Friday, November 21, 2008
A few thoughts on the Google Lively demise
When Google Lively launched earlier this year, I soon found out it wasn't really appealing or interesting to me. Lively is an enhanced 3D chatbox, but not a virtual world; I didn't pay much attention anymore after the launch. Obviously that goes for lots of others, too, as Lively is about to be shut down by Google. What this all means for virtual worlds and 3D environments remains to be seen.
One of the drawbacks, at launch, was the closed nature of Lively. As said in this interview:
"As far as 3D user-created content and textures, it’s by invite only. You send a request and we approve the request as a developer and you sign a developer TOS. We’re going to be very aggressive about that, much more so than others"
At the time, I thought that was a bit foolish. Lively could have been a nice addition to many a corporate website, if properly branded. But by creating barriers in content creation process, Google effectively blocked the creative minds, the hobbyist pioneers, the pathfinders from toying around with certain important features of the Lively environment. I didn't think that was a smart move, but we'll never know if things could have been different if Google hadn't implemented this policy.
Another contestant in pretty much the same space as Lively, is Just Leap In. It's also a room based 3D environment, but less cartoonish than Google Lively. To me, it just looks a whole lot better, really, while having many of Lively's features. It's going to be interesting to see whether JLI can pull off where Google decided to call it quits.