Want to Understand What Linden Lab’s Acquisition Means for Second Life? Ask the Owner of a Top SL Virtual Content Brand
Above: Mishi IRL and her Blueberry brand on Facebook
While the SL community’s opinion over the world’s new corporate owners is decidedly mixed, I put a lot of stock in the analysis of Gizem McDuff, owner and founder of Blueberry — which has been, since its founding in 2012, one of the most successful and popular virtual style brands in SL. As such, Mishi has some of the best insights on SL’s economic operations and Linden Lab’s relationship to it:
I see a lot of speculation and fear over Linden Lab’s acquisition.
First, Lindens want you to know that nobody is even considering touching the adult content on SL. The new future board members are very aware that SL comes with adult content and they are just fine with it. They do not want to mess with anything that’s working. That includes adult content. It would be cool to give them a warm welcome when they are officially on the board.
Let me explore two chief concerns with y’all.
1: SL will be dismantled and shut down.
2: SL will be milked for what it’s worth and shut down.
Mishi goes on to break down these scenarios in-depth:
You know what? These are not wild speculations. Especially if you are a gamer. Some of you see a pattern with game studio acquisitions and it’s perfectly normal for you to fear the same for SL’s future.
Let’s take a look at how NCSoft handles their investments. They will invest in a game, support it until it either sky rockets or stales. Once it’s stale and not making enough money (EVEN if it’s profitable) they will shut it down and move on to investing in the next thing that could be the new Fortnite.
This is very common with publishers and game investors. Even outside of gaming, a project won’t continue to get funding (usually) if it’s not growing at the rate it should.
A company making $20m/year could easily fail to raise money from their investors if that $20m is less than what they made last year. But there is a very good reason for this. In most of these cases, growth is the only way the company survives and becomes stable. So the investors know that there is no point putting in any further funding.
Second Life fits into NONE of these boxes and these investors aren’t interested in betting their money on something that explodes and grows x10 every year.
These are the type of investors who put their money in businesses proven to stay stable over the years. Who have already been through their growth years and now evened out. Which is another completely valid and successful way to invest. It’s just not the trendy hip way to invest right now because most VCs are chasing the unicorns when it comes down to LARGE ($100m+) investments.
And this all sounds about right to me. It’s possible that controversies over extreme adult-rated content and IP-infringing content may end up being more serious than this analysis assumes — but that would be much more likely to happen if SL was still enjoying its spotlight in the media that it had 10-12 years ago. With most of that public awareness gone, SL is fairly safe to quietly enjoy its autumnal period in modest if comfortable prosperity. While brands like Blueberry — not to mention its many customers — can expect to enjoy Second Life for years to come.
Mishi’s thoughts adapted, with permission, from some posts from her personal Facebook. Mishi IRL photo courtesy Mishi.
Have a great week from all of us at Zoha Islands/Fruit Islands