Jet3D was established in late 1999 as an outcome of the purchase Eclipse Entertainment, Inc. of Bellvue, WA (the developers of Genesis3D 1.0 and 1.1) by WildTangent, Inc. (founded in 1998 in Redmond, WA). Before the purchase, Eclipse had been making substantial progress toward the completion of Genesis3D 2.0, a technology that moved the 3D rendering environment into web browser space. This web-based presentation channel attracted significant interest from WildTangent whose business plan was to deliver 3D gaming environments through the web. Genesis3D 2.0 was a good start. During the negotiations, Eclipse CEO, David Stafford, successfully won the right to make the source code of Genesis3D 1.1 and a snapshot of Genesis3D 2.0 (without the web browser delivery) and related resources available to everyone as open source. A static image of Genesis3D 2.0 was renamed Jet3D and released to the worldwide community of independent game developers on November 4, 1999 with the launch of the original jet3d.com web site.
For several years, WildTangent refined and extended Genesis3D 2.0 under the new name, WildTangent GameDriver and solicited the interest and support of independent game developers. Their profile included the WTStudio level deveopment app (right), online instructional labs, access to header files and an active forum. WildTangent later renamed GameDriver to WebDriver which was designed to stream 3D content onto the web as a 3D competitor to Macromedia Flash. Eventually, WildTangent disconnected the development community and halted further work on 3D web based rendering technology; changing its business model to focus on casual games publishing. Currently, WT's GamesApp is a commercially succesful emphasis for the company.
Meanwhile, Jet3D experienced various levels of development and community support throughout the period of 1999-2011. Jet3d.com has been hosted by several different webmasters, and a small group of developers continues to pick away at Jet3D code. The current state of Jet3D is a significant improvement over Jet3D 2.0 (the original) in terms of stability, features and performance. Despite advances over the decade, Jet3D lost ground to other open source alternatives, such as Ogre3d and IRRLICHT.
Still, Jet3D has a certain "je ne sais quoi" that keeps it an appealing, old school realtime 3D development tool.