#883 ‘Rec Room:’ Social VR World Building Platform on PC, Console, Mobile, & VR

Rec Room is one of the most successful social VR platforms, and they’re also on the most platforms including PC VR, Quest, PSVR, PC 2D, PS4 2D, and most recently iOS phones and tablets. There aren’t a lot of other casual social mobile app experiences that offer voice chat, and they saw a lot of grow in 2019 with a lot more than a million downloads (which was reported at the end of 2018).

I ran into Rec Room‘s head of community Shawn Whiting at the Impact Reality Summit, and we talked about his journey to Rec Room, and all of the world building tools that they’ve enabled. There is a lot of user generated content in Rec Room, and the majority of room visits are now coming from user-created rooms.

Whiting talks about the visual scripting language and world building tools that has Rec Room users collaborating on dev teams, and creating rooms that are sometimes getting millions of visits.

Whiting didn’t provide any specific numbers on the number of total users, monthly active users, daily active users, or retention time. But he did give me a sneak peak of some of the all-time stats for Rec Room (i.e. these are not just from 2019)

  • 1.6 million rooms (this excludes everyone’s default dorm room)
  • 200 million room visits
  • 22 million friends made
  • 30 million photos taken in game using our virtual camera

After our interview, Whiting also said that it’s possible to record embodied, volumetric performances that can be overlaid with multiple characters to make it possible for users to record and share their stories.

I left this conversation really impressed with everything that’s happening within Rec Room. It feels the early days of a fleshed out Metaverse, although currently a walled garden version as they focus on creating an embodied experience that’s uniform across so many diverse platforms.

Whiting says that there is a whole generation of digital-native content creators ranging from experiences like Minecraft, Roblox, Dreams, Little Big Planet, & Fortnite. He said that their users are very quick at picking up these building interfaces, and they’re able to create experiences with their tools that are on par with what their devs are creating with a professional 3D modeling pipeline and Unity. There are over a million rooms that have been created, and the Rec Room YouTube channel has been featuring The highlights.

Finally, Whiting forgot to mention and wanted me to pass along that Rec Room Inc is currently hiring for a number of positions in the Seattle area.


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Music: Fatality

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Episode 884