Wherein Linden Lab was hoping everyone they screwed over would forget the beatings.
I’ve been doing lot of thinking lately about what my beef with the gaming industry has been since I was in my mid-twenties. I haven’t really played anything in the AAA realm for years, and a lot of it I think has to do with how the games industry (as well as consoles) have essentially turned into screaming douchebags with their hardware and content. Take for instance, Downloadable Content or DLC for short…
Downloadable Content was supposed to be a supplementary to a complete game. That was the point... I mean, you pay full price for a game, and it comes with a beginning and end. The story is complete and you can be satisfied with your experience.
Without substance, there is no justification for being high maintenance.
But as time marches on, DLC has become the lazy way of charging for incomplete games (full price) and then milking the rest for more. Maybe the game was screwed up to begin with, had bugs, was unfinished, or whatever... and people pay full price for crap only to find out they didn't even get a complete game and have to pay continuously for the DLC in order to complete the game or story.
Call me crazy, but I think that's probably the reason I really stopped playing modern games or giving a damn about consoles in the current or next generation. Wii, XBox360, PS3, and their next gen versions coming down the road... I don't give a toss.
First of all, there is the crap single player modes. This isn’t true for all games, but more often than not the single player mode may as well have been added on by a 3rd grader with a pack of mislabeled crayons and the adults in the room have to then pretend that little Timmy’s elephant isn’t the colossal and incomprehensible gibberish it is just to save his ego. This is of course assuming that the game was actually designed well to begin with, which in quite a lot of cases (overwhelmingly) they are not. For any semblance of this plague upon gaming, just watch a few seasons of Zero Punctuation (a video of which I’ve provided below).
I like a social game just like anyone else, but I enjoy it more to play a single player experience. Think of it like reading a well written book... I don't want to be forced to join a book club and collectively share the reading experience to get anything out of the book. So games today rely waaaaay too much on the multiplayer experience online and then the single player aspect suffers.
I think it's a balance... you start with a compelling single player experience from start to finish. That's your core game. Then you expand that universe from there with multiplayer online options and DLC which are optional but not mandatory to get the experience you paid for. Neither side of the coin should be tacked on as an afterthought.
A lot of games like SimCity 4 (Surprise, surprise! It’s EA) force you to have an online connection just to play the game even in single player mode, which is asinine... a very bad DRM scheme if anything. Then there are games that you know are just built to milk you constantly for DLC because the main game was half-assed and unfinished. It's really a dick move... one of the reasons I stopped playing the Final Fantasy series altogether at the end of FFX was that it was essentially half a game with no closure unless I bought FFX-2 and I immediately said "hell no". You go through that much work and effort in a game like Final Fantasy only to find out you're playing half the game and you don't get closure in a story... oh, that pisses you off to no end. Not to mention Final Fantasy X-2 sucked ass.
Because EA apparently thinks DRM is the answer to piracy
In all fairness I tried to play Final Fantasy XII (12) and gave up at the onslaught of constant interrupting (unskippable) cutscenes and talking. Take a few steps in, get into a battle and suddenly a character has an interesting and witty story about the monster you’re facing and how he remembers long ago his grand-pappy fought a beast like this… well, half hour later they let you finally hit a button to fight.
I skipped Final Fantasy XI because it only made the FF experience I was pissed about in FFX worse (paying for a game and not getting closure). Except this time they were doing it intentionally by asking for an ongoing subscription fee. So then Final Fantasy XIII came out and by then I simply couldn't be bothered anymore. It would require me to care enough to get a PS3, HD Television, and purchase a game to play on it all. It was a deep investment for a game I likely knew was going to royally screw me over.
It was a good guess because there exists Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy XIII-2 which goes back to the FFX and FFX-2 model of having you pay full price for half the game and story.
The other half of your game awaits for a nominal fee…
Don’t get me wrong, they look absolutely stunning… but there is too much bad blood built up for me to be convinced on pretty graphics or mediocre gameplay alone. I need substance…
I already had the first generation PS Portable. The one with the UMD discs and stuff... and I waited patiently for decent games to be available for it... and the offering was abysmal. So I ended up jail-breaking my PS Portable and loading a ton of emulators on it to play NES, SNES, Genesis and Atari. That should tell you something right there.
So the reason I don't get into gaming anymore is simply because I've been burned so much that I stopped giving a damn. There isn’t much in the way of AAA titles that seem to do anything innovative, either… And with game developers actively being anti-social and actively hostile douchebags to their demographics… well, like an abuse victim I finally had enough and walked away despite all the pleas that they really didn’t mean it and they’ll treat me better this time, promise!
