November 2008

Reuters has closed its office in Second Life and pulled its reporter from covering the virtual world.

Reuters had opened its bureau in 2006 to much fanfare with a dedicated website for Second Life news, which hasn’t been updated since September.

Silicon Valley Insider has a post from ex-correspondant Eric Krangel on why Reuters left and why he believes Second Life’s hype has faded.

Community sites such as the Second Life News Network and New World Notes still offer news about Second Life.

New Commenting System

November 25, 2008

I know how painful it’s been in the past to want to comment on a piece of news only to have to hit the forums and carry on that discussion there. I’ve taken some time to roll out a new commenting system for the site. As of right now, you can make a comment directly from the news post. Enjoy and let me know if you find any problems with it.

NCsoft will close down the servers for sci-fi MMO Tabula Rasa on Feb. 28, 2009.

The news was posted on the game’s Web site, along with plans for the game to be free between Jan. 10, 2009 and the day of its closing. The post by the Tabula Rasa team promises “some really fun things” will happen in the game before it ends.

Designed by Ultima creator Richard Garriott who recently left NCsoft, Tabula Rasa did not attract enough subscribers to keep it going. The title, released in November 2007, accounted for only 2 percent of the South Korea-based publisher’s revenue in 2008’s third quarter, which saw the company’s profits fall by 50 percent.

Subscribers with accounts active as of 10 a.m. on Nov. 21, 2008 will receive three free months of play for both City of Heroes and Lineage II, plus beta access and one free month for NCsoft’s upcoming MMO Aion. Players who pre-paid for subscription time beyond Jan. 10, 2009 will have their money refunded.

The notice alerting players of the game’s demise said the team still believes Tabula Rasa was an innovative experience and are disappointed to see it end:

“Last November we launched what we hoped would be a ground breaking sci-fi MMO. In many ways, we think we’ve achieved that goal. Tabula Rasa has some unique features that make it fun and very different from every other MMO out there. Unfortunately, the fact is that the game hasn’t performed as expected. The development team has worked hard to improve the game since launch, but the game never achieved the player population we hoped for.”

GigaOM reports two MMO players and net neutrality advocates will lead President-elect Barack Obama’s transition team for the Federal Communications Commission.

Last week, Obama appointed Kevin Werbach, assistant professor of legal studies and business ethics at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and Susan Crawford, a teacher of communications and internet law at the University of Michigan, to co-chair his FCC transition team. Among other duties, the two will provide advice to the president-elect on the government’s internet policies. READ MORE

The hits keep coming in numbers as nine new tracks will be available in the Rock Band Music Store for the week of November 25, 2008.  A three-pack from The Killers and Yngwie Malmsteen as well as two tracks from artist Soundgarden and one track from metal band Lamb of God.  The Killers three-pack consists of “Mr. Brightside,” “Smile Like You Mean It,” and “Spaceman.”  The three-pack from Yngwie Malmsteen will include tracks “Caprici Di Diablo,” “Damnation Game,” and “Red Devil.”  Soundgarden tracks “Jesus Christ Post” and “Pretty Noose” will join “Blackhole Sun” and “Spoonman” already in the Music Store.  Lamb of God’s single “Laid to Rest” will also become available.

They are switching up the release dates this time around and making the new DLC available starting November 25, 2008 on Xbox LIVE and the PlayStation Network.  Each individual track can be purchased for $1.99 (160 Microsoft Points) and the three-packs are priced at $5.49 (440 Microsoft Points) each.  All tracks are original master recordings.