The RPW Core Team announced today they will be shutting down the servers around the 23rd of September 2011, and encourage folks to do backups, export their builds, cancel orders and subscriptions before that date. They are warning people early to give them enough time to backup all their objects.
As you will recall from my earlier post, RolePlayWorlds is unique in that their grid consisted of many separate continents (think of these as Linden Labs’ mainland grids) which followed a particular theme, such as Elf, Vampire, Gor, and so on. Most of the builds were fairly massive size installations spanning 9 or more regions connected together to form larger cities, labyrinths, or terrains.
Much of the RPW consisted of the “Gor Grid” which were extensive builds of the cities of Ar, Lara, and other places taken from John Norman’s Gorean world, along with smaller (yet still quite massive, considerably..) areas.
In an email announcement I received today, they said, “The time has come, where we need to take a different path. This has been a lovely journey, we had the pleasure of meeting several great people and learn about this awesome industry. Sadly we don’t have the time and energy to keep working on RPW as before, that’s why we decided to close it or sell it if someone wants to make a fair offer.”
In closing, they said they want to say thanks to all (customers, users, and friends) for following them on this journey, and that we may see them again on this path.
I didn’t realize they were based in South America, though the email CAN-SPAM notice on the bottom had the address of “Colinas de Bello Monte, Qta. Los Luises, Caracas, Venezuela 1058” — I will remember RPW and the great attention to detail their builds had, though membership for whatever reason seemed to be lacking. The grid wanted to use a sort of currency system, but the last time I logged in it was mostly in beta testing and a rather manual process through PayPal transactions, even though the prices for everything was significantly lower than other “pay for stuff” grids such as Second Life, Openlife, YAL, and Inworldz.
I still have 9 sims running on OSgrid though not really actively using it. I wonder if any of the groups from RPW would be interested in migrating some of their builds there? OSgrid is one of the larger Open Simulator based grids, and to their benefit perhaps, everything in there is free/opensource, they are creative commons based and not for profit. That means you can’t really make money on OSgrid, but then who but a select niche few (and perhaps some musicians) actually make any money from Second Life? I made enough money to pay for my shoutcast stream services and some music on iTunes while DJ’ing, but it wasn’t something I could do full time and quit my day job to sustain myself in a virtual career.
That isn’t to say RPW was about commercialism and making money, because their focus was all about roleplay and people enjoying themselves in the various RP’s that took place there (I can’t say I ran into very many people there, really, because I didn’t, but their support staff was very helpful and the few people I did meet were quite nice, so it’s a shame to see them close up shop).
I wish everyone at RPW the best, and hope that they do have some dedicated folks who will safely migrate the best bits of it elsewhere, or save backups of select .oar and .iar’s perhaps so people can download them from some archive somewhere. Who knows..
For more information, visit their website at http://roleplayworlds.net/