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

September

  • Habitat is demoed by Lucasfilm Games at The Palladium nightclub in New York City[1][2].

1987

Unknown Date

  • Habitat alpha test occurs.

1988

August

21st

  • Fujitsu representatives attend the Habitat Technology Transfer Seminar at Skywalker Ranch in Marin County, California, USA. The seminar is held from Monday, August 21, 1988 through Friday, August 25, 1988[3]. A notable attendee is Kazutomo Fukuda, who would go on to be in charge of Fujitsu Habitat and Habitat II.

Unknown Date

  • Habitat alpha ends.
  • Fujitsu licenses Habitat from Lucasfilm to create Fujitsu Habitat in Japan[4][5].

1989

February

  • Fujitsu Habitat is demoed at Asia Telecom ‘89 in Singapore by a team from Fujitsu alongside Chip Morningstar and Randy Farmer[6][7].

March

  • Fujitsu Habitat was debuted in Japan at "Denno Amusement Park IN Tokyo Dome" where Fujitsu's personal computer the "FM-TOWNS" was also unveiled[8].

October

  • Fujitsu Habitat monitor test begins[9].

Unknown Date

  • Club Caribe is released.

1990

February

  • Fujitsu Habitat is officially released on the FM-TOWNS computer[10][11][12].

1991

August

  • The Fujitsu Habitat client is released on the FMR series of personal computers[13].

October

  • The Fujitsu Habitat client is released for the PC-9801[14].

1992

1993

Unknown Date

  • Fujitsu Limited acquire the Habitat intellectual property from Lucasfilm[15].
  • Development of WorldsAway begins under Fujitsu Open Systems Solutions, inc (originally UniSoft, which was acquired by Fujitsu)[16][17].

1994

February

21st

  • Club Caribe closes[18].

August

  • Fujitsu's Cultural Technologies division is established in San Jose[19][20].

December

  • The book "Online virtual reality" which was written by Fujitsu Habitat Oracles is published by Fujitsu Books[21].

1995

August

8th

  • WorldsAway opens up the Dreamscape service in beta to testers on CompuServe.

September

15th

  • WorldsAway’s Dreamscape launches to the public on CompuServe[22][23].

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.

December

1st

  • Fujitsu announces the availability of WorldsAway to CompuServe subscribers around the world[24].

1996

February

27th

  • Fujitsu announces plans for a new world called "WebWorld"[25].

March

  • Habitat II is released in Japan on the NIFTY-serve service for Windows[26].

April

29th

  • Fujitsu Cultural Technologies demoes WorldsAway & WebWorlds at the Spring Internet World '96 show held at the San Jose Convention Center, April 29th - May 2nd 1996[27].

July

  • The Sega Saturn client for Habitat II is released[28].

October

1st

  • Pride Media, Ltd launch the Pride! WorldsAway based virtual world[29][30][31].

November

  • The Macintosh client for Habitat II is released[32].

26th

  • Habitat II opens up access to the entire internet, as well as maintaining access via NIFTY-serve[33][34]. The client software is given away for free, instead of being paid for as it was previously[35].

1997

May

1st

  • CJ CheilJedang launch Glass City in Korea under license from Fujitsu Limited in Japan and Fujitsu Korea[36][37].

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 connected 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[38].

October

  • Fujitsu Software Corporation announce that its two established virtual worlds, Dreamscape and Pride! Universe, are now available on the Internet.[39]

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

January

  • Habitat II opens their Graceville world, a clone of the Dreamscape world, using the WorldsAway 2.0 client and server architecture[40].

February

Unknown Date

  • Development of Club Connect begins[41].

July

24th

  • Fujitsu launch a virtual world aimed at adults called Club Connect[42][43].

November

Unknown Date

  • Hotel Silicon merges with Club Connect to create New Radio World in partnership with a company called New Radio Star[44].

Unknown Date

  • Scott Moore who was formerly known as Oracle Teresias in the Dreamscape, leaves Fujitsu.
  • Electric Communities acquires OnLive! Technologies and The Palace.

1999

March

  • Fujitsu Habitat ceases operation[45].

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[46]. 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[47][48], who retained ownership of the WorldsAway property after the transaction was concluded[49][50].
  • 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[51] [52] [53].

June

14th

  • Avaterra.com, Inc file for a trademark for their logo with the United States Patent and Trademark Office[54]

28th

  • Avaterra.com, Inc announce via a press release that they have completed the acquisition of WorldsAway, a division of Fujitsu’s Products and Services Group. Fujitsu Systems Business of America retained a 10% stake in Avaterra.com, and held a position on the board[55][56]. It is mentioned that Avaterra.com, Inc derived revenue from its unique advertising venues, fee-based membership, custom virtual community development and software co-licensing[57].

