Because of the uh, growth (I wanted to think of the word you use when cockroaches breed out of control, but I can’t) of videos about what “Really Happened To There”, I’m preparing a long post called “The Myths of There” where I examine some of the more popular myths being spread by homebound teenagers and hygienically-deficit guest artists. In order to not be too negative, I’ll also explain the realities of What It Would Take To ReOpen There.

Edit I have a phone call that the videos have been dealt with. I was going to delete the post (like some other sites we’re all familiar with), but in the interests of transparency, I won’t. Please see the comments for further explanation.

In the meantime, take a look at Minecraft. It’s an indie game which is all the rage these days, and is getting a huge following. Before you poo-poo the graphics, look here where someone has implemented a Portal mode for the game.

Don’t blame me if you get addicted.

P.S. Once person got the impression I was referring to There Members in this post. Actually I’m not: I’m referring to a couple of people (one an ex-employee)(of There, not Makena) that insist on misrepresenting the facts about There, Makena, and it’s employees, and should know better. I apologize if anyone else was offended.

  1. #1 by dakotaman on 2010.10.08 - 5:52 pm

    I will be interested to read your thoughts on the ‘Myths of There’ and what it would take to reopen, MW. It seems perplexing to me that so many worlds now have opened (and closed) and yet none of them seem to have found a successful (ie: profitable) model to remain viable. Do worlds have to reach the ‘economy of scale’ of a World of Warcraft to be profitable? Does a truly ‘social’ world have to incorporate the equivalent of Facebook to become viable. It’s perplexing, indeed and even more frustrating to the members of There who believed that you had indeed found the ‘Holy Grail’ of social worlds with There.

    I am among the thousands of people who go through their days wondering if there is something on the horizon to take the place of There. That the apparent consensus that there is nothing to compare with There in existence (or even in development) speaks loudly of how much There did right. Maybe social worlds can never be profitable, but I fail to believe that.

    The day that you find a profitable strategy to add to There, is the day we will all rejoice. Because you’ve ‘nailed’ the social aspects of the platform.

    Never had the chance to attend a RL gathering, but I am hoping that someday I will get the chance to shake your hand, Michael Wilson, and thank you for what you’ve created and your efforts to bring it to the rest of the world.


    • #2 by Michael Wilson on 2010.10.09 - 5:58 am

      Working on it sir. Hope to be done with the first part this weekend.

  2. #3 by Ken on 2010.10.02 - 8:28 am

    Curse you MW!
    Said tongue in cheek MW.. you did what you had to do.
    Yes, I have been watching videos on You Tube again. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
    There is a “formula” there_forever, he has mentioned it a couple of times. Profitability is the key word.
    Mike has said a few things that, at the time, I thought were patronizing. Now that I have read a lot more that he has said, I’m beginning to believe he has a heart after all.
    Its hard to believe that anyone in his position could have been cold hearted enough to NOT care about the people like us, even people like me who could be a real PIA at times. I’m sure Julian winced every time he picked up the phone and heard my voice ๐Ÿ™‚
    When There reopens, I will see it in a far different prospective.
    What we all need to do is get together and thank Mike for the great trip he gave us. I for one would like to shake his hand, look him in the eye and say “Thank you”
    Funny how prospectives change, aye Mike ๐Ÿ™‚
    I hear Disney World is great in March!
    How about a 1 year get together… Whose up for that?

    • #4 by there_forever on 2010.10.03 - 3:59 am

      If the get together is in There.com then I’m in for sure!!!!

  3. #5 by Chucci on 2010.09.30 - 9:10 pm

    According to this, it seems like I made more money off of There than MW did…? Idk… but I miss There sooo muchhh. My heart aches when I think about it… =(

    • #6 by Michael Wilson on 2010.10.01 - 9:11 pm

      Yup. You did.

    • #7 by there_forever on 2010.10.01 - 11:37 pm

      Everybody misses There so much. I know a few people that have even had dreams of There reopening. I am one of them.
      If only there was some kind of formula to open the world again. Even if that meant a small version of the world.
      I know plenty of people who would settle with Caldera, Zona, Fisher and Paiz for example! Perhaps Caldera only.
      Ahhh well, unfortunately that isn’t possible for know but maybe in the future something might change.
      Hope dies last! LoL

  4. #8 by there_forever on 2010.09.30 - 3:59 pm

    Yes Ken, your last post is so much better than the first one. ๐Ÿ™‚
    There is no need to attack MW. As you can see he doesnt hesitate to give quick and thorough replies to what we ask him.
    He isn’t like some other guy who has been claiming to have been “designing a virtual world for 3 years, and itโ€™s designed to be profitable, etc, etc” and attacks you with full aggression as soon if you dare to disagree with him on the most minor issue.

