Second Life

It’s Not Easy Being Green: Rezzable’s Read on Stalled SL Growth

According to in-world notices Rezzable is pulling back, for now at least, until its concerns over the stalled user growth are addressed. RightAsRain points out that content development costs are increasingly expensive and the numbers just aren’t adding up. Rezzable is reducing some of the sims it’s carrying to focus on Darklands and Greenies, two sure-fire winners. I noticed that the Greenies are getting a backyard but thankfully didn’t spot a barbeque yet – you like your Greenies grilled right?

Over at the Rezzable blog, RightAsRain sums up a hard look at the SL stats:

Well, (I) hate to be a party pooper (not really actually), but SL5B is really a strange celebration. They spew a lot about the amazing creativity of the residents, but the real magic here is selling islands when most of the grid is empty and there are no meaningful increase in new users. All the tech issues are of course problems, but lack of new user growth is what must be addressed in the most serious way.

I was recently asked by someone whether there’s a road map – I think it was for the UI, but it might have been anything. And while there are little pieces to the technology road map I’m not aware of a STRATEGIC road map. Philip said it himself in his SL5B opening remarks – he likes working on tech stuff. All this marketing, policy, lawyer and promotion work just gets in the way of a good time with the Tao of the code I guess.

Linden is a company run by coders, is informed by coder philosophies, and is ill-advised by the folks it DOES have in promotion and PR.

It’s time for M to step up to the plate and outline at least a strategic development PROCESS. Tell us that you plan to articulate a vision for how trade-offs will be made between investments in internal and external perspectives, how new users will be attracted if at all, what the goals are – and PLEASE stop telling us that the goal is stability. We hear you. That’s wonderful. Fix the damn thing, but give us something a little broader than that please.

Maybe it’s the summer doldrums. That sort of slow-down as people remember that there’s an outside outside.

But on the heels of the trademark issues, the land pricing fiasco, the mismanagement of mainland and the glut of sims because of the sudden price plunge, the odd strategy of selling void sims to people who just don’t GET that the sim performance just isn’t the same as a full sim, and then the PR disaster of SL5B (and only Philip could spin that as a GOOD thing. I almost choked when he said in his opening remarks that the “bumps and tensions” of SL5B were a sign of how WONDERFULLY CREATIVE SL is. NO, Philip, they were a sign that your team doesn’t know what it’s doing!)

I feel, amongst many others, much as RightAsRain does – the creative capital, which is the true juice that runs SL is starting to decamp for elsewhere. There needs to be new blood to keep the economy moving – and NOT the Lab’s economy of servers, but the economy of the residents.

Otherwise I’m reminded of the T.S. Eliot quote:

“This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.”

Now, for anyone who’s interested, there’s some pretty cool stuff out of Pellican Crossing – anyone want to build some micro worlds with me?


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