Articles of Interest

  • Acclaim is reborn; this incarnation focused primarily on free online games.
  • Forrester Research predicts growing PC market; calls PC the “dominant” gaming platform. Unfortunately, no distinction appears to be made between casual games, MMOs, and traditional AAA titles. Lumping casual games (i.e. Minesweeper & Solitaire) in with AAA titles isn’t very informative; it’s like saying “sales of cars are rising in the US.” OK, but which cars? Apparently not GM’s
  • World of Warcraft has reached 6M subscribers. [Insert corny “wow” one-liner here.]
  • Shanda, which late last year eliminated the subscription fees for many of its games, announced a big loss this quarter.
  • Be your favorite celebrity in Second Life. I have to say, I’m amazed (and pleased!) that Linden Lab has yet to be attacked by an army of IP laywers…

5 responses to “Articles of Interest

  1. I think there hasn’t yet been much legal trouble for Second Life because it’s been under the radar until relatively recently. Being a walled garden, there hasn’t really been much interest from outside corporations — it’s not like the WWW, where user-created pages are sitting out in the open. There are many IP infringements going on inside SL, it’s just that they’re “hidden.”

    Over the last 10 months or so, there’s been a huge push for press by Linden Lab, and this has resulted in a lot more media interest in Second Life and a major influx of members. Consequently, there has been an increase in professional interest in SL as well as user-created blogs. This has lead to increased exposure of Second Life’s insides, including parts Linden Lab would probably rather we not see. I think Second Life compares in some ways to Napster just before the peak of its popularity, where the recording industry wasn’t quite aware of what was going on. And we all know how that turned out.

  2. The Napster / SL comparison is an interesting (and ominous) one. As much as I hate to say it, I agree that Linden Lab is soon likely to face an avalanche of legal action. That said, I suspect that academics and lobbying groups of all kinds will turn out in force to defend SL (though some may attack it as well.) It will be a much more interesting war than the fight over Napster ever was.

  3. I think any legal action is likely to more closely resemble Marvel vs. NCSoft. That is to say, mostly grandstanding by the other party and press attention for Linden, without much result.

    However, I do expect there to be a lot of “think of the children” Bible-thumping over the in-game prostitution. Have you seen the blog of reviews of SL hookers? I’d post the URL but I don’t want to look it up while at work.

  4. Breath, I agree about the Mature-rated aspects of Second Life. Because sex isn’t advertised by Linden Lab as a feature of SL, I think they run the risk of a Hot Coffee-style scandal.

    I interviewed the creator of the SL Escort Ratings blog in an article at Clickable Culture if you’re interested:
    http://www.secretlair.com/index.php?/clickableculture/entry/kissing_and_telling_in_second_life/

    There are at least a couple of sex-themed MMMO games due out this year that I suspect will be a greater target than SL in the short term.

  5. Nice interview, Tony. He’s definitely in it for love of the art. 🙂

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