Monday, June 29, 2009

you gave me wings, so I flew

Relic is closing.

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By the time you see this, going to Nameless Isle may be impossible; Baron Grayson and Sue Stonebender put things off as long as they could, but tomorrow, June 30th, all items will be removed from the sim and shuffled to XStreet at reduced prices. After that, you will be able to find Relic and Intemptesta Nox products only on XStreet until December, 2009.

And then they are gone, and not returning.

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Here's part of why, from Grayson and Stonebender themselves:

Several people have pointed out some rather nasty blog threads regarding our leaving. We have posted notes to our groups and on our blogs about our leaving, and our reasons why. While neither of us has any intention of getting caught up in blog drama, some very specific allegations have been made here suggesting we have somehow attempted to defraud people. This is upsetting for a host of reasons, and we are choosing to address these issues directly. We will not post further after this, as we have shared publicly our reasons for leaving and our plans for moving on.

1) Fraud

It's been suggested that we said that we would be be leaving and then chose not to in order to milk profits. This could not be more wrong. We are leaving. We did tell people how and when. In Baron's note to our joint group he said very specifically that we would be winding things down in two parts: 1) we would be leaving our products in tact on The Nameless Isle SIM until around the end of June, to give us time to move some things over to the XStreet web site, and 2) by the end of December that we would be taking that stuff down too. This was not to inflate values. In fact, we have both significantly reduced the prices on on our products. As for leaving things put for a time, we also said why we were doing this. Both of us have had our family incomes all but wiped out, meaning we have had a lot of difficult choices to make. Those choices included not carrying on these inworld businesses because we needed to pursue something that better kept the roof over our heads. We cannot afford to simply kill off that one remaining source of income that we had, which is why we said that we would wind things down slowly, instead of just completely pulling the plug. As for planning to remove our products completely, we still plan on doing this as neither of us is inworld to support them, and neither of us wants to leave legacy items laying around like a shrine.

2) Illness and the Economy

Baron never said he was leaving due to illness. I (Sue) did step back for a long time because of personal illness, which was posted in my personal blog and sent out in notes to my own group. We both acknowledged that the crash of the economy had played a huge role in our decision to leave, and both posted this in notes to our groups. This was also posted on the http://baronandsue.com web site.

3) Charity

I (Sue) chose Kiva as the means for investing charitable funding in order to [ensure] it was transparent. Fund invested are publicly shown here: http://www.kiva.org/lender/suestonebender There have been various private donations made from the sale of assets and auctions as well.


My (Sue's) Ad Lucem and Intemptesta Nox SIMs were transferred last spring to two different owners. Nox became a private residence and art sim for a couple whose names we will not disclose. Ad Lucem was developed by Alchemy and Immortalis Cyannis, who will also have ownership of Baron's The Nameless Isle SIM as planned by the end of the summer. The transfer of those SIMs also included a number of assets, including textures, scripts, web collateral and structures. Our original business plans are not wavering, but for the decision to not list on Xstreet. It's easier to simply leave it as it is inworld and delete the entire retail presence after Christmas as originally planned.

Sue Stonebender.


4) Note from Baron:

I have to sit back and shake my head at all of this drama. My reasons for leaving are 3 things specifically. 1) The slow economy. I realised my business plan at Relic could not support a family. It was a failure in the way it was set up. What doesn't work, has to end. 2) There was too much drama in the social side of things. I no longer had time for it, having to ramp up work and keep strict work hours. 3) The drama surrounding Sue's Illness. We're both sick of people sticking their nose in our business when we're handling it as best we can. Try working in SL with everyone imperiously demanding your time because everyone thinks they have a god given right to dish out advice on what one should do when sick, in the middle of your work day. If you have never been sick before, you would know the worst thing you could do would be to slow down on profits at work. How does one strengthen an income in a down economy. You look at what you're good at, and you look at what is keeping you from success and you trim and cut mercilessly. Her illness became fodder for gossip. What did she have, how was she getting it treated..on and on and on. I'm sitting on the side lines simply thinking..if only these people would shut the fuck up, she could actually handle much better the days that are hard. The stress of their "helpfulness" made her worse medically.

So in I step and I say. Sue..let's leave all of this shit behind. How can we do this gracefully? How can we preserve some of what we've created? How can we make a living and step away from all of these negative people.

You stick together. You stop chattering. You do things as gracefully as you can, and you get to work.


Baron Grayson.


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Personally, I shall miss them deeply, but the economy on Second Life has suffered. If it supported art and artistry once, it does so no longer. And while it may regain its footing, that doesn't help matters right now.

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I for one shall miss their creativity--and the beauty of their sims--deeply, and say no word against them. I wish them all future successes, and hope they can recapture the beauty and the art they made here.

I've done what I can to get people into the sim, through questioning in Caledon, and through this post. It won't be enough, not one one-hundredth of enough, but it's what I can do. For what we best adore, we must set free, and this time, we do not expect them ever to return.

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Be safe, Baron and Sue; be happy; and be assured that you will be remembered, at least by a devoted few. Miss Allegory Malaprop of Schadenfreude says it all much better than I can; I'm still feeling the loss.

4 comments:

hba said...

Gah! What a shame - another of the huge list of wonderful places I've never getton around to seeing and now it's gone :(

Emilly Orr said...

I'm telling you. You need to get out and see the world before it folds up.

Go see Tusk. Relic is gone, but Caledon-on-Sea is still there. You'd have to pull on a human suit, but Deadwood is worth a look, just for the historical accuracy if nothing else.

I should stroll through my must-sees and send you a folder, at least, of places you can casually click and be amazed, astounded or baffled (all three are valid reactions at times).

headburroantfarm said...

Please, I'd really like that! And what is this RP Sim you have built - I never knew that!

Emilly Orr said...

Buh?

I built a what now?