Ever since the social VR platform Rec Room launched in 2016, its avatar system has notably lacked full-body inverse kinematics like you see in its contemporary VRChat, which essentially leaves users with a stylized appearance lacking arms and legs. Now the studio says it’s releasing an update that will allow you to buy more articulated avatar outfits which should add more flexibility to how you can look in the game.

The studio tells us that the new costumes will let you look like “almost anything imaginable.” It’s not matching VRChat’s functionality one-to-one though; that platform pretty much gives carte blanche for avatar user uploads.

Instead, Rec Room notes that each full-body, animated costume will be created by other players and supposedly also made available for purchase via the platform’s in-game currency system.

Image courtesy Rec Room

The update is no doubt working to support the game’s nascent digital economy, which allows premium users to make avatar accessories, rooms, and gadgets and get paid in real cash. It might also allow the developers some modicum of control over what outfits are approved for sale, as its audience skews fairly young.

And the name of the game is content creation, it seems. The studio says it now hosts over five million user-generated rooms. With its mounting currency-earning opportunities for users, the company seems to be well on its way to paying out to creators what it says should amount to $1 million by the end of 2021.

'Rec Room' to Roll Out Full-body Avatars in March

This content expansion follows a landmark $100 million financing round, bringing the company’s valuation to $1.25 billion. This makes Rec Room one of the most valuable VR companies outside of platform holders Facebook and Sony.

In the coming months, the Rec Room is also readying an Android version which will feature cross-play with all supported platforms, which includes iOS devices, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X, Xbox One, PC via Steam, Oculus Quest, and all SteamVR-compatible headsets.

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 3,500 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • Now that they’ve added the ability for people to sell and buy creations directly inside this “game”, I think this is going to just continue to grow and become something huge over time.

  • video evidence, I need it NOW xD

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    I don’t fully get Rec Room. I always join and try out content and it’s kind of lackluster either for control reasons or just that there’s a lot of filler and not enough ways to browse for what you actually want. I probably naturally have enough tokens or whatever to get one of these but I do hope there’s one free one at least. And I also wonder how many kids are working for this company indirectly.

  • This company has just kept its head down and done the work through all of the speculation turbulence around VR’s long-term viability, and all of the growing and changing needs from investors that have sprung up since 2016, from 2D mobile cross-play to in-game economies to virtual merch avatar systems and live events to node-based scripting systems for making more UGC, etc. AND I don’t see any incorporation of cryptocurrency so I’m stoked about that. Much respect to Rec Room, who have just continued to pull off what’s needed next and continue to grow as the market grows.

    • Jeremy Kins

      Rec Room is great. I’d just prefer if they’d actually update their code and unity so, you know, it could keep a stable framerate. That alone would improve the experience so drastically.

  • Smart idea to avoid making people upload full avatars!

  • Jeremy Kins

    This is cool, but I’d still love it if they’d actually fix their spaghetti code and optimize performance for once. I get they have investors to pay but come on, it’s been years and it still can’t even hold 72 on Quest 2.