Instead, my main games of addiction these days are Tower Defense, the occasional indie title, and of course Minecraft. Tower Defense games aren't as much of a douchebag when it comes to unlockables and DLC... you can play the whole campaign and get the story but if you want extras (that's what DLC should be... extras to compliment but never to make up for lack of content or story) then it's an option.
I’m quite proud of this house… and the surrounding town I’ve been refurbishing.
In so much as Minecraft, I paid my fee and got the game. They fully acknowledge it's unfinished and will be constantly worked on. But my payment when it was in beta gave me the right to have indefinite updates for the price I paid. You're not going to see Mojang saying "We're going to release a patch for this and it'll be $10 if you want it". That's abusing their customer trust and good will, which I suppose is why the big names are falling on their faces and the indie scene is blossoming. As far as online gaming, I play on the 222craft.com server and they have additional perks and abilities for donators.
This is a proper way to add DLC or additional content/abilities, by not actively stepping on the existing structure but instead supplementing it with something truly new. I can play Minecraft indefinitely as I see fit in “Vanilla” mode which in itself is a constantly updating and complete game. If I wanted access to say.. Tekkit then I’d donate to the server to get that access. In no way are the server owners implying that my existing base experience should be or is crippled for not donating. In the same manner, Mojang isn’t telling me I have to pay a monthly subscription to keep playing their game or get updates. It’s not even an option anywhere to do that… and the reason is simply because they know it’s a dick move.
That would explain why the indie developers and remakes are doing better in terms of acceptance versus cost of production. Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja, and yes even Minecraft… the trend is going back to the original methodology for game creation, and honoring the customers who make you popular and support you. Celebrating community involvement and innovation is also crucial – again we look at Minecraft and the ridiculous amount of game mods available that extend or change the “shared experience”. Mojang didn’t come in and lock things up tight when they found out there were mods that changed the game… they openly celebrated the diversity and creativity of their community, and even began rewarding them for it.
However, with the AAA titles, the trend is different for the most part. I think it started around the 1990s when everybody decided it was a good idea to make everything 3D and concentrate on graphics instead of gameplay or story. It became more about a glitter pissing contest than actually making good games or having a community around it.
Even today, games like Pac-Man stand the test of time... whereas in 25 years is anyone going to remember or give a damn about Halo?
Honestly... think about it. Not saying that Halo is a bad game by any means, but it's nowhere near going to last 25 years in a legacy like a yellow circle eating dots and ghosts. I think that's why Indie titles are faring better... they are getting back to basics and concentrating on what actually makes gaming fun. That and embracing the community instead of digging a hole so deep nobody will ever find them again, or their precious… precious masterpiece of a game that nobody must touch.
So remember that next time you're playing the next Call of Duty: This Time The Martians Are Attacking, more commonly known as Serious Sam 3: BFE.
Game development is about innovative ideas and the KISS method. Keep it simple, stupid. Don't be a dick with your DLC, and for crying out loud - make a game people can actually play and enjoy on their own before you tack on multiplayer. Otherwise you're just trying to cover the fact that you've made a shit game and hoping nobody notices because they're all too busy tea-bagging players online. The obvious noteworthy point to be made is that it also comes down to how you treat your community…
See, Minecraft started without any intention of modification or custom plugins, etc… they made a game where you could just build and survive via resource use and collection. Seems simple enough… People have made amazing things in Minecraft as a result of this basic functionality, but when the community started opening the code up and modifying it with plugins and mods, texture packs, and more… Mojang embraced it and it has worked amazingly well for them in terms of advancing Minecraft itself (a lot of player created mods made it into the official updates), it created a ton of good will for Mojang, and excellent feedback and press around the world. And of course, they’re filthy friggin rich because of it.
But what happens when you start with a “game” that is built entirely on the premise that users are creating everything, right down to the content itself, and even the 3rd Party viewers which should be celebrated for the diversity and innovation? Essentially, there is no story but it’s entirely DLC… and you put an executive from EA in charge of that ecosystem?
Yeah, somebody actually thought an EA executive was a good choice to run Linden Lab
The Prim Connection
I really can’t talk about gaming and downloadable content without saying something about Second Life. The guy running the place (and I’m tempted to say “into the ground”) is Gaming Jesus… I mean… Rodvik Humble, a man with an EA Pedigree… which if you think about it for more than ten minutes, you realize that pedigree may as well be printed on used toilet paper when you apply it to Second Life. Ask any respectable gamer on Earth what they think about EA… I dare you.
