Timeline

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The plan for this page is to have a bullet point list of all major events that occurred in the timeline from Habitat until the present day. These will be presented in chronological order and wherever possible, links and citations will be given.

If you can provide a date for a major event or can confirm one, please get in touch with us. If you have proof of these dates but cannot publicly share them, we can discuss this to confirm the authenticity of the information.

1985

Unknown Date

  • Habitat begins.

1986

Unknown Date

  • Habitat is demoed at The Palladium nightclub in New York City.

1987

Unknown Date

  • Habitat alpha test occurs.

1988

Unknown Date

  • Habitat alpha ends.

1989

February

  • Fujitsu Habitat is demoed at Asia Telecom ‘89 in Singapore by a team from Fujitsu alongside Chip Morningstar and Randy Farmer.

Unknown Date

  • Club Caribe is released.
  • Fujitsu Habitat monitor test begins.

1990

February

  • Fujitsu Habitat is officially released on the FM-TOWNS computer[1][2].

1991

1992

1993

Unknown Date

  • Development of WorldsAway begins.

1994

February

  • Club Caribe closes.

1995

September

  • WorldsAway’s Dreamscape launches on CompuServe[3].

November

15th

  • WorldsAway version 1.0 is officially released. This date actually becomes known each year as “Kymer New Year”, to celebrate the release of 1.0 in the Dreamscape, on the island of Kymer.

1996

March

  • Habitat II is released in Japan on the NIFTY-serve service for Windows[4].

July

  • The Sega Saturn client for Habitat II is released[5].

October

1st

  • Pride Media, Ltd launch the Pride! WorldsAway based virtual world[6].

November

  • The Macintosh client for Habitat II is released[7].

26th

  • Habitat II opens up access to the entire internet, as well as maintaining access via NIFTY-serve[8][9].

1997

May

1st

  • CJ CheilJedang launch Glass City in Korea under license from Fujitsu Limited in Japan and Fujitsu Korea[10][11].

July

  • WorldsAway releases the 2.0 upgrade.

September

16th

  • Habitat/3D is released by Fujitsu in Japan. Habitat/3D was a separate VRML compliant Java application that had virtual spaces you could explore. An object called an Agora door was placed in Habitat II which contested both of the worlds together. If you accessed Habitat/3D via Habitat II, your name, gender and general appearance would be recreated in Habitat/3D[12].

October

  • Fujitsu Software Corporation announce that its two established virtual worlds, Dreamscape and Pride! Universe, are now available on the Internet.[13]

December

  • The WorldsAway Products and Services group is moved from being a part of Fujitsu Software Corporation, to being under the control of Fujitsu Business Systems of America.

Unknown Date

  • Hallway is opened to the public as part of the beta test for WorldsAway 2.0.
  • Tim Lavalli is hired at Fujitsu Software Corporation and becomes known in the Dreamscape as Brother Echo.
  • Jeffrey Douglas who was formerly known as Oracle Vaserius in the Dreamscape, leaves Fujitsu.
  • Hallway is renamed to Hotel Silicon.
  • Electric Communities invite people to participate in the EC Habitats beta program.

1998

July

  • Fujitsu launch a virtual world aimed at adults called Club Connect[14].

Unknown Date

  • Habitat II opens their Graceville world, a clone of the Dreamscape world, using the WorldsAway 2.0 client and server architecture.
  • Scott Moore who was formerly known as Oracle Teresias in the Dreamscape, leaves Fujitsu.
  • Fujitsu partners with New Radio Star and rebrands Club Connect as New Radio World, complete with new areas and radio stations.

1999

May

1st

  • The WorldsAway Products and Services group in the USA is sold by Fujitsu Systems Business of America to Inworlds.com, Inc, which was a company led by former Vice President of the WorldsAway Products and Services Business Unit, David Andrews[15]. The WorldsAway Products and Services group led development of the software, created new artwork, operated several virtual worlds and marketed them too. The Products and Services group was sponsored by Fujitsu Limited in Japan, who retained ownership of the WorldsAway property after the transaction was concluded[16][17].
  • Inworlds.com licensed the WorldsAway technology from Fujitsu Limited in Japan. Pride! Universe, Habitat II and Glass City remained separately owned and maintained entities from Inworlds.com, Inc[18] [19] [20].

Unknown Date

  • Inworlds.com, Inc is renamed very quickly to Avaterra.com, Inc.

September

1st

  • Fujitsu Limited in Japan license WorldsAway to Fujitsu Parex, a subsidiary who they collaborated with for many years. On this day, the J-Chat service is launched[21][22].

