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Virtual world platform Metaplace to close

Venture fails to "gain enough traction" says company founder

Virtual world platform Metaplace is to close after failing to gain enough traction to be a viable product, according to developer Metaplace Inc.

The platform, still currently at beta stage, allows users to create their own 2D Flash-based virtual worlds which are hosted on the company's servers.

Founder Raph Koster said it was a sad day for the company behind the platform, but that they would continue working on new projects.

On his personal blog, Koster explained the reason for Metaplace's closure saying: "It just hasn't gotten traction. I have many thoughts on why, but I hope you'll forgive me if I don't go into all of them right now. It is a sad day for us here, and I know many users are going to be very disappointed by this turn of events.

"Metaplace Inc isn't going away - in fact we have some pretty exciting plans. But those plans are best shared on a future day."

The platform will be closed on January 1, reports Gamasutra. Following the closure, users will lose access to their created assets and codes, although Metaplace will launch a dedicated website for community members.

Koster, who worked as a designer on Ultima Online and Star Wars: Galaxies, has previously voiced his hopes that software such as Metaplace would help establish world wide web standards for virtual worlds.

Metaplace was "a wonderful world full of wonderful people, and I will miss it more than I can say," he adds on his blog.

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