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Monday, June 20, 2011

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Julie

OH NO! :(((

Chez Nabob

This is truly unfortunate. Apollo was one of the first sims I visited when I first logged into SL in 2005, and it's still among my favorites.

I used to have a shop in the Harbor Shops for a time, and had the pleasure of chatting with Dane Zander several times over the years. I found him to be one of the most fair, nicest and giving people I've had the pleasure of meeting in all my time in SL.

The sim is a real treasure, and it's a shame that future SL residents won't have the joy of experiencing Dane's wonderful creation.

Metacam Oh

I'd like to hear stories from sims that ARE making even or profit, and what their strategy is etc. Seems to me it is impossible these days to break even with the cost of tier. Like I said, you can lease a brand new lexus for the price of an SL sim. I think the pricing structure is a bit outdated and needs to be revamped ASAP

Deebrane String

Metacam: You're not the only one to wonder when LL will figure that out. Without sims, there's no place to breed Meeroos. *bleak grin*

All joking aside... Linden Labs is still charging "boomtown" prices to users. How many more quality sims have to disappear, citing "increase in rent" and falling silent? Rodvik, doesn't it bother you that *featured destinations* are now going dark because of the Lab's apparent inability to listen?

Ignatius Onomatopoeia

I used to scoff at the "death spiral" folks. But now the Lindens' revenue stream gets revealed for the one-trick pony it is. I'm glad I opted out for OpenSim when I did.

@Deebrane & Metacam, while I agree with you, how can the Lindens cut tier without losing the entire economy?

anotherdeadavatar

Nothing in life lasts forever, even in virtual life. So long!

Shelby

aww, what a shame. Lost Gardens is such a beautiful sim, it was one of the first places I loved back when I started in 2006. There should be a SL Historical Preservation group or something. If LL lowered tier, people would flock to buy land, or additional land, just like they did with the homestead sims. Who here remembers when cell phones were expensive?

Deebrane String

@Ignatius: Neither of us have access to LL's books, so I can't give you a balance sheet answer.

I note, however, that LL's current tier structure is clearly not sustainable. Otherwise, Hamlet wouldn't have a tag for "Sim Deathwatch", nor would he have written the "Bucket List" post.

When something truly cannot go on... it doesn't.

I submit that a comprehensive rethinking of the Second Life income structure has got to happen, while the LL's balance sheets still have room to soak up the temporary disruption that any significant change would bring. Whether that's cutting tier prices deeply in an effort to reflect peoples' actual disposable income, move to a mandatory pay-to-play structure (which would have its own drama and outrage), or... well, or... I don't know.

Perhaps THAT is the article that needs writing, Hamlet. A set of alternative pricing models, inviting comment and input, and maybe -- just maybe -- someone(s) will find the answers we're all looking about for.

Jjccc

ive noticed there are a number of sims on the beta grid that are not on the main grid anymore, like nexus prim, could Lost Gardens be save and put on the beta grid until the powers that be come to there senses and relize what a bunch of money grabbing dumb asses there being by loosing some thing as special as this. Is there some one at linden labs who bangs peoples head against the wall when they screw up because this would be a major blunder on LL part if they lost such a cool asset

anotherdeadavatar

@Shelby

What makes you think it's pricing alone driving the exodus? Perhaps the interest itself gone. Low prices won't bring that back. Just another possibility.

Deebrane String

@ anotherdeadavatar -- Because people who leave keep citing pricing as the main thing that is driving their decisions? Just sayin'.

anotherdeadavatar

@Deebrane

It's better to cite pricing than to say 'oh I just don't give a sh*t anymore'. Sounds better anyway.

I really don't believe a substantial price drop at this point in time will do any good. It should have happened when things started to trail off, perhaps it would have been more effective.

I think a minority who own/can afford virtual real estate would love to see a price drop , for their own sakes. Oldbies who are going down with the ship, if you will, would jump at the prospect of cheap virtual land. Hooking new people and their money, I'd say likely not. The luster of SL has faded, perhaps never to return.

Galatea Gynoid

@anotherdeadavatar: Hogwash. Sim numbers aren't declining because no one is getting new sims. New sims are opening all the time, and I know new residents planning on it, if they can swing the financing. But that's the catch. With pricing the way it is, too many oldbies aren't hanging around, and new many newbies aren't able to buy in. Thus we have the actual situation: old sims are closing faster than new ones are opening. Unless we've decided economics is wrong about just about everything, it's absurd to suggest cheaper prices wouldn't impact that.