Unknown Date

  • Version 2.4 of the WorldsAway client is released. It would be the final release by Fujitsu to bear the name WorldsAway.
  • Fujitsu Habitat closes.
  • Habitat II closes both Elysium and Graceville worlds.
  • Avaterra moves the former WorldsAway Products and Services group offices from San Jose, CA to Palo Alto, CA.
  • Avaterra rebrand themselves as VZones. They continue to trade as Avaterra, but the service itself becomes known as VZones.
  • New Radio World is rebranded as VZConnections.

2000

March

  • Avaterra release version 3.0 of the VZones client[23]. This is the final client release created by members of the original development team who used to work for Fujitsu but moved over to Avaterra.

Unknown Date

  • Avaterra Europe releases an area in VZConnections called VZSciFi, which was an entirely self contained area in VZC, complete with backstory and unique 3D pre-rendered artwork.
  • Avaterra.com, Inc goes bankrupt.
  • Avaterra Europe closes.
  • Avaterra Canada closes.
  • The VZones service is down for a month due to non payment of hosting bills. Robert Dunbar, a former remote assistant, steps in to try and raise the funds to pay the bill and get services operational.
  • A contract is signed between Avaterra and Robert Dunbars company before the board of directors, transferring Avaterras software license to Virtual Universe, Inc.
  • VZones starts selling inworld objects for real money. The service that sold the objects was AvatarWares.

2001

Unknown Date

  • David Andrews, former Fujitsu executive and Avaterra CEO, returns to the fold and takes over operation of the VZones service from Robert Dunbar. David Andrews company that took over operation of VZones was called Stratagem Corporation.
  • VZones launches a virtual world aimed at adults with a sexual theme and naked bodies that could perform simulated sexual acts. The world was called Seducity.

2002

April

13th

  • VZones launch the Second Kingdom virtual world[24]. A world created with a deep mythology and focus on storyline and questing. It was unique in that spells could be used inworld and this was the first public use of magic in a WorldsAway world.

2003

2004

July

  • Fujitsu Parex merges with G-Search, Ltd who operate and maintain the J-Chat service. G-Search, Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fujitsu Limited in Japan[25].

October

2nd

  • Stratagem Corporation launched the "Virtual Votes" virtual world.[26][27].

November

3rd

  • Stratagem Corporation closes the "Virtual Votes" virtual world.[28].

Unknown Date

  • Sanrio license the WorldsAway software from G—Search, Ltd and launch Sanrioworld. A Hello Kitty themed virtual world.

2005

2006

Unknown Date

  • David Andrews sells Stratagem Corporation to Justine Reichman, who takes over operation of the VZones service.

2007

Unknown Date

  • An unauthorised Glass City opens privately, by one of the former Glass City server engineers.

2008

2009

2010

January

26th

  • G-Search, Ltd shuts down the J-Chat service[29].

2011

2012

2013

2014

July

  • Due to non payment of server hosting bills, the VZones service closes its doors without any announcements and the owner, Justine Reichman, goes completely silent.

August

  • MetroWorlds, an officially licensed WorldsAway world, launch the Eden beta world.

Unknown Date

  • Lucasfilm’s Habitat, which was later purchased by Fujitsu, was made open source thanks to the efforts of The Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment in Oakland, California.
  • A hackathon was held at The MADE to attempt to get Habitat operational again. This event was attended by Chip Morningstar and Randy Farmer. A basic region was created using packet crafting and the first Habitat region in 20 years was able to be successfully displayed.

2015

October

  • MetroWorlds launch their main virtual world called Metropolis. The beta world known as Eden closes several weeks later.

2016

2017

November

  • MetroWorlds shut down their Metropolis service.

Unknown Date

  • Randy Farmer starts the NeoHabitat project. A recreation of the original Habitat server, using a modern programming language. This happens after three years of attempting to get clearance for some missing files needed to compile the original Habitat server code on the original hardware.

