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Report: Augmented reality startup CastAR has closed its doors

Report: Augmented reality startup CastAR has closed its doors

June 27, 2017 | By Chris Kerr

June 27, 2017 | By Chris Kerr
More: VR, Business/Marketing

Augmented reality startup CastAR, which was founded by former Valve employees Jeri Ellsworth and Rick Johnson, has shut down. 

According to a report from Polygon, the company has laid off the majority of its staff, pulled down the shutters on internal studio Eat Sleep Play, and closed its doors for good. 

Polygon says former staffers reached out to confirm the news, and claims a small number of employees were retained to work on selling CastAR's existing tech. 

The California-based outfit was founded in 2013, when Ellsworth and Johnson pulled back the curtain on an AR glasses project they'd been working on at Valve before they were laid off.

The pair continued to tinker with the prototype despite being made redundant, and after getting the green light from Valve, planned to commercialize the tech so it could be used in combination with video game apps. 

Two demos used at the time showed the CastAR specs working with Skylanders-inspired virtual toys and Valve's first-person shooter, Team Fortress 2. 

The firm reiterated its ambition to create the first mass market AR video game platform last year when it picked up the Eat Sleep Play dev team to build out a new studio in Salt Lake City. It was a notable move, as Eat Sleep Play is well known throughout the games industry for its work on the Twisted Metal franchise. 

Unfortunately though, it looks like the startup has struggled recently due to a lack of funding after key investors refused to sink any more cash into the project. And with the coffers running dry, and additional Series B funding failing to materialize, the company has been forced to wind down and liquidate its assets.

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