Being original, copy-catting, or reinventing the wheel?

  • Clearly builds on Minecraft’s success as a very simple and fun environment
  • Again, builds on LL’s expertise with physics engines
  • It allows immersion in a virtual world with shared content
  • It leverages on Second Life’s original idea of “having fun building things on your own” which so many oldtimers still think that should be SL’s mission

However, it does not compete with SL itself. It’s way too simple for that, and I’m sure it’s not intended to become more complex — it would distract from the overall fun experience. While it’s definitely not my style of game — I’m the oddity that finds Minecraft boring! — I can imagine hordes of Minecraft fans trying it out.

So I think that with these two examples Rod’s LL is entering the gaming market with two ideas that are not very original — meaning that they have good chances of being picked up as being part of trends — but that have unique twists to it. Aye, LL is reinventing the wheel — but it’s definitely Wheel 2.0, with extra tires and more spokes 🙂 CreatorVerse is for all those people without graphic skills who loved Angry Birds and only wished they could design levels for it. Patterns is for all Minecraft fans who want to have fun blowing things up with gravity and physics. Both games fit well into the existing trend, adding a new layer of innovation which might be just enough to make them compelling.

For Rod, all it matters now it to know how much time they have “invested” in each development, and how many copies they’re expecting to sell. If they enter the low-end game market — the kind that is available from Big Fish Games, or, to a degree, on Facebook (but is dying out there) — they need to be able to develop lots of simple, engaging games with their special twist (which leverages on identification with the brand that LL is famous for), do that in little time (to keep costs down), aim for enough revenue to pay for the development costs, rely on the long tail for ongoing revenue, and start quickly on the next two or three games. This is mostly limited by LL’s imagination in coming up with new ideas and by the average revenue they expect to get from each batch.

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