Metaverse in Transition
I have not written anything in a couple of weeks because I have been busy working on the sequel.
Meanwhile… There are many little things going on in metaverse land worth bringing up.
First, is the fast decline of Worlds of Warcraft. They are losing net subscribers at a rate of about 100,000 a month. Currently they sit at 11.1 million and falling. They are still the number one MMORPG out there by a long shot, but the declining numbers indicates a change in the market I figured would eventually come.
Let’s just say it: World of Warcraft is getting old. It’s “look” is dated, and people are more attracted to the much better looking new releases like Rift and Aion. Competition from the “free to play” games is getting tighter too. At this point, adding new content will boost numbers some, but each “expansion” will be less and less effective. Developing new content is expensive and time consuming, and at some point you just have to say, “Time for a new game.”
Speaking of which, I’m getting excited for Guild Wars 2, which unfortunately still has a “sometime in 2011” release date. November is packed for new game releases, and I hope it does not get lost in the mix. GW2 and Skyrim are the two games I am most looking forward to.
And speaking of “dated”, There.com is now taking preregistration for their re-release. Right now they are opening the ThereIM client “by invitation”, and you can reclaim your old account if you remember the login and password, you are over 18, and willing to pay $10 a month. As nostalgic as I am about my There days, I am not feeling enough desire to go back in. I wish them good luck in their re-release, but I think I’ll be watching from the outside.
Meanwhile in Second Life, the very long awaited release of mesh is getting close. They released a “beta” viewer dubbed 3.0, which is the same as 2.0 but with mesh integrated in it. Second Life has been growing a bit stale lately. Many older great builds, stores, designer, etc. have been leaving. I believe the “mesh” age will be a renaissance of sorts, and I am definitely looking forward to new builds and new stuff to see on the main grid when it finally goes live. Be warned that only paying members will be allowed to upload mesh objects, and the prim cost of having mesh objects in world is higher than expected too, so those will be limiting factors. I totally understand the first restriction as it is necessary to prevent a rash of copyrighted mesh objects from other games flooding Second Life. The second restriction can change in the future.
Still, mesh has yet to reach the main grid. Open Sim already has it, as long as you are using a mesh enabled viewer. The sooner it gets to the main grid, the better.