Coming from a company that is notorious as the douchebag of gaming culture should be fair warning that this guy really doesn’t have a clue about virtual environments. If anything, he’s applying EA Logic to Linden Lab… which if you’re a gamer means:
“He’s got his head up his ass when it comes to knowing what the actual customers want and need.”
Gee, thanks Gaming Jesus!
When he came aboard as the CEO, the first thing I said was that I expected him to immediately set off to do everything except Second Life, and instead focus efforts and capital on making video games while looking for a way to fit the square peg that is Second Life into the round hole that is EA video game management. The simplest way for an EA executive to fix the problem is to simply sweep it under the rug, “re-invent” the company, and make a bunch of other video games in hopes that one of them sticks to the wall and they can once and for all stop worrying about Second Life.
It’s classic corporate misdirection.
At first, people thought I was off my nut for saying this. Rodvik insisted he wasn’t going to abandon Second Life and they would continue developing it and improving the experience. Then it turns out that they are more concentrated on all their new game acquisitions and secretly making games for everything else and less worried about Second Life.
After all, I’m still waiting for Mesh Deformer… which by the way the customer base outsourced and paid for because Linden Lab did such a half assed job of implementing mesh on launch, while wholesale ignoring their pleas to add a feature to fix the obvious and glaring fuck-up. That, of course, led to the decision to go batshit insane and start insisting that anything 3rd parties come up with have to be approved by Linden Lab, and shared with them. This way they can hold the reigns and be the Sword of Damocles on whether something gets done or not, instead of the customer base going over their head and making it happen. Classic corporate douchebag behavior in an age of social community interaction and organic ecosystem.
Not like Linden Lab was going to abuse that, right? The JIRA is now essentially toothless and not open to public review. They’ve cut out the ability for viewers to connect to anything but their own system, forcing developers who have made the most innovations on behalf of Second Life to now choose what amounts to allegiance between Linden Lab and Open Sim, or maintain two separate viewers. So much for not breaking shared experience, Linden Lab… You set it on fire and proceeded to piss on it as well as ten years of customer loyalty and innovation.
But then we saw all the Johnny-Come-Lately apologist posts about how Linden Lab was always a video game company and Second Life is in itself a video game and was always billed that way from the beginning, and all this “Metaverse” talk and application was just a wrong turn somewhere and they really didn’t mean it. It was all a misunderstanding… just like when Mark Kingdon… well, said or did anything.
No, I’m pretty sure Phillip actually meant it when he said it was a Metaverse.
All that line has ever been is a monumental amount of ass-kissing. Like praising the robot overlords when the forces of Earth are taken over. It’s a spineless and cowardly approach at best. After all, those are the same people who were out front waving the “Metaverse” flag loud and proud in the golden age, and now that Rodvik comes along and says “Oh, it’s really a video game company. We’re gonna make video games!” those same people are turning tail saying “It was never a Metaverse… it was a video game all along!” – assuming they removed their lips from Linden Lab’s ass long enough to let those words escape.
If I had faith in any of the leadership at Linden Lab, it was Philip Rosedale. I may not have agreed with everything he said or did, but holy hell is he nowhere near the colossally and intellectually deficient replacements that have taken his place. I think Philip is probably the only person that actually seemed to have a clue about what Second Life is and how to approach things on the whole (including the community). Though I won’t give him total praise… I’m pretty sure they could have done better with the Open Source side of things.
I’m not looking to kiss anybody’s ass – especially when they’re royally and blatantly screwing up what should have been a global domination laid in front of them on a silver platter. So am I looking for brownie points from Rodimus Prime? Hell no… I’m looking to call it as it is, and really it would seem few at Linden Lab have the balls or uterus to open their mouth. It’s turned into a game of “Save my own ass and do whatever the boss of the month wants”.
I’ll tell you why they didn’t bill Second Life as a video game when it came to mainstream: because they realized a video game about absolutely nothing wouldn’t make them money. It was the hype and massive involvement around 2007-08 (Golden Age) that make them a shit-ton of money. It was specifically billing it as a Metaverse that made it popular and flooded to capacity. That’s when the simulator sales were at an all-time high. Times were good… even if there were issues.
