back to article Google torches own brand Sadville

Could it be there isn't a pot of gold at the end of the Sadville rainbow? Google doesn't think there is, and will shutter its "virtual world" Lively after less than six months. Lively was opened in July under the Google Labs banner, the clearing house for unfinished or pointless products. Its closure merited two and a bit …


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  1. Joe K


    Well, its the first i've ever heard of it. Nice marketing job guys.

  2. Pete James
    Paris Hilton

    Missed a trick

    If Lively had Viagra, Vitoria's Secret, Ann Summers, Private and Rampant Rabbit ads then it would have been a knuckle-shuffling success!

    Paris, she's neither virtual or virtuous.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Sadville indeed!

    I recently dumped a HUGE number of Sims 'virtual land' in Second Life and quit the game due in part to the continued incompetence of Linden Lab. There are so many fundamental deficiences I wouldn't know where to begin. Uninstalling Second Life after two years was a breathe of fresh air! I haven't looked back for a microsecond.

    R.I.P Lively.

  4. Kenny Millar
    Dead Vulture

    @Chris Williams

    Ok, so it's a negative story - something is closing down, didn't live up to expectations etc etc, but do you have to take such a negative tone in your journalism, or rather, 'reporting'?

    Describing the current economic downturn as a 'clusterfxxk' is just base, playground level articulation and reveals the level of your intellect.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Sadville indeed!

    "after two years" Oh, the irony.

  6. Winkypop Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Why I come back to the reg

    "Despite its famous corporate hubris, Google didn't have the Ponzi-esque cojones to flog "virtual land" to gullible strategy boutiques and people in unhappy marriages, as Linden Lab does in Sadville."


  7. Anonymous Coward

    Fundamental deficiencies

    Yeah the deficiencies must have been *very* fundamental to keep you on there for 2 years :p

  8. Uncle Slacky Silver badge


    "Clusterfuck" (as in the poor house") appears to be good enough for the Daily Show, so why not here?

  9. Anonymous Coward

    It is the same story all around yet again

    I would have expected at least Google to get a clue and offer VR as a form of Virtual Office. They had the technical resources to do that. There is a big market for that especially with all the restrictions companies have placed on travel during the downturn.

    However, instead of creating something useful they did a "me-too" and provided participants no means of secure link, no means of purchasing walled garden environment and most importantly, they did not grant the participants full IP rights on anything they create in the VR.

    Without these, the corporations are not likely to try to use a VR as a VO anytime soon and not surprisingly the sole VR we will have will be Sadville with its sad marriages between people who need extra-wide doors in their houses for the rare occasions when the inhabitants need to get out.

  10. Fluffykins

    @Kenny Millar

    "Describing the current economic downturn as a 'clusterfxxk' is just base, playground level articulation and reveals the level of your intellect."

    But very accurate indeed.

    Personally I'd have been more alliterative and used the term: "Credit Clusterfxxk" but there again, that's just personal taste, or lack thereof.


    Well cluster whatever.

  11. Gianni Straniero

    Niche interests

    "Are [people with niche sexual interests] likely to be a target for major advertisers? Erm, no"

    Et pourquoi non?

    Heinz ketchup

    Unilever Vaseline


    Mars Pedigree Petfoods

    Taser International, Inc.

    I could go on...

  12. Mark C
    Thumb Up

    @Kenny M

    I'm happy with the phrase "current economic clusterfuck" .... seems to sum up where we are fairly accurately.

  13. Chris Cooke


    So you're saying that Google doesn't think there isn't a pot of gold there? Well, that's OK then.

  14. Anonymous Coward

    Lack of browser support?

    Just had a look at this "lively" thing... and would you believe it...

    "Requires Windows Vista/XP with Internet Explorer or Firefox "

    So, no Chrome support then? When will the corporate world realise these virtual worlds are not a long term strategy to make money. Places like sadville just make a few people rich by exploiting the vulnerable and stupid idiots out there. Linden Labs claime to have something like 2 million accounts... but I think they're including the 1.99 million people like me that created and account, ran around a laggy world for 10 minutes and then uninstalled it.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @Kenny Millar and @Chris Williams

    No, no, I think this is one of the best articles I've seen on TheRegister in quite some time. Everyone knew that Lively was badly done, Chris Williams does a great job of presenting the facts (or let's say prevailing opinion) in a humorous yet cynical way. Excellent job CW. :)

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I tried it...

    ...and it was rubbish. Barely an alpha, let alone a beta. And I speak as someone who doesn't have a knee-jerk reaction against virtual worlds.

  17. ian


    Was it good for you too?

    So now that Google has had its way with the users, it just abandons them? No tender words? No postplay? Just a few screen shots to remember what they had together?

    Cue the flying penises!

  18. fluffy

    "no software to download"

    Quite untrue. You had to download a Windows-only browser plugin, which had this terribly annoying habit of making sure that I always had a URL shortcut to on my desktop (which it would recreate every day).

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    First time here

    as well. I am on google sites all the time, and I didn't get any notification :)

    VRML is what was proposed in the past, and normally these things require some sort of addon.

    But, if they ain't going to talk about it, then I guess no one is going to use it. If the thing is any good, I would have spent an hour or so looking into it.

    Screw it, I am off there now to check it out, still have till the end of the year to give it a whirl.

  20. Michael Xion


    ..would be for everyone to sign up so they think there's sudden demand and announce to keep it going. Then all cancel our accounts on January 01, 2009 :-)

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