VR space may live on

Despite the recent announcement of its closure, AltspaceVR's virtual reality social platform looks set to remain open and supported.

The platform - one of the first truly social VR spaces - closed rather suddenly late in July, after its creators revealed that despite courting 35,000 daily active users, "general slowness" of the virtual reality market and investment had made its operation unworkable.

The news was greeted with much disappointment, both from users and the VR industry, which had grown comfortable with referring to AltspaceVR as a working example of a way in which VR technology may become everyday in the near future. The AlspaceVR team had raised $10.3 million in a series A round in 2015, leading many to assume it had a robust financial foundation.

Now, citing user reaction to the closure announcement, AltspaceVR is to remain open.

"AltspaceVR is going to live on," proclaimed a spirited post on the AltspaceVR blog. "You all made this happen by sharing memories, videos, tweets, and emails. So many of you wrote to us asking if they could donate or help. You told the world how much AltspaceVR meant to you and how you had made good memories and lasting friendships. Your messages of encouragement brought us smiles during a pretty gloomy time.

"Thanks to that outpouring of support, we're now deep in discussions with others who are passionate about AltspaceVR who want to guarantee that our virtual oasis stays open."

AltspaceVR has not confirmed the exact details of the platform's rebirth, but promised to "pump some life into AltspaceVR over the next few weeks" while a skeleton staff continues to keep the platform operational.

In an email to website Tech Crunch, an AltspaceVR spokesperson is quoted as explaining: "We are now in discussions with third parties to develop a sustainable solution to continue development and growth for the future. We look forward to communicating more as details solidify over the coming weeks and months."

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