2018

2019

2020

2021

  1. ^ Overview of "Habitat II" - Fujitsu September 1997 Press Release, https://pr.fujitsu.com/jp/news/1997/Sep/habitat/habitat2_gaiyou.html
  2. ^ "Habitat II" service concept - Fujitsu September 1997 Press Release, https://pr.fujitsu.com/jp/news/1997/Sep/habitat/habitat2_concept.html
  3. ^ Global expansion/system expansion of "Habitat II" - Fujitsu September 1997 Press Release, https://pr.fujitsu.com/jp/news/1997/Sep/habitat/cybercom.html
  4. ^ Overview of "Habitat II" - Fujitsu September 1997 Press Release, https://pr.fujitsu.com/jp/news/1997/Sep/habitat/habitat2_gaiyou.html
  5. ^ Overview of "Habitat II" - Fujitsu September 1997 Press Release, https://pr.fujitsu.com/jp/news/1997/Sep/habitat/habitat2_gaiyou.html
  6. ^ Global expansion/system expansion of "Habitat II" - Fujitsu September 1997 Press Release, https://pr.fujitsu.com/jp/news/1997/Sep/habitat/cybercom.html
  7. ^ Overview of "Habitat II" - Fujitsu September 1997 Press Release, https://pr.fujitsu.com/jp/news/1997/Sep/habitat/habitat2_gaiyou.html
  8. ^ Overview of "Habitat II" - Fujitsu September 1997 Press Release, https://pr.fujitsu.com/jp/news/1997/Sep/habitat/habitat2_gaiyou.html
  9. ^ Virtual community "Habitat II" Internet service started, Fujitsu November 1996 Press Release, https://pr.fujitsu.com/jp/news/1996/Nov/15-2.html
  10. ^ Korean version of Habitat II "Yuridosi (Glass City)" has started - Fujitsu April 1997 Press Release, https://pr.fujitsu.com/jp/news/1997/Apr/30.html
  11. ^ Global expansion/system expansion of "Habitat II" - Fujitsu September 1997 Press Release, https://pr.fujitsu.com/jp/news/1997/Sep/habitat/cybercom.html
  12. ^ Added communication function in 3D space to "Habitat II" - Fujitsu September 1997 Press Release, https://pr.fujitsu.com/jp/news/1997/Sep/5.html
  13. ^ Spectrum: Interactive Media & Online Developer News 27 October 1997, http://www.3dlinks.com/spectrum/issues/spectrum-oct-27-97.cfm
  14. ^ WorldsAway About Us Page - October 1999, https://web.archive.org/web/19991022021840/http://www.worldsaway.com/aboutus/
  15. ^ Club Connect Press Release - July 20, 1998, https://web.archive.org/web/19991022040726/http://www.worldsaway.com:80/aboutus/consumer.html
  16. ^ New Radio World/WorldsAway Press Release - May 7th 1999, https://web.archive.org/web/19991021235058/http://www.newradioworld.com:80/members/announcement.html
  17. ^ Fujitsu/Inworlds.com Press Release - May 7th 1999, https://web.archive.org/web/20000125231351/worldsaway.net/letter.html
  18. ^ New Radio World/WorldsAway Press Release - May 7th 1999, https://web.archive.org/web/19991021235058/http://www.newradioworld.com:80/members/announcement.html
  19. ^ Fujitsu/Inworlds.com Press Release - May 7th 1999, https://web.archive.org/web/20000125231351/worldsaway.net/letter.html
  20. ^ Delphi chat with Delilah/Eva Gailey - July 13th, 2000, https://web.archive.org/web/20030526194710/http://www.vplanet.org/archives/articles/rw/mgrw00713-35.htm
  21. ^ "J-Chat ~ Beach on The Net ~" membership community service started - Fujitsu August 1999 Press Release, https://pr.fujitsu.com/jp/news/1999/Aug/30.html
  22. ^ G-Search History Page, https://www.g-search.jp/en/history/
  23. ^ Reactions to VZones 3.0 - Virtual Planet News Article - March 24th, 2000, https://web.archive.org/web/20030526193450/http://www.vplanet.org/archives/articles/opinion/vco00324.htm
  24. ^ Second Kingdom Information — Virtual Planet News Article - April 12th, 2002, https://web.archive.org/web/20040912233543/http://www.vplanet.org/archives/articles/news_2002/scn20412a.htm
  25. ^ G-Search History Page, https://www.g-search.jp/en/history/
  26. ^ Stratagem Corporation September 2004 Press Release, https://web.archive.org/web/20041012030810/http://www.emediawire.com/releases/2004/9/emw160140.htm
  27. ^ Terra Nova Blog - October 2004, https://terranova.blogs.com/terra_nova/2004/10/virtual_world_r.html
  28. ^ Stratagem Corporation September 2004 Press Release, https://web.archive.org/web/20041012030810/http://www.emediawire.com/releases/2004/9/emw160140.htm
  29. ^ J-Chat Home Page - December 2010, https://web.archive.org/web/20101230070135/http://j-chat.net/