Thursday, September 20, 2012

my airplane lands on your soul's runway, without lights

There's a status update for subscribers of City of Heroes. It seems to indicate subscribers will be refunded for time still playable past the closure date of the game. How'ver, there's been some worried rumblings that some initial contactees were offered time in other NCSoft games, over a straight cash-back option. I'm still trying to run down which is accurate.

(In the interim of holding this for publication, we've hit the supposed payout date, with an additional codicil that payments, while transferred, will arrive between seven and ten days from the 26th of Septus. So we're checking again in a week or so, and see if it's actually gone through.)

In the meantime, apparently Linden Lab is converting to an app company. I have no words for how vastly and wholly disappointed I am in this development. I also think it's worth noting that immediately upon release of their "Patterns" video--AKA, "Look, we're better than Minecraft, 'cos we build with TRIANGLES!"--they disabled comments nearly instantaneously after posting, if not as the video was being posted. What is Humble so afraid of, that people might say? Or--potentially worse--what did viewers initially respond with, that made the Lab close down comments so quickly?

To be fair, I also think the Modem World blog's article on the two new LL offerings is on target. And I don't think Linden Lab is diversifying to eradicate SL. What I do believe, though, is that Linden Lab is either uninterested, or incapable, of fixing the Marketplace problems. If the latter, they managed to break code they can't fix, and that's bad, but it does happen. We can all hope for a solution, but at this point things look pretty grim anyway.

How'ver, the first theory is far more damaging if true, and unfortunately, ties into a long-held tin-foil hat theory of my own: that the Lindens are involved, either as an entire company, or just as upper management, in disinvesting the ability of their customer base to sell things. I'm still not entirely sure why they would want to do this, frankly--but with the Marketplace debacle getting close to moving into its third goddamn year of being broken, I feel I can state substantively that that's the single largest cause behind customers closing down their businesses, and/or leaving the grid permanently.

Personally, I'd prefer to just be straight-up told that they're closing down Marketplace and removing user content--as shocking as that would be--than to have them continue the fiction that they're trying to repair what they broke, when it's fairly obvious at this point that they're either unable to...or refusing to. Either way, it's depressing as hell in an already depressing month.

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