by Alphaville Herald on 30/10/07 at 11:50 pm
Electric Sheep in-world service workers out of work – CSI:NY downsizes to 32 sim
by Pixeleen Mistral, National Affairs desk
A virtual recession may threaten the metaverse, as service workers hired to meet and greet noobies suffered mass layoffs today. The layoffs are part of a significant downsizing in the number of CSI:NY sims – perhaps due to a less than enthusiastic response to shark jumping, couch potato marketing of immersive games to television viewers. At this time last week, some enthusiastic reports were suggesting that CBS television’s CSI:NY/Second Life hookup could yield as many as 1 million new players. However, that enthusiasm has been tempered by reality.
With concurrent user levels for SL remaining constant since airing of the highly touted television show, the new media gurus at the Electric Sheep Company and CBS have apparently decided to cut their losses by reducing the number of nearly empty CSI sims from 440 to 32 – or 7% of the land originally allocated for the cross media hypervent.
After downsizing the CSI islands, greeters and helpers for the CSI sims were told their services will not be needed as the in-world imaginary criminal investigation franchise contracts. Although the direct monetary impact of the layoffs may be relatively small, the blow to virtual consumer confidence could be significant.
At the same time some avatars have less spare change in their pockets – dampening demand for virtual land – a number of land barons were wondering where the 400 or so sims that CBS was using last week will end up. Are we looking at a simultaneous land glut and unemployment problem?