Today marks the end of an era. High Fidelity is essentially shutting down its platform today (more details here). Longtime user Dr. Fran noted that the HiFi user forums have already been taken down:
But we are not leaving without one last epic dance party!
Xaos Princess posted the following message on Twitter:
Today we’re gonna party like it’s 1999 in VR! Fire up your Steam or Oculus client one last time or download it at https://highfidelity.com/download and join us at 3:00 p.m. PST in https://metaverse.highfidelity.com/places/ThePalace to say farewell to the best virtual world ever!
All are welcome to join us, but if you have never set up a High Fidelity avatar before today, you are simply out of luck, as High Fidelity has also shut down their official website, so you can no longer create accounts:
While privately-hosted domains such as ThePalace will continue to run for a while, eventually usage will dwindle down to nothing, as older users move on, and no new users can create accounts to take part in any events. Eventually, even the domain names will disappear as they expire, and you will no longer be able to visit them, even if you still have a working account.
UPDATE 5:48 p.m.: Well, after a few technical difficulties (including having to replace a hand controller battery and rebooting my computer twice), I made it into The Palace! The party is still going on, and there are about 25 avatars in attendance—the largest crowd I have seen in HiFi in quite some time.
It was wonderful to see and talk with old friends like Thoys, Piper Peppercorn, Xaos Princess, and Flame Soulis.
Like I said, the end of an era. High Fidelity is the first victim of the social VR wars, but I suspect it will not be the last platform to fold in this rapidly-evolving and ever-changing market.
UPDATE Jan. 18th, 2020: After I left the party, High Fidelity CEO Philip Rosedale himself showed up (see red arrow)!
Thanks for the picture, Carlos!