Game talkVivaty is closing down

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Mar 312010
 

The shakeout continues in virtual worlds, as more worthy projects fail to gain enough business traction to keep going.

As one who has spent years making Vivaty a reality and then trying to make it a success, it pains me to announce that as of Friday the 16th of April, Vivaty.com will completely shut down. I apologize to our loyal users that this must be so. Vivaty.com is a rather expensive site to run, much more than a regular web site, and Vivaty the company has been running out of money for some time. Our business model was to earn money through Vivabux sales, but that has never come close to covering our costs. We tried for months to find a bigger partner that would support the site, but that didn’t work out.

Vivaty Shutdown Party « Vivaty Blog.

Vivaty is X3D-based tech, and the folks there have a very long history with the VRML community, going back to when they were called Media Machines and had a product called the Flux Player. Most recently, they caught my eye for having done an implementation of X3d in Flash.

  16 Responses to “Vivaty is closing down”

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Raph Koster, betterverse. betterverse said: RT @raphkoster: Vivaty is closing down http://www.raphkoster.com/2010/03/31/vivaty-is-closing-down/ [...]

  2. In a way, is this any surprise? Is the “demise” of sites like this (and MetaPlace) no different than the demise of a lot of .coms way back when? Failure to monetize (or even have a plan for it) seems clearly to be an issue.

  3. (think first, post later).

    I mean, were we really ever surprised that so many cool .com sites closed down? Unhappy yes, but surprised? Not really.

  4. I think it’s fair to say that all of these (MP included) had monetization plans that made sense — which is a difference from a lot of the .com bust — but I think they also tended to struggle with product/market fit, in the end.

  5. What’s your take on the LL announcements RE SL today? Interesting coincidence of timing. They seem to be solely focused on making $(an understandable business model) to the detriment of advanced functionality in their newest viewer, which is clearly designed to retain more first-time users.

  6. Suzie, I think what they are doing doesn’t go far enough for what their objectives are, honestly. To my understanding, all the advanced functionality is still there, so they are not abandoning their current audience. But the on-ramp is still steep, IMHO.

    I would expect more changes along this front to come, basically. Frankly, they need to find a way to get on the web fully.

  7. Vivaty has/had the ideal perch on Facebook. IMO:

    1. The bursty nature of FB is incompatible with the synchronous nature of VR worlds.

    2. No one buys vivabux to add stuff. Virtual goods aren’t all they are cracked up to be in a rotten real-world economy.

    3. The VR geta-rebuzz-by-rebrand and rewrite VR history to suit business model approach fails. The west coast is knee deep in incredible arrogance combined with stunning ignorance of human affairs. This doesn’t seem to be the case in Italy, Germany and Brazil. It’s an American west coast culture problem.

    4. The successes were the celebrity-centered events for some n of success. No surprise.

    5. There is an emerging disenchantment with the web and allThingsGeek in the larger community as the economy went south and they seemed to be oblivious to it playing games of Werewolf without noticing how that sort of thing plays in the non-geek majority.

    The good news: Vivaty content can be repurposed.

    The bad news: The 3D real-time graphics industry is a history of failures through not accepting that long lifecycles are the engines of monetization and short lifecycle thinking still dominates their business models.

  8. The west coast is knee deep in incredible arrogance combined with stunning ignorance of human affairs. This doesn’t seem to be the case in Italy, Germany and Brazil. It’s an American west coast culture problem.

    Dude, chill.

  9. The west coast is knee deep in incredible arrogance combined with stunning ignorance of human affairs. This doesn’t seem to be the case in Italy, Germany and Brazil. It’s an American west coast culture problem.

    Hi, Prokofy.

  10. [...] and retain lots of new avatars? Game designer Raph Koster does not think so. In the discussion under his post about the closing down of Vivaty, he answers a question about the new viewer at Second Life: Suzie, I think what they are doing [...]

  11. The CEO’s statement of why “they didnt” failed reaked of arrogance. So many virtual worlds are doing fine, making money. Only one’s with no product leadership and thus no paying audience are closing.

  12. Vivaty made a very good X3D browser and development suite in the Flux player and Studio. What I’ve always found irritating about Vivaty is that, first as MediaMachines and then as Vivaty, they never really supported their tools. They provided no manuals, no one on the forums answering questions, and no updates. For most of it’s history, I don’t believe users were even able to import content into Vivaty.

    It seems to me a bit short-sighted to sell access to content without aggressively supporting the people who want to make the content.

  13. “It seems to me a bit short-sighted to sell access to content without aggressively supporting the people who want to make the content.”

    you dont’ say;)

  14. Man I go away for a week and all hell breaks loose.

    Raph nailed it actually:
    “but I think they also tended to struggle with product/market fit, in the end.”

  15. Oh and Larry and Doug have a point too. :-o

  16. Hi, Prokofy.

    Read the reviews of the Streamy’s this year, Morgan? The coast has a problem: class.

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