    • #9 by Brandyn_1 on 2010.09.30 - 6:01 pm

      I agree! ^^^^^^^^^^^ You hit it right on the spot! pretty much stole the words right out my mouth! Lol

  5. #10 by Ken on 2010.09.30 - 11:38 am


    You answered my question if I read between the lines correctly. Thank you for the candor!
    There may be some that have questioned your salary but I’m not one of them. How you operate your business is none of mine.
    Sure hope your benefits were good cuz the salary sucked ๐Ÿ™‚
    I seriously doubt that there will ever be a world that can come close to what There was or can be.
    Get it fixed Mike .. I know this is a bad time to be “fixing” anything” but there are a few thousand of us out here impatiently awaiting the chance to log into There again and do what we love doing,
    Financially or technically, I probably lack the tools to help but if there is anything I can do to help, don’t hesitate contacting me.

  6. #11 by Ken on 2010.09.30 - 10:07 am


    You need to read my last post .. I’m NOT trying to stir the pot, just trying to get a dialog going.
    I ABSOLUTELY respect him for the work he and the guys did to bring There to all of us.
    There are a lot of hurt and disillusioned Thereians out there that will say things to just “get even” with him for closing There, I’m NOT one of them!!


    I’m NOT interested in MW’s answer to all the myths being spread by the rumor mongers out there. He closed There, period.
    I miss There every bit as much as anyone of you guys, I’m just hoping against hope that there is some glimmer of hope for those of us who get a lump in out throat every time we watch a video on YouTube about There that maybe… soon, someday I can kick MW’s butt around Zephyr once again.
    I would pay for that privilege!!
    Think about that Mike .. Hell, I will even be willing to give you lessons when you have time ๐Ÿ™‚ Lord knows, you need help with your Paintball ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. #12 by Ken on 2010.09.30 - 9:36 am

    Well, color me VERY surprised! Thank you for the quick answer. Perhaps I misjudged you.
    Your right, I wouldn’t care about the P&L sheet. I would trust that if you went to the trouble to post it, it would be honest.
    “People can post things about me all day long, but I wonโ€™t stand for them trashing ex-employees or their work.” I understand the passion of standing by your people, I would have done the same thing if they would have been my employees.
    I am working from a “blind prospective” and I apologize for any misunderstanding(s).
    There is such a unique platform. There is NO replacement for it, anywhere. Although I seriously used only a small part of it most of the time, the passion I have for it is unbelievable!
    I thought “what the hell, he is closing it, I don’t care. I felt there were a lot better qualified people out there trying to convince you to not close There, what difference was my voice going to make.
    The lights went out at Avie Sacrifice and it dawned on me, OMG, its gone. Its been almost 7 months and that passion has not gone away. Still as strong as ever, maybe more so.
    Hundreds, perhaps thousands of us out here that still get that lump in their throats thinking about “the good old days in There.” or watching videos on You Tube.
    I suspect that there is a lot more to your decision than just the P&L. Those reasons are none of my business but I do have one question for you ..
    Whats it gonna take? Now that you got China out of your system, whats it gonna take to get you to settle down and “do it right” this time? (tongue in cheek) but an honest question.
    I don’t have 20 million or even 2 million but whats it gonna take?
    I think you had the right idea when you first started out in 2003 with charging members by the month, why did you change?
    Perhaps you need to do a POLL of all the old members and see what they think. It cant hurt.
    One last cheap shot before I get off my soap box ..
    Now that you know who this is, have a little respect for your elders and give it to me straight ๐Ÿ™‚ Whats it going to take!

    • #13 by Michael Wilson on 2010.09.30 - 10:10 am

      I’ll try and outline the costs in a later post. The problem is, it wouldn’t be re-openable without fixing some things to make it a better business proposition.

      While everyone tells us that if we had only charged, we could have stayed open, they may not remember that There tried charging starting in 2003 and right through 2005, and, as I said, it still lost money. We stopped charging in an attempt to get in more first-time users, and to get the numbers up to attract advertisers. So, with, or without charging everyone, There lost money every day it operated. It gave us a lot of reward to run it for people, it provided a lot to our customers, and it was a challenge to make it profitable, but the bottom line was it lost money every day it existed. And, when I say “lost money”, I mean operating costs, not capital expenditures like hardware purchases.

      And to answer the obvious, no, it wasn’t our fat salaries that cost so much. I was paid approximately $1.00 a month (or whatever it took to get benefits)

      (Yes, I know there is someone out there who claims they’ve been “designing a virtual world for 3 years, and it’s designed to be profitable, etc, etc”. I wish them all the luck in the world.)

