Against Gravity has done great things with its social VR app, Rec Room, and today it’s announcing a seed funding round that will help it to do even more.
The studio confirmed the closure of a $5 million seed funding round to UploadVR, with the money coming from Sequoia, First Round, Acequia, Vulcan, Maveron, Anorak, Betaworks, and The VR Fund. As a result, the app is set to remain as a free download for the foreseeable future, helping the developers to build a community around it.
It’s a plan that Against Gravity CEO and Co-Founder Nick Fajt told us about in an interview last month. He explained that monetization of the game wasn’t an “immediate concern” for the studio while it focuses on the community. “You can easily imagine some in-app payment strategies focused on customization and personalization that we could pursue later on, kind of like DOTA or League of Legends — skins, customization options, that sort of stuff,” he added.
For now, though, remaining free will help Rec Room to compete with other social VR apps like AltSpace, or the just-launched VRChat.
Currently, Rec Room allows friends to meet up online with personalized avatars and play games like paintball, disc golf, and dodgeball. It’s a social app with a keen focus on getting friends to do things together rather than just meet up.
Against Gravity is also planning some significant updates to the experience in 2017 to keep the game relevant. On a blog detailing both the past and present of Rec Room, the studio shared a first look at a new cooperative experience simply called The Quest. There’s little to say about it right now other than that it will allow friends to battle enemies and collect loot using bows and swords. “The only way to make it through The Quest is to coordinate your strategy of defense and attack,” the developer notes.
Also planned are refinements to the app’s systems, making it easier to find friends, and continuing to nurture a positive community devoid of trolling.
Rec Room should have a good 2017, then.