Makena Technologies has announced the acquisition of the PC 'virtual world' MMO title There
, which has been spun off from parent company Forterra Systems, and has therefore received a new infusion of funding from Makena founders Michael Wilson and Steve Victorino.
Wilson and Victorino have been investors and executives of Forterra and There
for some time, and will take charge of the future of the consumer end of this MMO technology. There
and recently higher-profile competitor, Linden Labs' Second Life
saw a bright future in non-combat, non-competitive 3D virtual worlds which allowed creativity and user interaction, and although the consumer end of There
has not been as successful as anticipated, it will be kept alive under this new deal.
The financial terms of the transfer were not revealed, but Wilson and Victorino expressed confidence that the new management would allow There
to grow and thrive, rather than continue in its uneasy status under Forterra, who backed away from There
as a consumer-focused product as the company moved towards the 'serious games' and military/training end of the market, receiving multiple U.S. Army contracts.
"We'll be able to change our focus from survival mode to a more strategic mode," said Wilson to Wired News. The new company has hired a number of new customer support staff, since under Forterra, the staff had consisted of two engineers and a minimum support team, following its relative failure to reach goals of hundreds of thousands of hoped-for monthly subscriptions.
Victorino further commented: "The community is the heart of There
, and There
is very lucky to have had such a close relationship with its users. We are committed to continuing to work together with There members on taking There
to new and greater levels."