Earlier this year IMVU ended its relationship with Fur Affinity, apparently selling the site back to its owner, Sean Piche aka Dragoneer. Although Dragoneer, in a Fur Affinity press release dated February 1st, implied that he actively pried Fur Affinity from the hands of IMVU, the transfer of ownership coincides with a restructuring at IMVU, as well as a multi-million dollar investment from a major Chinese gaming company, NetEase.
Consider this: In a January 25th article in TechCrunch, just a week before Dragoneer’s announcement, the CEO of IMVU’s parent’ company, Darren Tsui, told TechCrunch “IMVU operates one of the world’s oldest, yet most vibrant and young - in terms of our user base - metaverses. (…) It is a natural fit for (IMVU and NetEase) to become partners.”
“With IMVU’s accelerating growth over the recent years, the launch of VCOIN, and the development of the new WithMe platform, we felt timing was right to (re-launch as Together Labs).”
In other words, IMVU has been focusing on its in-game fiat money and the new WithMe platform, which seems to be taking the IMVU multiverse into a platform for ‘virtual meetups.’ Given the ‘accelerating growth’ in these virtual platforms, it is likely that neither IMVU nor NetEase saw a place for some poorly-coded furry website run by a questionable sex pest.
As for Fur Affinity, it is launching “FA+,” a $5 per month subscription service which seems to offer nothing different from normal Fur Affinity. Per-eyeball advertising revenue has been steadily dropping across the internet for the last ten years as people migrate to mobile devices. That is likely having a negative effect on Fur Affinity’s finances and driving Piche to try a subscription revenue model. Good luck with that.
We’ll see what happens.
FA Announcement https://www.furaffinity.net/journal/9761295
Tech Crunch Article: https://techcrunch.com/2021/01/25/imvu-35-million-funding/
WithMe app: https://www.withme.com/