Unknown Date

  • Avaterra.com, Inc formally launched its new corporate name and demonstrated its AdObject technology for next-generation Internet advertising at the Web Attack conference in San Francisco[58].

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[59][60].

Unknown Date

  • Version 2.4 of the WorldsAway client is released. It would be the final release by Fujitsu to bear the name WorldsAway.
  • 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[61]. 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 name given to the program that sold the objects was called AvatarWares.

2001

March

  • Habitat II's Elysium service closes down[62].

May

  • Habitat II's Graceville service closes down[63].

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[64]. 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.

September

  • J-Chat starts selling in-game items for real money for the first time[65].

2003

March

  • SanrioWorld launches in Japan[66].

Unknown Date

  • Fujitsu Limited license WorldsAway to Sanrio Company, Ltd who launch their SanrioWorld service in Japan featuring all new artwork, including art from Sanrio’s Hello Kitty brand[67].

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[68].

October

2nd

  • Stratagem Corporation launched the "Virtual Votes" virtual world.[69][70].

November

3rd

  • Stratagem Corporation closes the "Virtual Votes" virtual world.[71].

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 service 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[72].

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. ^ Computerworld - Sep 1, 1986, https://books.google.com/books?id=6dLTc6Wv3Y0C&pg=PA72&lpg=PA72&dq=north+american+videotex+industry+%22conference%22+%221986%22+%22New+York%22+-minitel&source=bl&ots=3YMaib_mgh&sig=ACfU3U3P31hutfru8_prDuEy45AwgU9BBg&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjBooHdhaj2AhVtJkQIHfQvBjEQ6AF6BAg1EAM#v=onepage&q=north%20american%20videotex%20industry%20%22conference%22%20%221986%22%20%22New%20York%22%20-minitel&f=false
  2. ^ Palladium Demo - Lucasfilm Ltd. Games Division - September 14, 1986,https://github.com/StuBlad/habitatdocs/blob/main/itr/palladium.pdf
  3. ^ Habitat Technology Transfer Seminar document, https://renoproject.org/pub/Habitat/Documents/Habitat_Tech_Transfer_FULL.pdf
  4. ^ You can't tell people anything - Habitat Chronicles, http://habitatchronicles.com/2004/04/you-cant-tell-people-anything/
  5. ^ WorldsAway Backgrounder - Creating Virtual Communities in Cyberspace, https://web.archive.org/web/19961120223211/http://www.worldsaway.com/Worldsaway/press2/waback.html
  6. ^ Asia Telecom '89 Photos from the archives of Randy Farmer, https://renoproject.org/imagearchive/index.php?/category/313
  7. ^ Fujitsu Habitat history - https://web.archive.org/web/20160812162115/http://www.j-chat.net/habitat/history.html
  8. ^ Fujitsu Habitat history - https://web.archive.org/web/20160812162115/http://www.j-chat.net/habitat/history.html
  9. ^ Fujitsu Habitat history - https://web.archive.org/web/20160812162115/http://www.j-chat.net/habitat/history.html
  10. ^ Overview of "Habitat II" - Fujitsu September 1997 Press Release, https://pr.fujitsu.com/jp/news/1997/Sep/habitat/habitat2_gaiyou.html
  11. ^ "Habitat II" service concept - Fujitsu September 1997 Press Release, https://pr.fujitsu.com/jp/news/1997/Sep/habitat/habitat2_concept.html
  12. ^ FUJITSU MULTIMEDIA CORPORATE BACKGROUNDER, https://web.archive.org/web/19961120223227/http://www.worldsaway.com/Worldsaway/press2/fujicorp.html
  13. ^ Fujitsu Habitat history - https://web.archive.org/web/20160812162115/http://www.j-chat.net/habitat/history.html
  14. ^ Fujitsu Habitat history - https://web.archive.org/web/20160812162115/http://www.j-chat.net/habitat/history.html
  15. ^ FUJITSU GETS WIRED (int'l edition) - BusinessWeek, https://web.archive.org/web/19970628192110/http://www.businessweek.com/1996/12/b3467152.htm
  16. ^ E-mail conversion with John Onusko, one of the people who wrote the WorldsAway server code.
