I’m glad you wrote this blog because I’ve been confused about the articles as well. I felt like I was reliving the birth of the “cloud” all over again. I think the reason why Improbable has been confused as a Virtual Reality company is many of the articles written in 2016 focused on VR. Quotes from the company would talk about the potential of SpatialOS and VR. When Improbable’s Alpha was released, VR HMDs were on the front page of the company’s website. Even recent videos with Improbable’s CEO, are heavy with VR imagery and discussion. In additional to that, SpatialOS articles talking about Sci-fi books like Snow Crash or showing videos of MetaWorld makes it hard for the general public to separate the company from VR.
I can say that after working with SpatialOS and Virtual Reality since early 2016 (MetaWorld and now Community Garden) that Improbable can empower developers to make simulations at scale. Unfortunately, detailed interactions required to create a good VR experience cause problems. Most of my time developing has been spent working around these issues. In addition, the workflow isn’t optimized for Social VR and slows down the process.