Know what started killing Second Life? The minute they started trying to shoehorn it into being something it isn’t, which now resides as a video game again. Linden Lab is a company that is acting more like Sybil than a rational entity. Multiple personalities and can’t make up its mind what the hell it wants to be, mostly because management can’t make up their mind and there aren’t enough people left at Linden Lab that even remember what the company was about originally (or Second Life).
They had the academic involvement… they had brand names in-world, they had reporting news in-world and hell… they had a few episodes of CSI. But that wasn’t enough.. they had to start screwing with the ecosystem and burning bridges.
When they decided it was a video game again and started actively dicking over the brands, and the colleges, and everyone they thought they were too big to need… well, look at the declining simulator sales and tell me being a video game is better than billing it as a Metaverse? In fact, they were doing better as a Metaverse… and each time they try to make it about something else, things start going downhill quick.
It’s pretty obvious.
They cut off the OpenSim involvement, pulled up the drawbridge and declared they didn’t need anybody and they thought it was beneath them to cater to their clients and customers… all of which (mind you) are literally responsible for building the entire virtual world, creating the content, and more…
Problem is, now they’re realizing they’ve royally screwed up and are beginning to understand that they are about to starve. Or at least the dim lightbulb of acknowledgement can only be hoped to have fired off a cluster of remaining neurons and business sensibility in their minds like some straggling peasant in the medieval cow pastures of yore …
No academic involvement.
No real brand names in-world anymore.
No episodes of CSI.
And they’ve managed to take it a step further by stepping on the community itself through offering those useless Linden Homes and all the useless “perks” for being a Premium Member. Every single perk is no more than a sad attempt at “Me Too” syndrome. This is where a company realizes that the open market of services and content offered by the customers happens to be too good for them to not get in on the action themselves. So you see Linden Homes while you can get better from renting space elsewhere (and buying a skybox or house a designer made on marketplace). You see “Premium Gifts” which are all but a joke… Does anyone care about that premium couch? No, not when the word “couch” on Marketplace yields enough results to fill ten IKEA warehouses.
What about “Premium Sims” or Linden whatever the hell they call it?
Nobody cares. They showed up to the party ten years too late (like Microsoft) and thought it was a good idea to jump into a well established market as a player while wholly disregarding the fact that they are competing against better options which have had ten years to accumulate and refine. Not to mention are already generating revenue through sales on marketplace and in-world.
Who loses out for this arrogance and neglect? The new users who don’t know any better but will be pissed when they realize that Premium accounts don’t actually offer anything remotely premium.
Your stipend? You get about what you’d receive if you were a free user and paid for the L$. It’s not a bargain or premium.
Linden Homes? For a little more you get a roomy parcel on a nice island and your choice of pretty much any highly detailed and well designed skybox and house available on marketplace.
Premium Gifts? Yeah… about as premium as getting a toy with your Happy Meal.
Ability to buy land?
Ok… now we’re remotely talking. Except at the end of the day, you’re not really buying the land but renting it. I’ve been on the mainland and it’s not exactly prime real estate, let me tell you. Your own island away from the neighbors and bullshit? You can do that… but if we’re renting it essentially either way, then why pay a premium to rent when you can just rent as a free user?
Buying land then become a premium option legitimately but really only if you’re planning on being a real estate tycoon. There are plenty of Land Barons already who have done that over the past ten years… so it’s kinda stupid now to assume the average person would be interested in a premium account just to rent land from LL.
Not that being the virtual Donald Trump is really something to brag about…
So what do we have left?
Not a lot…
Linden Lab is quietly offering discounts to “select” colleges in hopes to get them to come back, which is again total arrogance on behalf of Linden Lab, and only makes them look worse than they started out for having dropped the educational discount wholesale to begin with. It implies they are in a position to decide who is “good enough” to “deserve” a discount and come play in Second Life again.
Nothing like rubbing salt in that wound, eh Linden Lab?
Problem is that Linden Lab took it upon themselves to pull a lot of dick-headed moves and burn nearly all of their bridges with an arrogance and willful ignorance I haven’t seen since the 90’s and ActiveWorlds.
As a “video game” it’s tanking. That’s why it was repositioned as a “Metaverse” and an open sandbox platform of social and creative interaction instead. The more they apply “video game” tactics to it – marketing, strategy, bundling “packages”, stepping on community toes, and acting like they don’t need anyone… well, the more they are going to end up permanently burning those bridges and good will.
