Somnium Space Raises Over US$40,000 in Their Indiegogo Crowdfunding Campaign (and Announces an Official Partnership with Pimax)

Somnium Space has now raised 400% of their original US$10,000 fundraising campaign on the crowdfunding website Indiegogo:

Somnium Space Indiegogo 1 5 Jan 2018.jpg

When I checked this morning, 189 backers have raised US$40,296, which works out to $212 per supporter—impressive! According to their latest update to investors, dated January 4th, 2019:

Hello people of Somnium!

What a ride. The more you – our supporters, buy land, or teleports, or anything we offer we are amazed and grateful! We work really hard to deliver you the BEST VR experience available! Now let’s dive into new things!

First glance at [the] more detailed Map!

Oh yes! You asked for it, you begged for it, you threatened us and our team! Now the time has come to start revealing our new map which is coming in Feb 2019. Have a look and we hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

One image on their Indiegogo page caught my eye. It would appear that the VR headset maker Pimax is now an official partner of Somnium Space (although I could not find Pimax listed on the Partners section of their official website):

Sominium Space Partners 2 5 Jan 2018

As far as I am aware, this would make Somnium Space the first virtual world to partner up with the Pimax headset, which is supposed to start shipping to consumers in February 2019.

Pimax
The Pimax Virtual Reality Headset

And there’s also a not-so-subtle hint in the company’s latest investor update:

P.S.: We are working hard to deliver one of the coolest perks you can ever imagine. Something exclusive, something, which you will not be able to find anywhere else. We hope we will be able to finalize and announce it soon. One hint: if you are planning to buy a very high resolution VR headset – wait few days 😉 If it works out well – you will not regret it!

Here’s a tip, guys: if you’re gonna talk about something that’s not yet official and “Top Secret”, you better check all the media you post to your own Indiegogo page. Just sayin’ 😉

Somnium Space is planning a major update to their client in early 2019. Here’s a preview:

You can follow Somnium Space as it evolves on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Telegram.

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Somnium Space Launches a New Crowdfunding Initiative on Indiegogo

Did you know that you can become a patron of this blog, and help support my reporting on news and events in social VR, virtual worlds, and the metaverse? Here’s how.


Somnium Space 27 Nov 2018.png

Somnium Space is looking for new investors!

The virtual world Somnium Space has already raised £112,048 in funding through the U.K.-based crowdfunding website for VR projects called SeedingVR. And now, they have launched a new fund-raising campaign on the popular crowdfunding site Indiegogo:

Somnium Space IndieGogo 27 Nov 2018

Among the perks available to contributors are live guided tours of Somnium Space, T-shirts, parcels of virtual land and the opportunity to have your name “engraved” on the Somnium Space headquarters building.

So far, they report that they have raised 72% of their initial US$10,000 goal in only 36 hours! If you want to contribute, here’s their Indiegogo page.

An Updated Comparison Chart of the Twelve Most Popular Social VR Platforms

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I decided to update my original comparison chart of the 12 most popular social VR platforms, according to my reader survey. Note that in this chart, I excluded platforms that did not have VR support (e.g. Second Life, OpenSim-based virtual worlds, etc.).

I also did not dwell on technical details, such as the underlying game engine, user creation tools, etc. Instead, I focused on the three things of most interest to consumers:

  • How you can access the platform;
  • What options do you have for your avatar;
  • And whether you can go shopping!

This print on this chart is a little small to show up on the constrained width of this blogpost, so I saved it as a picture to FlickrJust click on the chart below (or the link above) to see it in Flickr in a larger size.

Comparison Chart of 12 Social VR Platforms 25 Nov 2018

You can also download this chart from Flickr in any size up to its original size (1488 x 920 pixels).

If you feel I’ve made any mistakes, or left anything important out, please leave me a comment below, thanks! I do hope that people who are trying to figure out which social VR spaces to explore will find this comparison chart to be a useful and handy tool.

UPDATE 2:03 p.m.: I’ve just been informed that there is an Android app for vTime. Thanks for the tip, Stephanie Woessner!

Somnium Space Acquires Community Garden, Announces Refund Program for MetaWorld Investors

Somnium Space.Community Garden

Today Somnium Space announced that Carleton DiLeo (co-founder of MetaWorld and creator of Community Garden) has joined Somnium Space as a Principal Developer. According to their press release:

After the recent successful crowd-invest campaign Somnium Space has been continuing to rapidly add features and grow its VR metaverse. With a successful launch on Steam, more than 3,500 new members have joined Somnium community in the past 3 weeks. With Carleton [DiLeo] on board, Somnium Space will be able to realize its potential much quicker by further strengthening its development team with highly skilled professionals such as Carleton.

Both companies believe in an imminent future of social interactions happening inside Virtual Reality. Combining creative minds from both companies, Somnium Space will be bringing even more innovative features to its online persistent VR universe soon.

“Today, we are shaping landscape of Virtual Reality for many decades ahead. Every decision we do about types of social interactions or certain technical aspects of VR world will impact future generations of players and virtual citizens.” said Artur Sychov, Founder of Somnium Space. “We want to make decisions which will create an unbelievable environment for people to foster their creativity, therefore we are quickly building the best possible team to realize that vision”

“I am thrilled to become part of Somnium Space team and bring to life the ideas I had with Community Garden on a much larger scale.” said Carleton DiLeo. “I strongly believe the future of VR is in shared worlds that players feel connected to. Community Garden’s vision and Somnium Space’s approach are the perfect match, and just what the VR community needs.”

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT

Somnium Space has been approached by a number of players who have bought various game packages in non-released MetaWorld VR app. Numerous delays, missed deadlines and the recent removal of MetaWorld page from Steam have left users unhappy and questioning the future of the project. Many MetaWorld users have reported difficulty getting refunds on Reddit. At Somnium Space, we are committed to keeping the VR community a healthy and trusted place for people and we have zero tolerance for questionable practices. Therefore, Somnium Space is announcing a refund and exchange program for MetaWorld users. If you have purchased early access or land from MetaWorld, you can exchange that land for a small land parcel in Somnium Space or get a full refund for your purchase. Users who have purchased game package from Meta World before 31.10.2018 are eligible for a refund or exchange.

If you want a refund, please email metaworld@somniumspace.com with a subject line “Refund”. Please attach your deed and proof of financial transaction. In case you would like to exchange your deed to a land in Somnium, please use subject line “Exchange” and attach your deed and proof of financial transaction. PLEASE NOTE: even after receiving a refund from Somnium Space, your deed is still valid in case MetaWorld will be released. For more information and questions, please join the Somnium Space official Discord channel.

Disclaimer: Since it is unknown exactly how many users have purchased game packages from MetaWorld, Somnium Space leaves a right to stop refund process at any time. Nevertheless, we are prepared to refund as many hundreds of players as we possibly can.

Well, this looks like a win-win all around! Congratulations to the team at Somnium Space and to Carleton DiLeo. This is also good news for people who paid for MetaWorld, a platform that has been moribund for quite some time now.

I have updated my List of Social VR/Virtual Worlds accordingly.