Microsoft shutters AltspaceVR amid company-wide layoffs
Connect with top gaming leaders in Los Angeles at GamesBeat Summit 2023 this May 22-23. Register here.
AltspaceVR is going dark in March as part of parent company Microsoft’s recent restructuring. According to a recent post on its website, the VR-based social space will officially sunset on March 10 in favor of Microsoft Mesh. It’s offering users a chance to say goodbye to the platform and download their content before it goes offline.
Microsoft acquired AltspaceVR in 2017, shortly after the startup company ran out of money. The team said that it plans to “shift our focus to support immersive experiences powered by Microsoft Mesh.” Instead of focusing on consumer experiences, Mesh is a new platform aimed at bringing social VR to the workplace.
This week, Microsoft began a series of layoffs across its portfolio in an effort to cut costs. These layoffs include employees at Xbox, Bethesda Game Studios and 343 Industries. It’s not clear if the closure of AltspaceVR is part of the general reductions, but Satya Nadella said in a recent blog post that the company will “continue to invest in strategic areas for our future, meaning we are allocating both our capital and talent to areas of secular growth and long-term competitiveness for the company, while divesting in other areas.”
Microsoft has offered instructions on how users can download their content and host farewell events. It also acknowledged the users who have logged a considerable amount of time in Altspace saying, “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.”
GamesBeat’s creed when covering the game industry is “where passion meets business.” What does this mean? We want to tell you how the news matters to you — not just as a decision-maker at a game studio, but also as a fan of games. Whether you read our articles, listen to our podcasts, or watch our videos, GamesBeat will help you learn about the industry and enjoy engaging with it. Discover our Briefings.