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It actually isn’t as common as you might think that an MMOG makes it to five years. At GDC this year, six panelists from among the survivors got together and talked about their strategies for keeping old players and acquiring new ones.

And there’s sound advice in there for more industries and enterprises than just MMOGs.

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Oct 10 2010

The “killer app” is the thing you fear in the hands of your competitors, because it kills your business – or so it is believed, hence the name.

Well, that ain’t exactly so. Businesses don’t get killed by “killer apps”. They get killed by consistent failure to adapt.

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There seems to be some confusion over the fact that Linden Lab still has projects in the works when they’re following all the steps you’d expect from a company that is getting ready for sale. Well, you have to have ongoing development and projects. Otherwise where you end up is not a sale, it’s liquidation.

Unless you’re selling for scrap, what you’re selling is a business. A going concern. If it’s an inert corpse, the best you can hope for is scrap prices – and what you’ll probably get is a mediocre bid at auction. A key part of trimming for a sale is ramping up, because a buyer isn’t buying into what you have now – they’re buying into what you will be in a year.

All of that said let’s look at things from a slightly different angle.

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In the wake of the announced price-doubling for educators and non-profits, the reaction has been … well, just about as strong as I expected. A very significant chunk of those markets have been reconsidering Second Life as an option since Linden Lab gave them a wake-up call one year ago, and eyeing alternatives.

According to reports Linden Lab’s now sent around an email which smacks more of salesmanship than factual correctness, offering education and non-profit concerns short-term discount if they’ll take a fixed-term contract for their Second Life holdings before 31 December.

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