In most of the MMO industry, most of us hew to what I like to call the “gentleman’s agreement.” It’s basically that you don’t trash your competition in public. Partially because we’re all in the same boat in terms of the challenges we face in bringing these beasts to market, partially because chances are good thanks to the general mobility of people within MMO/VW companies that you may be working tomorrow with the person you’re talking about today, but mainly because talking smack is just not terribly professional conduct in general.
In other words, in Bridges’ opinion, Rosedale’s resignation is “an acknowledgment that [Second Life] is not suitable for mainstream users and corporate customers — neither the culture within Second Life, nor the tech underpinning it, is suitable for either.”
Continues Bridges, “I think with Second Life, he [Phillip Rosedale] and Cory Ondrejka built something that got a lot of attention. It didn’t ever quite go mainstream, but certainly it got a lot of companies — big consumer brands, enterprise companies, to sort of examine this new phenomenon of virtual worlds, and got them to dip their toe in the water, which has been great. To some degree, I guess — to mix water metaphors — ‘the rising tide lifts all boats,’ and that’s been true for the past couple years.”
“That turned a corner last year, however, as the sort of completely wild, inappropriate expectations got way too far past what that particular world could actually deliver,” notes Bridges. “What a lot of these big companies have found is that yeah, this is a useful new medium, or at least a method to engage with folks. But then, after they got that experience, they said, ‘OK, what we really need is to build a virtual space where we have more control, where there are no flying penises, where our brand is not underneath somebody else’s brand.'”
And what would be his suggestion?
“I do honestly sincerely think we all owe Philip a thank you for bringing attention to the industry. Now it’s just time for the real technology to step in,” Bridges says.
You don’t say.