Thursday, 20 August 2009

Farewell to the Nethernet

GameLayers announced that support for their metaweb game will cease shortly and they are asking the community if they want it to limp on to its death or if they should pull the plug now for a quick painless death.

As Divide by Zero sums it up very nicely:

Personally I smell the investor’s hand in this. Gamelayers and the Nethernet was quite a bit backed by venture capitalists and their board of directors is practically run by them. As such, it was a matter of time before a resource-heavy game that failed to find a business plan to monetize all their traffic would start to raise questions about its viability by the investors. My impression is that the developers were given an ultimatum on this by their investors: “Either find a way to make money out of this within the next month or we stop funding you.” Or something to that extent. As such we saw the wholly misguided attempt to introduce “bacon” (ie micropayments) to the game which had the effect of driving a very considerable number of the community away (Just look at the comments on their post about it).

And now, almost exactly one month later, once it became obvious that their community abandoned them (or once a deadline was crossed?) the plug is pulled. The question is, what now? I mean, it’s obvious that the hosting won’t continue for much longer by Gamelayers (possibly until their server leasing expires?) so at some point the Nethernet will go 503...

But where Gamelayers failed, perhaps the community driven creativity, from players, for players, might make the Nethernet what it could have been. I can only imagine solutions such as federated servers, each of them possible to be hosted by any person’s desktop, sharing resources to allow the game to run smoothly. A team of free software programmers simply coding in the tools that people really want to have, that will make the game far more immersive and exciting, instead of the semi-boring event it is now. And by the nature of Free Software, you might see other versions of the Nethernet spring up, based on different universes rather than the same Victorian Steampunk one PMOG was always based on, again connected via distributed, The end of the Nethernet(?), Aug 2009

You should read the whole article for more information. It is full of information and contains plenty of points to think about.

Personally I believe it is a huge shame that Nethernet will be going. I believe they were doing many of the right things in metaweb pioneering. I think we should pull the plug straight away but leave the message boards open.

To the community, I hope we will band together and come up with a free open source distributed computing solution.

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