Home Metaverse Sign of the Times? – Ryan Schultz

Sign of the Times? – Ryan Schultz

The Glue website

Glue, a corporate collaboration social VR platform I first wrote about in November 2019, has declared bankruptcy. In a post dated April 10th, 2024 on the Glue website, Glue’s CEO, Jussi Havu, writes:

We regret to inform you that the company responsible for Glue has been declared bankrupt on 8 April 2024 by decision of the District Court of Helsinki. Despite our best efforts to prevent this outcome, we were unable to find a timely solution.

During the next two weeks, we are dedicated to exploring all options to secure a successor for the Glue service. As we cannot promise a definitive solution, users should prepare for the possibility that the Glue service may soon be discontinued.

The process to sell the assets of the company is undergoing and, at this stage, the bankruptcy estate cannot provide any further information on whether the company’s business operations can be sold to someone who would be willing to continue the business. Unless a successor can be found, the company’s business operations will be discontinued within the course of two weeks or even earlier if the service providers for the company’s servers decide to shut the servers down or deny access due to unpaid invoices.

We sincerely apologize for this disappointing outcome.

While updating my comparative spreadsheet of social VR platforms, I had already noticed a distressing number of platforms I had written about in 2019 were no longer around as of 2024, among them popular services such as AltspaceVR, which shut down almost exactly one year ago today, on March 10th, 2023. The category of platforms which I jocularly refer to as YARTVRA (an acronym standing for Yet Another Remote Teamwork Virtual Reality Application) has seen a number of companies come and go during the recent boom-and-bust metaverse hype cycle. Now that the hype over the metaverse has moved on to artificial intelligence, it would appear that the venture capitalists have followed, so it is no suprise to me that firms such as Glue have struggled to find a viable business model.

One thing which any person or company which uses a social VR app for remote teamwork, meetings, and conferences needs to keep in mind: don’t put all your eggs into one basket! Investigate multiple platforms, and be flexible. That way, you won’t be caught off-guard when a company whose product you have been relying on goes under.

Sadly, I just noticed today that the XR Collaboration website, which used to offer a very useful searchable directory of workplace social VR platforms, has folded (the website address appears to have been sold to another user, who is primarily posting articles about how to find out if your boyfriend or husband is cheating on you!). This is yet another sign that the entire YARTVRA space is in difficulty.

(And no, despite my best efforts, YARTVRA has not taken off as an acronym…)

Thank you to Carlos Austin for the heads-up!

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