  17. ^ FUJITSU POACHES UNISOFT TOP BRASS TO STAFF NEW OPEN SYSTEMS OUTFIT, https://techmonitor.ai/techonology/fujitsu_poaches_unisoft_top_brass_to_staff_new_open_systems_outfit
  18. ^ BLD Stlker’s Club Caribe Documentary - February 1994, https://youtu.be/OESzgOau1k4
  19. ^ FUJITSU DEMOS VIRTUAL WORLDS FOR THE WEB AT SPRING INTERNET WORLD `96 - Press Release, https://web.archive.org/web/19961120223153/http://www.worldsaway.com/Worldsaway/press2/webw.html
  20. ^ INTRODUCING WEBWORLD -- ANIMATED VIRTUAL WORLD FOR THE WEB - Press Release, https://pr.fujitsu.com/jp/news/1996/Feb/28-e.html
  21. ^ Fujitsu Habitat history - https://web.archive.org/web/20160812162115/http://www.j-chat.net/habitat/history.html
  22. ^ Global expansion/system expansion of "Habitat II" - Fujitsu September 1997 Press Release, https://pr.fujitsu.com/jp/news/1997/Sep/habitat/cybercom.html
  23. ^ FUJITSU MULTIMEDIA CORPORATE BACKGROUNDER, https://web.archive.org/web/19961120223227/http://www.worldsaway.com/Worldsaway/press2/fujicorp.html
  24. ^ Animated Virtual World Debuts on CompuServe - Press Release, https://web.archive.org/web/19961120223202/http://www.worldsaway.com/Worldsaway/press2/waann.html
  25. ^ INTRODUCING WEBWORLD -- ANIMATED VIRTUAL WORLD FOR THE WEB - Press Release, https://pr.fujitsu.com/jp/news/1996/Feb/28-e.html
  26. ^ Overview of "Habitat II" - Fujitsu September 1997 Press Release, https://pr.fujitsu.com/jp/news/1997/Sep/habitat/habitat2_gaiyou.html
  27. ^ FUJITSU DEMOS VIRTUAL WORLDS FOR THE WEB AT SPRING INTERNET WORLD `96 - Press Release, https://web.archive.org/web/19961120223153/http://www.worldsaway.com/Worldsaway/press2/webw.html
  28. ^ Overview of "Habitat II" - Fujitsu September 1997 Press Release, https://pr.fujitsu.com/jp/news/1997/Sep/habitat/habitat2_gaiyou.html
  29. ^ Pride! Universe on CompuServe offers virtual world for the gay and lesbian community- Pride Media & Fujitsu October 1996 joint Press Release, https://web.archive.org/web/19971108123544fw_/http://www.pridemedia.com/release-universe.html
  30. ^ Virtual reality world opens its doors to gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders on CompuServe, https://web.archive.org/web/19971108123537fw_/http://www.pridemedia.com/release-compuserve.html
  31. ^ Global expansion/system expansion of "Habitat II" - Fujitsu September 1997 Press Release, https://pr.fujitsu.com/jp/news/1997/Sep/habitat/cybercom.html
  32. ^ Overview of "Habitat II" - Fujitsu September 1997 Press Release, https://pr.fujitsu.com/jp/news/1997/Sep/habitat/habitat2_gaiyou.html
  33. ^ Overview of "Habitat II" - Fujitsu September 1997 Press Release, https://pr.fujitsu.com/jp/news/1997/Sep/habitat/habitat2_gaiyou.html
  34. ^ Virtual community "Habitat II" Internet service started, Fujitsu November 1996 Press Release, https://pr.fujitsu.com/jp/news/1996/Nov/15-2.html
  35. ^ Fujitsu Habitat history - https://web.archive.org/web/20160812162115/http://www.j-chat.net/habitat/history.html
  36. ^ 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
  37. ^ Global expansion/system expansion of "Habitat II" - Fujitsu September 1997 Press Release, https://pr.fujitsu.com/jp/news/1997/Sep/habitat/cybercom.html
  38. ^ Added communication function in 3D space to "Habitat II" - Fujitsu September 1997 Press Release, https://pr.fujitsu.com/jp/news/1997/Sep/5.html
  39. ^ Spectrum: Interactive Media & Online Developer News 27 October 1997, http://www.3dlinks.com/spectrum/issues/spectrum-oct-27-97.cfm
  40. ^ Fujitsu Habitat history - https://web.archive.org/web/20160812162115/http://www.j-chat.net/habitat/history.html
  41. ^ Delphi Forums "Save Our Worlds" forum post by Teague, VZones Member Support "If Robert kills DS/VZC in favour of SeduCity, would you go to SC?" - October 2001, http://forums.delphiforums.com/saveourworlds/messages/?msg=104.25&gid=2092731848
  42. ^ WorldsAway About Us Page - October 1999, https://web.archive.org/web/19991022021840/http://www.worldsaway.com/aboutus/