Which, they might already have done in a lot of instances. So I guess Rodvik is doing an excellent job of translating the douche-baggery of EA over to Second Life and scratching his head when people are screaming “What the hell are you thinking?!”
As entertaining as it may be to watch Rodvik eat Humble Pie (like that little word play?) this all stems back to that notion of this widespread plague of assholery in the games industry as the post implies.
Journey into Second Life
The underlying point to all of this comes down to game developers intentionally being douchebags. Not giving people what they want or need from your game or product, and then having the arrogance and audacity to continue screwing them every chance they get. There is little difference between EA mentality and Linden Lab right now, and that’s the problem.
Linden Lab, as a corporate entity and culture, needs to go back to the KISS method. Keep it simple, stupid. That doesn’t mean with twenty different products but instead it means by figuring out what the core of the business for Second Life is from the standpoint of Linden Lab and simply excel at that, letting the rest organically work itself out and make money for them supplementary.
Don’t offer what your community already does. You’re not in this to compete with your community… It is a god-send and blessing that Linden Lab isn’t required to have in-house content development. Game studios around the world love that idea and wish they could just lay off their content designers in-house and let the customers do all the work for them. So don’t squander that.
Instead, look for ways to foster your community to continue building more and creating. Look for ways to bring them together. Be willing to work with them… for real and not some half-assed effort or two-faced doublespeak.
It’s a social community, so doing everything in your power to be antisocial and downright belligerent to them is probably not a good idea. Unless you like the declining simulator trend… in which case, have at it. No community means no content. No content means less experience. Less experi- well you get the point. Screwing the community and being actively hostile to their needs and wants becomes a self-perpetuating downward spiral of failure.
Indoctrination of a new technology or methodology for doing things starts with the hype but also the foresight to know that getting your technology in wide use among the academic and college community is a winning strategy. That’s why Apple Computer and Microsoft went to great lengths to ensure that schools and colleges had their software and computers in the classrooms at the earliest age they could get it in there. Ergo, Linden Lab clearly made the biggest mistake of it’s corporate life when it wholesale cut off the colleges from a discount and refuse (even to this day) to deal with an academic funding cycle instead of Linden Lab’s billing cycle. The most popular and well known corporate marketing strategy on Earth… and Linden Lab dropped the ball.
Apparently Linden Lab is better than Apple or Microsoft now and can’t be bothered to deal with such things which are beneath their stature. Arrogance is what that is, and nothing more.
If Linden Lab wants an influx of fresh money from the purchase of L$, leading to new accounts, then the one thing they would have been expected to do when treating Second Life like a game, they somehow monumentally failed at. Of course, I’m talking about the total lack of Game Cards available at every retail store on Earth whereby gamers can buy (with cash) those cards and use them to redeem a predetermined amount of in-game currency. In that Second Life has no such option is yet again a boneheaded maneuver. When people see a Second Life currency card next to the other game cards on the rack, they start wondering what Second Life is and want to try it out.
Especially now that they can impulse buy those in-game currency cards with cash.
Second Life is essentially all downloadable content. Linden Lab shouldn’t be trying to dictate the story. The moment they start with the “we don’t need you” attitude and stepping on toes… they missed the plot entirely because without the “you” there would be no “them”. I think they’ve wholly forgotten that and have gotten cocky and arrogant about it.
Let’s look at this side by side for a moment:
Built Minecraft, charged a flat fee to purchase the game. The game itself is an open ended sandbox environment with some gaming elements whereby a majority of the content is created by the players given the tools at their disposal.
Players build shrines to Notch in Minecraft. I haven’t heard anything bad about Mojang… Ever.
Mojang doesn’t run multiplayer servers. Their community run those servers independently and they are on their own for monetizing or supporting those servers. Mojang, however, embraces the community who run those third party servers and works with them to incorporate that ease of use and ability into their main client whenever possible.
Minecraft has plenty of 3rd party clients like Tekkit, and lite to heavy modifications to the “shared experience” – everything from minor item additions to entire gameplay experience overhauls. Mojang celebrates this diversity and offers the basic Vanilla client and game, allowing and fostering the endless customizability to wholly develop organically via the community. This has led to countless modifications, additional functionality (which Mojang at times stated was impossible such as MatMos dynamic ambient audio) and additions. Mojang embraces the community, their innovations, and determination to help make it a better experience overall.
As of this writing, a total of 9,771,413 have purchased Minecraft and of that total 9,887 have bought Minecraft in the past 24 hours alone. I wonder how many premium accounts have been purchased in the same time frame for Second Life?