Maria Korolov

They can launch an OpenSim-based grid that's hypergrid linked to the main Second Life grid. (They've done SL-to-OpenSim teleports before, so that can work.)

They can lock down the OpenSim grid the way that Inworldz does it -- no self-hosted regions, no OAR or IAR backups, etc... etc... -- basically, same security structure as Second Life.

They can run the OpenSim regions on a private cloud, the way PioneerX does it, automatically shifting resources to heavily used regions, even pulling in the Amazon cloud when they have a really big event. The RETAIL price for such regions is a tenth of what Second Life charges. The cost to the hosting companies is probably significantly lower.

There will be an added to cost to running Vivox voice -- but Avination is able to offer Vivox, so it works with OpenSim, and Second Life already has the Vivox license.

The other big disadvantage to OpenSim is that some script functions are missing (something to do with musical instruments) and some vehicle physics still needs work.

Second Life can give a significant discount for renters on this grid and still make money. They can even give the educators a discount again -- those guys don't usually need complex vehicle physics, anyway.

But what am I saying? SL has the license to a real physics engine. OpenSim is modular -- physics engines can be swapped in and out.

Meanwhile, land renters would get land at a significantly lower cost, and still be able to access Second Life and use their regular SL avatars.

If this goes well, Second Life could start offering private grids connected by cross-grid teleport to SL (or fully private) and start building their own, closed, commercial alternative to the hypergrid.

There's something weird going on when SL charges $300 for a region while some OpenSim companies are giving them away for less than $10 -- and still making a profit. (You wouldn't want to put a busy store on a $10 region, but they're fine for personal building projects.)

anotherdeadavatar

@Galatea

Absurd, perhaps. Perhaps not. Don't dream, it's over. If LL is as profitable as they claim, then they really have no incentive to 'fix' the situation, do they? I am being completely realistic when I say that SL's time has come and gone.

I really don't believe swapping directions is going to fix anything. They need an entirely new map. Let's wait and see!

Isadora Fiddlesticks

It's a sad day the day Apollo closes. It's also one of the first places I have visited when I was a noob. I still visit when I have time, IT WILL BE TRULY MISSED.

Metacam Oh

That's the problem anotherdeadavatar. The only people making bank ARE Linden Lab these days. They have pushed sellers onto the marketplace where they take a percent of sales, this also has an effect on renters. With the economy in the crapper, and people just struggling to pay back the Lab and no one is making money but them. It's a pyramid scheme now where there is only one group left to make money, the top, since new people are not coming in and growing the economy. Eventually the Lab will hit a point if they don't start getting new users in to spend money they will have to cut tier prices so at least some people have a chance at breaking even. Part of the reason their was mass influx in 07 was because of the potential to at least try and break even on your virtual hobby, or make money by the grace of god. The reality is becoming that people breaking even or making money beside the Lab is so minutely small, and people are starting to realize their dream to make money is not reality.

People can point to user generated content all they want to say what makes SL "work" but in reality, its the economy and the potential to make money that is the REAL factor here. Things are struggling inside Linden Lab's world, and maybe a stimulus factor is needed. If their economy crashes, they are as good as toast.

Eurominuteman

In economics, vendor lock-in, also known as proprietary lock-in or customer lock-in, makes a customer dependent on a vendor for products and services, unable to use another vendor without substantial switching costs. Lock-in costs which create barriers to market entry may result in antitrust action against a monopoly http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vendor_lock-in
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Groupthink

1. Free Opensim Standalone: Quad-Sim, 140,000 prims http://simonastick.com

2. Server-based: Educator writes OpenSim installation guide http://www.hypergridbusiness.com/2011/06/educator-pens-opensim-guide/

3. Cloud-based: Soon Kitely http://www.kitely.com/ will enable monetization reversing the cost burden to the visitor, thus enabling a business model like WizIQ.com "The VW manager can have each person cover costs – so people can actually earn money this way, so say you are a doctor providing service in virtual clinic, and want to charge people to come and ask questions... "
http://nordicworlds.net/2011/06/15/transcription-of-qa-by-ilan-tochner-of-kitely/

Eurominuteman

4. Cinema Class: Opensim & SL lend themselves to "cartoon class" quality, but if you want "cinema class" next-generation graphic rendering quality use the "Blue Mars Developer Client (based on CryEngine 2)". CryEngine & Blue Mars vrs Second Life/Opensim http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150215877609201.323487.622664200&l=541b468556

Stone Semyorka

OMG!!! The Lost Gardens of Apollo are the treasure of all SL treasures, the original beautiful memory for a thousand thousand residents. How can Linden Lab let this one go? For pete's sake, serve Apollo for free for a time so Dane Zander's dream can live on for future arrivals to savor and appreciate. Let the weary management find replacement volunteers to keep things rolling. Some sort of historical preservation has to begin now. It's just not right to keep on fiddling around while Rome burns.