  43. ^ Delphi Forums "Save Our Worlds" forum post by Teague, VZones Member Support "If Robert kills DS/VZC in favour of SeduCity, would you go to SC?" - October 2001, http://forums.delphiforums.com/saveourworlds/messages/?msg=104.25&gid=2092731848
  44. ^ Delphi Forums "Save Our Worlds" forum post by Teague, VZones Member Support "If Robert kills DS/VZC in favour of SeduCity, would you go to SC?" - October 2001, http://forums.delphiforums.com/saveourworlds/messages/?msg=104.25&gid=2092731848
  45. ^ Fujitsu Habitat history - https://web.archive.org/web/20160812162115/http://www.j-chat.net/habitat/history.html
  46. ^ Club Connect Press Release - July 20, 1998, https://web.archive.org/web/19991022040726/http://www.worldsaway.com:80/aboutus/consumer.html
  47. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/19961120221938/http://www.worldsaway.com/away2.html
  48. ^ FUJITSU GETS WIRED (int'l edition) - BusinessWeek, https://web.archive.org/web/19970628192110/http://www.businessweek.com/1996/12/b3467152.htm
  49. ^ New Radio World/WorldsAway Press Release - May 7th 1999, https://web.archive.org/web/19991021235058/http://www.newradioworld.com:80/members/announcement.html
  50. ^ Fujitsu/Inworlds.com Press Release - May 7th 1999, https://web.archive.org/web/20000125231351/worldsaway.net/letter.html
  51. ^ New Radio World/WorldsAway Press Release - May 7th 1999, https://web.archive.org/web/19991021235058/http://www.newradioworld.com:80/members/announcement.html
  52. ^ Fujitsu/Inworlds.com Press Release - May 7th 1999, https://web.archive.org/web/20000125231351/worldsaway.net/letter.html
  53. ^ 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
  54. ^ United States Patent and Trademark Office - Serial Number 75728185, https://tmsearch.uspto.gov/bin/showfield?f=doc&state=4802:yri2e4.3.1
  55. ^ Avaterra.com Completes Acquisition of Virtual Communities From Fujitsu - Press Release - June 28th 1999, https://indexarticles.com/business/business-wire/avaterra-com-completes-acquisition-of-virtual-communities-from-fujitsu/
  56. ^ Bloomberg Business Wire recap listing the press release, https://www.bloomberg.com/press-releases/1999-06-28/editors-kv840ypx
  57. ^ Avaterra.com Completes Acquisition of Virtual Communities From Fujitsu - Press Release - June 28th 1999, https://indexarticles.com/business/business-wire/avaterra-com-completes-acquisition-of-virtual-communities-from-fujitsu/
  58. ^ Avaterra.com Launches With AdObject Technology - Press Release - June 18th 1999, https://www.clickz.com/avaterra-com-launches-with-adobject-technology/
  59. ^ "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
  60. ^ G-Search History Page, https://www.g-search.jp/en/history/
  61. ^ 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
  62. ^ Fujitsu Habitat history - https://web.archive.org/web/20160812162115/http://www.j-chat.net/habitat/history.html
  63. ^ Fujitsu Habitat history - https://web.archive.org/web/20160812162115/http://www.j-chat.net/habitat/history.html
  64. ^ 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
  65. ^ Fujitsu Habitat history - https://web.archive.org/web/20160812162115/http://www.j-chat.net/habitat/history.html
  66. ^ SanrioWorld website - April 18th, 2003 - https://web.archive.org/web/20030418011608fw_/http://www.sanriowave.com/world/new2.html
  67. ^ SanrioWorld website - April 8th, 2003, https://web.archive.org/web/20030408003957/http://www.sanriowave.com/world/
  68. ^ G-Search History Page, https://www.g-search.jp/en/history/
  69. ^ Stratagem Corporation September 2004 Press Release, https://web.archive.org/web/20041012030810/http://www.emediawire.com/releases/2004/9/emw160140.htm
  70. ^ Terra Nova Blog - October 2004, https://terranova.blogs.com/terra_nova/2004/10/virtual_world_r.html
  71. ^ Stratagem Corporation September 2004 Press Release, https://web.archive.org/web/20041012030810/http://www.emediawire.com/releases/2004/9/emw160140.htm
  72. ^ J-Chat Home Page - December 2010, https://web.archive.org/web/20101230070135/http://j-chat.net/