by Pixeleen Mistral on 25/01/12 at 4:33 am
Failing rental revenue dooms historic Second Life sex sim
The notorious Hard Alley may be doomed by the faltering Second Life in-world economy - a shocking development for both militant protesters and forced urban roleplay fans who are likely to lose a formerly vital venue.
Hard Rust - the owner and mastermind of the Hard Alley experience for over 5 years - has been circulating a notecard warning that he can no longer cover his expenses from rentals and donations. Unless an investor with deep pockets steps forward soon, the sim is slated to close in early March.
We can only hope that well connected fanboys will prevail on their special Linden friends to save this historic site so that future generations of noobies can experience the finest Second Life has to offer. As this priceless artistic treasure's fate hangs in the balance the world looks toward "thought leaders" such as Prokofy Neva and Dusan Writer for hope. Oh wait -- did they check out too?
The closing is the latest chapter in a series of sim shutdowns that threaten historic Second Life landmarks - and ultimately the viability of Linden Lab's virtual world. While Linden Lab is unwilling or unable to reduce land "tier" fees, virtual world entrepreneurs such as Mr. Hard Rust are increasingly hard pressed to cover their costs from revenue earned in the virtual economy. The economic pressures are intense, with regions running $295/month USD and Linden Lab showing little sign of cutting costs to stimulate demand. For all but the most wealthy, the long term outlook is grim.
If the virtual sex and land rental business is failing to cover expenses, what is left for the Lab? More importantly, where will the Hard Alley Reform School and School Girls Gone Bad inmates be housed?