Built Second Life, they offer a free user experience but heavily push for a subscription model Premium Account. The virtual environment itself is an open ended sandbox with some gaming elements whereby a majority of the content is created by the players/users given the tools at their disposal.
Nobody is building a shrine to Rodvik, and there isn’t much goodwill toward Linden Lab.
Linden Lab runs simulators (multiplayer regions) and considers this part of their revenue model, despite statistics showing that this revenue model is failing. The community at one point offered the compelling option of allowing 3rd party regions to run through a connection with OpenSim, but Linden Lab chose instead to cut off ties with OpenSim and run the regions themselves, going so far as to cut all ties with 3rd party simulators and mandating that any client which connects to their service cannot also connect to 3rd party OpenSim as well. Clearly they did not embrace the community or make any real attempt to work with them, and in fact have become openly anti-social and hostile toward them. This in itself is a disturbing and running theme which is leading to their decline.
Second Life has a number of 3rd Party clients like Firestorm and Exodus viewer, however the variation of unique innovations from client to client have now been widely homogenized where once there was a thriving mountain of options. Any new functionality must be first submitted, then approved by Linden Lab as the controlling force, and such additions or improvements must be pushed out for all 3rd parties to adopt. In no way can a 3rd party make changes to the “shared experience” unless submitted and approved by Linden Lab. In no way does this celebrate the innovation of independent thought or advancement that comes from an organic creative process, and in an opposite manner to Mojang, has divided and caused less innovation instead of more while wholly stifling legitimate advancement of the technology as a whole.
Unlike Minecraft, Second Life has an in-world currency by default and as such players/users are encouraged to purchase in-world currency to spend on digital items, a majority of which are created by other players/users and given or sold via a functional Marketplace whereby Linden Lab receives a percentage of all transactions. In fact, unlike a typical “game developer”, Linden Lab has the distinct advantage of having the entire virtual world built and maintained by the very users who inhabit it. They even had the opportunity to capitalize on 3rd party regions and grids but somehow did not see that opportunity to reduce their overhead and be paid for it.
Stranger still is the lack of common option available to purchase game cards which are preset in-world currency. These cards are widely available for nearly every game known to man including Farmville and yet a virtual environment with a default in-game currency has no such option available. Indeed, this behavior further cements Linden Lab’s anti-social behavior in that (like everything else) they feel it is somehow beneath them to act like a real company with real marketing plans or work with the customers.
To this day, Linden Lab remains wholly anti-social and at times outright hostile to their community, any possible innovation they may bring, and even their content and services involvement as witnessed by Linden Lab’s wholesale disregard for existing content and service options created by the community whereby Linden Lab themselves offer similar and competing options such as Premium Sandboxes, Premium Regions, Premium Gifts, and Linden Homes in direct opposition to their established user-base of ten years.
Given the option to work and cater to business, branding, and educational sectors, Linden Lab again shows anti-social and often times hostile behavior. This can be seen in their inability to settle on a blanket Educational discount and work with schools or universities appropriately in order to make Second Life technology viable for those use cases. Moreover, given the vast potential to involve real life brands in the virtual world via their own Marketplace and retooling a Premium Account into a Professional account to give professional content creators access to licensed brands, Linden Lab again shows anti-social and hostility, instead demanding to treat Second Life as a game and Linden Lab as a game studio without actual consideration for the prosumer dynamic which they rely on.
Given the opportunity to engage wholly in Social Media whereby a large majority of their userbase interact, they instead chose to be anti-social and arbitrarily hostile in establishing their own walled garden version of a social media feed instead of building the sharing options to Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest (among others) as direct options from within the viewer itself via openly available APIs.
This behavior is wholly narcissistic and arrogant at best. It is openly and unapologetically anti-social and hostile toward business, education and even their own prosumers which are near entirely responsible for the content and experience in-world.
After all of this, is it any wonder that Second Life is declining and Linden Lab is more interested in putting out the life rafts in other games while re-inventing itself as a “games company”?
The core mission of Linden Lab for Second Life, their flagship product, is simple:
“Your world, Your imagination.” –
“And we’re here to empower you to keep creating so we can take a percentage and profit”
Instead of screwing the customers over, being antisocial and hostile, and deliberately burning bridges and stepping on toes… they need to get back to the age old saying from Morningstar and Farmer in 1990:
Work within the system.