Sony has revealed that its oddball PS3 virtual community experiment, PlayStation Home, will close in 2015.
The PlayStation Home service launched in 2008, providing a virtual environment for gamers’ avatars to interact, as well as various virtual store fronts to facilitate the purchase of virtual goods for each player’s digital abode. It was a bit like Second Life, but obviously not as good or as popular.
Sony painted a slightly rosier picture on a community post over the weekend.
“PlayStation Home has been serving the PS3 community since December 2008. During that time, tens of millions of users around the world have grown the social gaming platform into a thriving community of creative and enthusiastic gamers,” it said.
However, as the post goes onto say, “PlayStation Home will cease publishing new content on November 12, 2014.”
Gamers will be able to download PlayStation Home content up to December 3, with the final closure occurring on March 31, 2015. Sony will release a bunch of free content prior to that closure “as a token of our tremendous gratitude to the community.”
That this tiny community has survived so long in Sony’s peculiar experiment is likely thanks to Home’s microtransaction system, which saw some users spending eye-watering amounts on knick-knacks for their virtual homes. Virtual homes that are about to be demolished after their tenants are forcibly evicted.
Of course, with many gamers shifting to the enormously popular PS4, PlayStation Home was never likely to last much longer – and Sony was never going to go to the trouble of moving this strange, failed virtual world to a new and thriving platform either.
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