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Rec Room VR studio Against Gravity raises $5 million

New funding will allow the Seattle startup to keep its social VR game free to users

Against Gravity has raised $5 million in new funding, money that will allow the Seattle-based startup to keep its social VR game, Rec Room, free to users.

In a post on the company website, an Against Gravity representative listed the many investors that contributed to the new round: "Sequoia, First Round, Acequia, Vulcan, Maveron, Anorak, Betaworks, The Venture Reality Fund (The VR Fund)." It also included a number of angel investors, one of which, Charles Fitzgerald, has joined the board.

"We were incredibly fortunate to find a group of people who believed in our vision of real-time social interaction, and were inspired to help us build an app that doesn't follow the conventional model," the company said. "Importantly, they've supported our commitment to keeping Rec Room a free download, so anyone can join our community."

Rec Room is one of the highest rated VR apps on Steam, with a 98% positive review score. Set in a virtual recreation room, it combines social interactions with a range of different games and an endearingly visual aesthetic. According to Against Gravity, more than 100,000 people played Rec Room in the second half of 2016, with the average session length now at more than 35 minutes. It is available on both Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, and Steamspy - which only tracks Vive activations - puts its total owners above 180,000 at the time of writing.

With extra money filling its coffers, Against Gravity has revealed some details of its roadmap for the year ahead. There will be new activities, including Rec Room's first co-op experience, improved social interaction features that will reach outside the virtual world, and new and improved systems for nullifying trolls and harassment.

Next week, GamesIndustry.biz will be launching a newsletter dedicated to the emerging markets for VR and AR. You can read more about that here, and you can sign up here.

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