'Rec Room' Developer Secures $5 Million In Funding, Pledges To Keep The Game Free

Against Gravity, the developer behind the popular social virtual reality (VR) game, Rec Room, revealed that it secured enough investor funding the keep the experience free for everyone.

Rec Room debuted in the summer of 2016 and has steadily gained popularity ever since. Rec Room is a completely free social VR app that allows you to interact freely with others. Think of it as a virtual community center where you can drop in to hang out with some friends and enjoy some sporting activities, such as basketball, dodgeball, and even paintball.

Against Gravity saidover 100,000 unique players have popped in to that virtual community center since it hit Steam and the Oculus Store. Those 100,000 visitors “played over 1 million games together, exchanged over 1 million high fives, and fired nearly a billion paintballs at each other,” the developer said. It also noted that the average player sticks around for 35 minutes or more. Rec Room is also the top rated social VR app on Steam.

The engagement Rec Room promotes must have impressed Against Gravity’s investors. The developer managed to secure $5 million in funding from over a half dozen investments firms such as Sequoia, Betaworks, and The VR Fund. Against Gravity said it also attracted several angel investors, including Charles Fitzgerald, who subsequently joined the company's board of directors.

The investment will allow the developer to continue to offer the game at no charge. Against Gravity will eventually have to focus on a revenue platform, but for now, the company is more interested in building a community than in making money from its users.

“We were incredibly fortunate to find a group of people who believed in our vision of real-time social interaction, and were inspired to help us build an app that doesn’t follow the conventional model,” said Nick Fajt, CEO, and Co-founder of Against Gravity. “Importantly, they’ve supported our commitment to keeping Rec Room a free download, so anyone can join our community.”

Against Gravity is taking its newfound riches and putting it to good use. The developer is working on an activity called “The Quest,” which is to be Rec Room’s first co-operative experience, wherein players will team up, grab a bow or a sword, and fight their way through a castle in search of loot. “The only way to make it through The Quest is to coordinate your strategy of defense and attack,” Fajt said.

Against Gravity is also developing better tools to help you make new friends and find them in the game. No word on when we may see those features implemented, though.

Rec Room is available on Steam and the Oculus Store. It is a room-scale experience, which means you do need Touch controllers to join with a Rift.

 Kevin Carbotte is a contributing writer for Tom's Hardware who primarily covers VR and AR hardware. He has been writing for us for more than four years. 

  • Jeff Fx
    Rec Room had become pretty much unusable because idiots thought it was a place to put children who shouldn't even be exposed to VR yet with their visual cortex still developing. It was full of short and even crawling players acting like maniacs, who ruined the experience for people who are old enough to be playing the game.
  • WFang
    seems like the same problem that plagues almost all xbox/PS/PC massive online experience.
  • bit_user
    They should focus on tools to build user-generated content (rooms, games, etc.). Then, their revenue model could be a market place for selling that content.
  • bit_user
    19244288 said:
    Rec Room had become pretty much unusable because idiots thought it was a place to put children who shouldn't even be exposed to VR yet with their visual cortex still developing.
    Huh, I assumed you could get a private "room", to hang out with your friends. That's what they need.