Ajax Manatiso

Romantic locations keep disappearing -- they dont make revenue and people who do donate will donate 1L more than likely -- a fraction of a penny! I've seen the original 7Sins, Midnight Reflections, Elysium Garden,s Ballroom in the Clouds, and so many disappear recently. You have to be willing the lose money big, deal with griefers, spend hours doing maintenenace and advertising, and work for nothing. I know -- I have a romantic sim and have thought about leaving but I stay for my staff -- who are my SL family.

foneco zuzu

Its an adult sim?
No wonder its closing down, who wants to risk goin go to mature or pg sims?
I wonder whow many of the ones postinghere even realy go to Sl anymore?
And i cant have words when some claims that open grid is the solsution. Despite all, where any can found and be in world for more then a few minuts without crashing but on SL?

Ann Otoole InSL

@Ajax: LL doesn't own the IP. It is as simple as that. When a sim goes it goes.

Melissa Yeuxdoux

Apollo isn't the only featured sim that's going away.

Such sims are, one would think, those that show off the platform to best advantage, places that are special, perhaps even the best of SL. What does it say that LL is willing to let them go away?

Hitomi Tiponi

Am very sad about this.

Slim Warrior

Dane was also the builder for my island Menorca, the only other island he designed.
Both islands over the years were showcased in numerous media publications and TV features.

Tier prices for PI's in SL are stupendously over priced. Will be an absolute shame to see Apollo go as have many other beautifully created sims.

Sad news indeed

Slimmie

Graine Macbain

Now it really will be lost. :(
Seriously, we need some sort of historical preservation intervention here. Is anyone trying to buy the sim from Dane? Some sort of subscription program from residents who love the place might save it.

Alice Klinger

Apollo was my favourite dancing location. Peaceful and relaxing. I was often admiring the architecture and would have bought if it was for sale but sadly, the best things were not offered for sale anywhere. Also, I asked a few times to be put on their wait list for vendor spots. I did not expect it to be cheap and did not even ask a price, but never heard back from anyone about it. Agreed, artwork and creation has a value, but if I made my hair just for myself instead selling it, I would need a different job to support my hobby as well ;-)

MacRonan Falodir

Apollo was an important place. People fell in love there, Married there. If you were lucky enough to stand in the tallest of her towers, you could see the clouds flow through the columns and waft around you. It was much more than art, it was magic. Dane gave us plenty of opportunities to save the SIM. There were donation fountains tastefully set and conveniently placed. How many of us would be willing to spend the price of a ticket to a 2 hour movie in a donation for as many hours at Apollo?

The answer is of the visitors who came there,,,practically no one. Apollo failed because the public who patronized her simply did not recognize her true value.

We all agree that the Lost Gardens were an important community resource and a major contribution to that which made SL successful. The truth is, finely crafted SIMS generate commerce system wide. We buy tuxedos and ball gowns to wear to Boleros and animations to make our presence more life-like on the promenades.

We need to recognize the contributions of quality developers and support them with taxes. Landmarks need to be compensated for their general contributions to SL itself. Without that support we will loose that which we have come to love.

Thank you Dane, thank you for giving us so much for so long.

Mac Falodir

Bud Parnall

It is one of a series of sad days for SL over the last three years. From the time of the openspace debacle I moved to OpenSim. I still have my Nirvana there. My place. My computer. My world.

It is short sighted to allow places like Yggdrasil and Apollo fade into the bits and bytes of the cyberspace. Those were the places I enjoyed. Sorry to see them go. I met many great people there. It will always be in my memory. I guess all good things must end.

Not much reason to go back to SL for me now. The heartbeat I felt there is now gone.

Serious

I was just going through some real old LM's and could not get to Apollo so I googled it and here I am. What a bummer. Greenies was a great one too.

Aimhigh Seelowe

The Lindens (Linden Lab) needs to grandfather sims that are remarkable builds. I suspect they can afford it. Go to the map and look at the islands and the continents. Each pixel is at least $120. At least.

Tactical Nightfire

I am, naturally, remaking it on OSGrid as I was there pretty much from the beginning even before Windlight was around so I remember practically everything.

Only difference is that we have mesh now and I've been making mesh for 9 years on various games engines =D

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