The Second Life Economy appears to be in a double-dip recession mirroring the United States Economy. Linden lab released their economic statistics recently showing a continued decline in several key areas. Perhaps even more telling were the metrics that are no longer tracked and were not released.
But lets just review what was.
Average Monthly Economic Participants Continues to Decline
First of all the average monthly economic participants (number of people buying things) dropped by 2,000 from Q1 to Q2 of 20ll. This is down 27,000 from a year ago.
Value of L$ Continues to Drop
The value of the L$ continued to drop and is now down to an average exchange rate of L$252.3 from L$263.7 a year ago.
What we do not see is overall information on unique, monthly logins, overall economy value, etc. The insistence that web sales are up does not however account for the fact that in-world sales are down to the point of destroying shops in-world. We are also not seeing the numbers of deleted or inactive accounts.
Meanwhile there is more discontent with the virtual world, higher tier costs, and continued land ownership problems. What are your thoughts?
The BURN2 Spring Event will run from Friday, March 18, 2011 until Sunday, March 20, 2011.
BURN2 was created after Linden Lab abandoned the annual Burning Life festival.
Here is a list of some of the more notable events for the first day
BURN2 2011 Sprint Friday Events Schedule:
11:00 am Introduction
5:00 pm DMV Flower Power Races
7:00 pm Myst Dancers
8:00 pm Lamplighters
9:00 pm Trebuchet Fling
See the full list of events.
We have written before about the Burn 2 festival which is the new name of the recently Linden Lab abandoned Burning Life.
The event is scheduled to run from October 16, 2010 until October 24, 2010. This is the 8th year of the virtual festival although under new ownership and name.
Below is the Calendar of Events:
8 short months after Linden Lab bought Avatars United it has announced that the gamers social media service will be shut down forever.
This is a stunning blow to the gaming social media world and a further hint at mismanagement and money problems for the Second Life creators Linden Lab.
It seems like a Yahoo style waste of money if you ask me.
Avatars United will be shut down almost immediately on September 29th, 2010. Second Life will soon develop their own resident profiles but players of other massively multiplayer online role playing games are basically screwed.
Read more here.
Linden Lab has published the second quarter metrics for Second Life. This included 805 million monthly repeat logins, and increase in Linden dollar exchange rate to L$269, and LindeX trading volume of US$29.4 million.
It is interesting to note that transactions between users are decreasing. “In Q2 2010, Resident-to-Resident transactions totalled approximately L$40 billion, or US$152 million………….At least for the time being, one figure we will no longer publish in our historical charts is the Resident-to-Resident transaction data. As we’ve analyzed this data we believe that it is not as accurate a measure of the inworld economy as we would like.”
Other statistics are mysteriously missing: “From time to time we will change our reporting….”
Read more here
We wrote recently on the The Downfall of the Emerald Viewer & Permanent Damage to Second Life.
Emerald Viewer is now official dead. Arabella Steadham announced today on the Emerald blog that there will be no further releases for the Emerald Viewer effective immediately…..Alas this was not to be. Linden Lab has made demands of the team that are impossible to meet. Among the demands not listed publicly elsewhere was to publicly release an RC without any ability to load the emkdu or llkdu files. This was do-able. The final demand was to ‘delete’ 3 key members of our team. While making this demand, Linden Lab was quite aware that this was effectively the guillotine to the project.”
Jessica Lyon resigned saying “As of some time this morning, all access to the servers have been severed to all but Arabella Steadham and Lonely Bluebird. Neither me, nor any of the other Emerald Developers have the ability to put out releases at this time. Beyond the recent beta 2587, we also cannot certify the safety or validity of any future releases…….Unless circumstances change, in my opinion, the Emerald Viewer Project is dead. We simply cannot achieve a release by the deadline given to us under the current circumstances. Without access to the server and website, I am forced to make a very difficult decision as I will not allow myself to be held accountable to anything that happens from this day on in regards to Emerald. With that said, I here by officially resign from the Emerald Viewer Project.”
Linden Lab responded saying: “Should they fail to make these changes, we may need to block Emerald Viewers from logging into Second Life to protect the privacy, safety, and security of Second Life Residents”.
It all started with allegations that developers of the popular Emerald Second Life viewer (reportedly used by 1 out of 3 Second Life users and accounts for half of all user hours) engaged in denial of service attacks against rival developers. The accusations came over the Second Life Universe forum and the Emerald dev Team seemingly corroborated the accusations saying:
“This idea was to target a blog owned by a creator of a malicious viewer, and boast of the traffic Emerald has captured. The method for doing this was to add links to the Emerald log in page linked to said blog. Each time anyone logged in, our page loaded up and also the other page loaded up – simply to show off our volume of traffic… This was a poor attempt at boasting that failed miserably. Once we discovered this, these links were deleted and the dev concerned was disciplined. ”
It was also discovered that the Emerald Viewer security may not be up to par with several back doors and bugs.
Since then the Emerald Viewer has been removed from the Third Party Viewer List by Linden Lab with Second Life CEO Philip Rosedale (Philip Linden) saying:
“We have removed Emerald from the list of third-party viewers, and are now in touch with the Emerald team to discuss what can happen next. We take privacy, safety, and security very seriously, and we will act to the best of our abilities to protect it. We have not yet disabled logins via the Emerald viewer, but will do so if we feel the software and the team behind it is not able to meet the standards we’ve set. If you have been using the Emerald viewer, for now we would encourage you to consider either one of the Linden Lab viewers, or an alternative third-party viewer.”
Then we learned that the lead Emerald Developer Fractured Crystal resigned, and the Emerald Viewer was sold to a new owner with the webserver transferred to Arabella Steadham.
The problem with all of this is that 80% of Residents do not like the Viewer 2 that Linden Lab provides. This fueled the Emerald Viewer’s popularity along with the the feature of realistic bouncing breast physics. So now that popular viewer has lost faith. Without the bouncing breasts of Emerald many people may simply give up on Second Life altogether. This could spark a further decline in Second Life user hours and residents.
We wrote recently about the 12 Major Changes Coming to Second Life many of which were announced at SLCC 2010.
One of the most earth shattering yet glossed over changes will be that Teen Second Life will be discontinued. Teens age 16 and above will be allowed into the Main Grid. The teen grid will be shut down on December 31, 2010.
This is a huge change for Second Life and despite restricting adult content to Zindra and adding maturity ratings and restrictions it can’t ease concerns about age play in Second Life.
Really it comes down to a cost cutting measure as Linden Lab is showing severe signs of financial strain. But will this be another terrible mistake? Or a change to strengthen the community?
Read more here