Thousands of virtual avatars suddenly homeless

Daniel Wilson's avatar and apartment in PlayStation Home.
Daniel Wilson’s avatar and apartment in PlayStation Home.

When PlayStation Home was first announced in 2007, it promised a free-to-play virtual space for communication, friendship and fun along with areas to display trophies, ways to play custom music and videos with friends and a plethora of games and virtual spaces to promote current games. After a period of closed betas, it opened for business in late 2008 as an open beta on the PlayStation 3.

Though it never delivered on many of those promises and went through lots of growing pains, the service it evolved into is unique and impressive in its own right.

Now, six years later, Home (still in beta) is shutting down for good.

Technically it won’t close until March 31, 2015 but its worldwide demise is imminent. A Home closure in Japan and Asian territories was announced last month and now Europe and North America will also be a part of that closure, according to Sony Computer Entertainment Europe and Sony Computer Entertainment America, respectively. All three regions’ iterations of the online social hub will close on the same date.

“PlayStation Home has been serving the PS3 community since December 2008,” says a message upon starting up PlayStation Home. “During that time, tens of millions of users around the world have grown the social gaming platform into a thriving community of creative and enthusiastic gamers. We would like to thank all of our fans for their support of the PlayStation Home platform over the years.”

For now, Home users can still purchase items and enjoy the virtual worlds, games and dance moves they’ve come to love. However, as of Nov. 12, new content publishing will end and users will no longer be able to download content after Dec. 3, 2014 when the virtual stores will be closed for business.

Sony has promised free content for loyal Homies up until the end of the service. So, get in there and enjoy your apartments before the landlord kicks you to the curb next year.

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