Epic is shutting down the Houseparty app, a video chatting platform it acquired in 2019.
In a statement, the company said the Houseparty team is being absorbed into Epic in order to "create new ways to have meaningful and authentic social interactions at metaverse scale across the Epic Games family."
With this announcement, the Houseparty app has been officially removed from different App Stores, and its video chatting service will cease to function in October. This includes the shutdown of the app's Fortnite mode.
Whatever the future of the Metaverse is (and whether or not it's anything beyond just a convoluted series of licensing contracts that let characters show up in different games), it apparently does not include a video chatting app that saw a spike in users at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Houseparty apparently was downloaded 17 million times in 2020, per data from SensorTower.