UPDATE (12/14/2010): We have found the remaining sims a home!
When we opened our first residential sim nearly four years ago, I envisioned an adult community where tolerance and mutual respect for privacy were prized more than anything else. Over time we built a small but cohesive adult village around New Desperation Isle, and eventually expanded beyond the shores of New Desperation Isle to support residents with a wide variety of interests and needs.
The estate grew and met with great success until late 2008, when Linden Lab made the first in a very long list of policy and technical changes that would threaten the stability and profitability of hundreds- perhaps thousands- of in-world businesses. We stopped growing then, but we managed to remain afloat thanks to a loyal customer base and healthy profits from our skybox business. But that all changed in 2010. New Search, Viewer 2.0, New Marketplace, fluctuating L$ value, Linden Homes, and unbeatable tier discounts granted to only a handful of the very biggest residential estates chipped into our business steadily throughout this past year to the point where we’re no longer able to compete in the current market without investing a lot more time and money than we can afford. A chapter in the story of Desperation Isle Estates is coming to a close.
WHAT IS HAPPENING
Over the next few weeks we will be shutting down our remaining multi-tenant residential sims. New Desperation Isle will also be going offline. If you are a current tenant of ours, by the time you read this we will have already refunded your rent.
We have arranged a deal for some free time and some reduced rates with another, larger estate- for those of you who wish to pursue it. They are not buying our islands; they are offering a special bonus to residents of Desperation Isle Estates. Please read on for complete details.
All of the following sims will be going offline within the next few weeks:
- Desperation Juno
- Desperation Kelly
- Desperation North
- Desperation South
- Desperation West
- New Desperation Isle
Desperation Vivienne and Desperation East are no longer part of the estate.
WHEN IT IS HAPPENING
I am paying to keep the residential sims open to existing residents until Sunday, December 26th. The public island, New Desperation Isle, will be closing on or before Saturday, December 18. It will no longer be viewable from the other islands after that time.
On December 26th, I will reclaim all residential parcels and return any items left on the islands.
WHY THIS IS HAPPENING
Thanks to many decisions Linden Lab has made over the past couple of years, the work and financing required to sustain a competitive residential business in Second Life is just too much for us to bear. We tried to locate buyers for the estate, but were only able to sell two individual sims (with tenants). Most estates these days either aren’t expanding at all, or are simply not in a position to take on the monthly tier burden of eight whole sims, regardless of whether there were existing tenants. Many estates shut down completely this year, and even some of the largest estates have actually shed sims recently, due to decreased demand.
We did consider consolidation (only dropping a couple sims and moving residents to existing vacant space on the remaining islands), but that wouldn’t change the fact that we’ve been losing more tenants than we’ve gained since July.
WHERE WILL EXISTING TENANTS GO?
This is completely your decision, of course, but Solace Beach Estates is offering some special deals to our current tenants. Solace Beach’s owner, Ayesha Lytton, is a forum regular possibly familiar to those of you who frequent SLUniverse, and I trust her to take good care of you. Full details are in the enclosed notecard.
[notecard goes here]
Most of their sims are standalone, meaning they are not connected to and can’t “see” other islands like the sims around New Desperation Isle- but this results in slightly improved performance. Also, most Solace Beach Estates regions are Moderate/Mature. If you are looking for residential living space, please note that you can have adult items (sexbeds, etc.) on Moderate/Mature land so long as you don’t advertise that you’ve got adult content in the Search > Places listings. So, if you currently live on one of our Adult residential sims and you are not running an adult business or public play area, you should be just fine on a Moderate/Mature sim. We only made Desperation North/South/East/West Adult because they were physically adjacent to a public/commercial sim with Adult content. Most of the content residents have placed on our Adult sims would be just fine in most non-PG regions.
If you do have a business or public meeting place that requires the ability to advertise with the Adult classification, Solace Beach does have some Adult commercial sims which should meet your needs. Speak with their representative (mentioned in their notecard) for details.
AREN’T THERE ANY PURELY ADULT ESTATES?
A few adult-targeted residential estates did pop up after we first went into business, but every one that I ever knew about has shut down within the past couple of years (we have housed many of their former tenants). If there are any communities similar to what we formed around New Desperation Isle, I’ve never heard of them. We were unique in that regard, but luckily most content and activities kept behind closed doors (or up in skyboxes) is acceptable on Mature/Moderate sims, so I don’t expect most of you will have trouble finding a place to live.
IS THIS THE END OF DESPERATION ISLE ESTATES?
We are no longer going to be operating multi-tenant sims, and we will no longer host any public meeting places or commercial areas. We will continue to offer standalone homestead and full-prim sims to individual tenants until Linden Lab makes it so that’s no longer possible. Also, my business partner, Vivienne Schell, will continue to operate our skybox business, Desperation Isle Productions, for the known future.
Second Life has been a part of my real life for over five years now, and I will remain here for as long as the grid will have me. I’m very sorry to have to end the multi-tenant sim business and shut down my labor of love, New Desperation Isle- but the financial realities of Second Life in 2010 have made it impossible for us to sustain.
Thank you so very much for your business. I consider many of you friends, and I do wish you the best in your Second Lives.
Sincerely and sadly,
Wildefire Walcott, Desperation Isle Estates