SLFFVII.com is the incredibly detailed web portal of an online sub-community within a larger online community that's actually the spinoff of yet another online community -- specifically, it's a group of Final Fantasy VII roleplayers who've re-created much of that game in Second Life. That's not necessarily notable in itself. Like I mentioned last week, various Star Wars-themed roleplay communities have existed in SL for years. Thing is, SLFFVII has existed in Second Life as a contiguous community on the same sim with the same FFVII community for nearly a decade. Since 2007, in fact, which is when this blog first covered it.
Compare and contrast current images, from how it looked -- and how it was organized -- back then:
Midgar in 2007
Nobody's really sure who owns the sim. A financial officer on the GM council pays tier with donations from the players. That's all we know for sure.
As far as Square's sponsorship of the whole thing, we know for sure that they aren't directly involved. Among the GMs I spoke with, almost all of them were 100% convinced that Square had given some kind of blessing to the proceedings, but nobody was positive who exactly got that blessing.
Two people told me that Katsuhito Tal had spoken to Square, so I followed up with him.
"You were the main contact with Square, right?" I began. "Did they say it was OK to create/run Midgar?"
"Never got a word back," Katsuhito Tal tells me.
"Did ANYBODY try to contact Square apart from you?"
"One other," says Tal, "but that was Square-Enix Germany. Not much help there. Waiting two weeks only to get 'it is not our decision to make'."
"You wouldn't believe how many people are under the impression that Square is all cool with it... [who] seem to be under the impression that there was a kind of informal 'we won't sue, you guys rule' from Square."
Seeing as it's still there, and now has a pretty impressive presence on the web -- with a Wiki and everything -- guess that informal rule still holds.
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