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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Volatility in 3D Virtual World Industry

There is a great deal of "churn" in the 3D virtual immersive environment space. I think it is natural churn in a market that is fast emerging but some of that churn can seem unfriendly and one can certainly see the industry as "half-full" as the analogy goes. However, I think it is just part of the evolutionary process. Let's look at some of the positive churn events and negative churn events of the past few months.


Got a great email from someone who works at Forterra, "I wanted to let you know, since being acquired by SAIC in January of this year, OLIVE has seen unprecedented sales in both the Federal and commercial space. I can tell you that we are busier than at any time over the last 4 years at Forterra!" Good news on that front, a lot of people speak highly of the platform and they have done some great projects in the 3D space.

Microsoft has awarded one of its innovation awards to 3D Virtual Immersive Environment Enterprise provider ProtonMedia. See my analysis of the recognition in What it means that MS LifeScience Award Goes to 3D Virtual Conference Design

James A. Parker, President of Digitell, Inc.informed me that he had a great reception and a tremendous amount of buzz around his VirtualU product and many of the people with whom he spoke are desperate to find a more engaging platform than 2D virtual classrooms.

Venuegen has offered to help Second Life Enterprise users move from the SL Enterprise edition to the Venuegen platform for free. This provides a great way for corporate users of 3D spaces to not loose any investment and to seamlessly move from one venue to another.

The University of Washington Virtual World Certificate officially had its first graduation. The student's worked hard and excelled at mastering virtual worlds in theory, design, development and big ideas. This is one of the first virtual world certificate graduation of which I am aware and it means that people are seriously studying the subject and becoming experts in building virtual immersive environment for educational, corporate and government uses.

Here is a machinima of the graduation:


The 3D virtual world business space isn't big enough to support Thinkbalm's analysis efforts. See Change is under way at ThinkBalm

Linden Labs announces layoffs, appears to be contemplating shuttering Enterprise Edition efforts.
it looks as though Linden Labs, the developers behind Second Life, may be downsizing their corporate efforts (Second Life Enterprise Edition). Two sources indicate that Linden may actually be shutting down their Enterprise operations.. The story broke in a number of places, Virtual Worlds News reports that Linden Lab Lays Off 30 Perfect Of Staff. And Massively, a blog that provides daily information about MMOs. Reported the following in an article Linden Lab laying off staff, closing Singapore office. For a great take on what is happening in Linden Labs and the enterprise perspective check out Dusan Writer's post Linden Lab Lock Step, Out Of Synch.

Back in March shut down and Forettera was sold (for the better it appears).

So what does this all mean, to me, it is just churn. Check out a 2007 posting which sums up what is happening, The Metaverse Hype, Decline and Realism Cycle--We've Seen It Before
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