Fortnite developer Epic Games will close Houseparty, a video chat application that gained traction during the blockade caused by the pandemic last year. The company announced on Thursday, September 9 that the social video chat platform purchased by Epic Games and integrated with its popular battle royale game Fortnite will be discontinued in October. Epic confirmed that through this move, Fortnite’s Houseparty integration will also disappear. The app has been removed from the App Store and Google Play. The service will be completely closed in October.
Houseparty was launched in 2016 and is produced by the same team behind the live streaming app Meerkat. Houseparty allows up to 8 users to have group chats to create virtual party rooms and private conversations with friends, where users can also play mini games.
As early as 2019, Epic Games acquired Houseparty and integrated it with Fortnite, allowing gamers to see real-time feeds from friends while playing games. Later, the developers added support for live game sessions directly through Houseparty. Sensor Tower data shows that as of March 2020, the app has received 17.2 million downloads.
“We will not stop using the app easily. We created Houseparty to allow people to feel that they are together even when they are physically separated. We thank you very much for turning to Houseparty at important moments in your life.” Said in a blog post.
Houseparty said it will focus on Epic Games next. “The team behind Houseparty is working hard to create new ways to conduct meaningful and real social interactions in the Epic Games family on a meta-universe scale,” it added.
The Houseparty app has been removed from Google Play and Apple’s App Store. Users who have already installed the video chat service can continue to use it until the service is completely shut down in October. The integration of Houseparty and Fortnite will also continue until October.