Saturday, April 3, 2010
Vivaty is Dead
On March 31st, Vivaty announced that it will completely shut down its social virtual world operation on April 16th. Co-founder and CEO Jay Weber said that the company will give users "about 2 weeks for our creative users to take snapshots and videos of their awesomely decorated scenes — once things shut down, the 3D content will be gone". Too bad all those assets are not retrievable...
Like many other companies in this space, Vivaty planned to make money through an in-world currency. Jay Weber continues: “Vivaty.com is a rather expensive site to run, much more than a regular web site, and Vivaty the company has been running out of money for some time. Our business model was to earn money through Vivabux sales, but that has never come close to covering our costs. We tried for months to find a bigger partner that would support the site, but that didn’t work out.” He goes on to say that "we understand that some of you have recently bought Vivabux on the assumption that Vivaty.com would be around for some time, so we are going to issue refunds for Paypal purchases made since February 1, 2010. I’m sorry we can’t refund any transactions through Gambit offers, including cell phone purchases."
Vivaty's closure is the latest in a string of virtual world shutdowns that have included Lively, Forterra, Metaplace, Wonderland, and There.com. These are tough times for virtual world businesses that find it hard to generate adequate revenue in an online world where people have become accustomed to getting things for free.