Epic Games Is Shutting Down Houseparty Social Video-Chat App

·2-min read

Epic Games said it will shut down Houseparty, the live video-chat app that the company bought two years ago — evidently concluding that the app is not financially sustainable.

Houseparty announced Thursday that it will discontinue the app in October. According to a blog post on its site, the team behind Houseparty is “working on creating new ways to have meaningful and authentic social interactions at metaverse scale across the Epic Games family.” Houseparty employees are expected to be redeployed to work on other projects within Epic.

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“Since joining Epic, the Houseparty team’s social vision and core technology have already contributed to new features used by hundreds of millions of people in ‘Fortnite’ and by developers around the world,” Houseparty said. “As a result, we can’t give the app or our community the attention that it deserves.”

Houseparty was launched in 2016 by the creators behind the Meerkat livestreaming app, which was shut down that year. Epic acquired Houseparty in June 2019 for a reported $35 million. According to Houseparty, “tens of millions of people around the world” have used the app since it first launched.

The company said Houseparty will be removed from Apple and Google app stores immediately. The app will continue to function for existing users until it is shut down next month. Meanwhile, Fortnite Mode in Houseparty — which let “Fortnite” players use Houseparty’s video chat function — also is going away once the service is discontinued.

Last year Houseparty, looking to leverage a bump in COVID-driven usage, dabbled in entertainment programming: Its three-day “In the House” livestreaming event in May 2020 featured performances and appearances by Katy Perry, John Legend, Doja Cat, Alicia Keys, DaBaby, Bad Bunny, Keegan-Michael Key and more.

From launch through August 2021, Houseparty had about 102.6 million installs globally from across the Apple App Store and Google Play, per estimates from mobile research firm Sensor Tower.
In the first eight months of 2021, Houseparty reached nearly 8 million installs — down 83% year-over-year from approximately 47 million in the same period in 2020, per the firm.

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