'Rec Room' Adds More Flexibility to Avatar System with New Full-body, Animated Costumes – Road to VR
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Ever since the social VR platform Rec Room launched in 2016, its avatar system has notably lacked full-body inverse kinematics like you see in its contemporary VRChat, which essentially leaves users with a stylized appearance lacking arms and legs. Now the studio says it’s releasing an update that will allow you to buy more articulated avatar outfits which should add more flexibility to how you can look in the game.
The studio tells us that the new costumes will let you look like “almost anything imaginable.” It’s not matching VRChat’s functionality one-to-one though; that platform pretty much gives carte blanche for avatar user uploads.
Instead, Rec Room notes that each full-body, animated costume will be created by other players and supposedly also made available for purchase via the platform’s in-game currency system.
The update is no doubt working to support the game’s nascent digital economy, which allows premium users to make avatar accessories, rooms, and gadgets and get paid in real cash. It might also allow the developers some modicum of control over what outfits are approved for sale, as its audience skews fairly young.
And the name of the game is content creation, it seems. The studio says it now hosts over five million user-generated rooms, some of which are placed behind user paywalls that require paid tickets to access. With its mounting currency-earning opportunities for users, the company seems to be well on its way to paying out to creators what it says should amount to $1 million by the end of 2021.
This content expansion follows a landmark $100 million financing round, bringing the company’s valuation to $1.25 billion. This makes Rec Room one of the most valuable VR companies outside of platform holders Facebook and Sony.
In the coming months, the Rec Room is also readying an Android version which will feature cross-play with all supported platforms, which includes iOS devices, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X, Xbox One, PC via Steam, Oculus Quest, and all SteamVR-compatible headsets.
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