Major Takeaways:

  • High Fidelity raises $11 million in a funding round by Paul Allen’s Vulcan Capital.
  • The round will help the company continue building deployable virtual spaces to meet and interact with.
  • With a largely open source platform, High Fidelity benefits both from its own development team production, as well as from users who are constantly tweaking and innovating within the virtual world.
    • Most of the development right now occurs in game engines Unity and Unreal.

TechCrunch reports on High Fidelity‘s recent funding round, as well as areas of continuing development and innovation in the company’s development of deployable, virtual worlds. 

From the article:

…If you can code it, you can build basically anything into High Fidelity’s worlds. Between alpha users and the team’s developers messing around in their own time, people have built procedurally generated cities and AI-powered animals that wander around realistically — and that’s just scratching the surface of what’s possible.

As with Second Life, High Fidelity doesn’t plan to sell you a one-time license in exchange for unlimited play. In fact, the base of the experience is open source, letting anyone host worlds on their own machines with less of a hassle than even the kid-friendly Minecraft.

Rosedale plans to monetize High Fidelity at the points where the community provides value to itself. While you can generate a temporary name to send to friends so they can quickly jump into a world with you, you’ll also be able to pay a fee to keep a distinct name for longer-term use — kind of like reserving a good URL for your site or username on Twitter.

Since users can make all kinds of content for their worlds, High Fidelity also wants to host the go-to repository for models and code in a digital store resembling Unity’s Asset Store. Given the product’s open source approach, generous users can give out their offerings for free if they’d like, but if they want to charge money, High Fidelity will take a small cut…

…. For now, the majority of development in the space happens in traditional game engines like Unity and Unreal. High Fidelity’s deployable worlds put it somewhere between those professional tools and the most customizable video games, opening up innovation in the space to those who are willing to get technical but don’t want to build something from the ground up.

Head to TechCrunch for the full article