  8. #14 by Ken on 2010.09.30 - 7:37 am

    A very wise man once told me “If you do not have anything nice to say about someone, say nothing.
    “homebound teenagers and hygienically-deficit guest artists”. WOW what a totally insensitive comment.
    And then you patronize Lady_Tigrane with this “Ok, well if thatโ€™s what you want to believe, thatโ€™s of course your right.”
    It wasn’t something she made up, I was there and it is a fact!
    You did give all of us ONLY a WEEK to say our good bys, that was all!
    You DID ignore her and I several times.
    Its no wonder many, if not all of YOUR employees choose to speak out against you since the closing.
    I got the feeling that you had a China trip or some other extravagant event that There conflicted with and closing There was the easiest way to remove the problem.
    Do you have a clue how many people you hurt by closing There? People who spent a lot of money supporting your trips and toys with their hard earned money?
    I suspect you don’t have a clue or just don’t care. Either way, SHAME ON YOU!!
    Think about this: How many games are losing money right now and the management has this crazy idea that they owe something to their users to tough it out.
    Very few of us will be interested in a bunch of lame excuses for what you did on March 9. Spare us that and just sell the rights to the game to someone who has a conscience and cares about their users.
    The REAL question is simple: Do you have the guts to post this and answer it in a courteous, non-patronizing adult manner?

    • #15 by Michael Wilson on 2010.09.30 - 7:51 am

      The fact of the matter is this: There.com never turned a profit. You can choose to believe me or not, checks were written each month to keep There open which were at least equal to the revenue generated by the members. So, if There generated $75,000, another check for at least $75,000 had to be written to cover expenses (though I wish the checks had been that small sometimes).

      This was on top of the millions myself and others invested in the development of the platform.

      I could post the P&L, but I’m sure, given your tone, you’d just claim it was fake.

      The “ex-employee” who “spoke out against me” wasn’t my ex-employee. In any case, no one has the right to trash their ex-co-worker’s work in public without giving someone else them the chance to defend themselves. People can post things about me all day long, but I won’t stand for them trashing ex-employees or their work.

      No one has offered to buy There, despite the rumors to the contrary. Not for $8 million. Not for $2 million.

      If you’d like to believe that I don’t care after investing in the company since 2001 (which is a matter of public record), then that’s your choice.

      You’ve stated, quite clearly, that you’re not interested in answers, so I’ll leave it at that.

      • #16 by Brandyn_1 on 2010.09.30 - 8:38 am

        Im with MW on this one he stated “Goodness not at all. Iโ€™m referring to an individual who insists on spreading trash about There, and an ex-employee doing the same.”

        He was pointing out 1 or 2 people that have been spreading rumors about There and talking trash. Also give MW some slack! He GAVE US 1 WEEK! If he didn’t care he wouldn’t of gave us even that he could of unplugged There any minute he wanted to! I’m happy that i got 1 week of their that gave me at least sometimes to search for some new Worlds and get in touch with my old friends. I cant believe how ungrateful you people are being that we only got 1 week! he gave us that week and im great full for it and plus he even left ThereIM for how long? and those were the most expensive ones out their! We are all upset about There but don’t take it out on MW he has done his best to keep There open and it came to the point to were he just couldn’t anymore, He was taking money out of his own pocket sometimes! And if i was MW i honestly wouldn’t want to sell There he has worked so hard put his own money in There and got nothing out of it. What might of helped There was if it was ment for money making but it really wasn’t it was meant for chating and socializing. We all want There back but as he has said many of times now “Its not stable enough to bring There back” He has said that tons of times! And i know a lot of people who want to see this article about what it would take to bring There back. And Ken with what you just said You were kinda rude yourself about the comment. If you don’t think you’ll believe MW in that article then don’t even temp to read if you don’t want to know and have anything nice to say about it.

      • #17 by there_forever on 2010.09.30 - 8:38 am

        Sorry fellow ex Therians, I understand how you all feel. Disappointed, hurt, angry… you name it.
        I am not posting this to take anybodys side but in this case MW is right about what he says.
        This was his baby. He has been on it for so many years. It does hurt him that it has shut down. If he didn’t care about anything i dont think he would be wasting his time trying to explain a few things in his blog. Please, some respect for the man.
        Perhaps MW in the post in which you will explain the myths of there.com and give the reasons why There cant open again, maybe you should also explain how the servers worked, how many servers were needed and perhaps, how much a server cost per month. Maybe then some people will understand how much it cost to keep this world running. If of course they want to open their eyes and understand the truth and stop making false assumptions about everything.

    • #18 by there_forever on 2010.09.30 - 8:45 am

      I bet you Ken that the only answer you would be satisfied with is the answer that you want to hear, not the truth. MW has nothing to hide, he is explaining a few things but you dont want to listen.
      Since you arent satisfied with any of his answers what are you doing here?
      All you are managing to do is annoy all the people here that actually want to listen to what he has to say and understand a few things. If i was him, i would have had your posts deleted.

  9. #19 by Corey_Lee of THERE on 2010.09.30 - 4:38 am

    Sure.. it wont be as hard as rebuild There from ” 0 ” either. If i wouldnt have hopes i couldnt live thou and always try to think positive ofcourse If There doenst reopen i believe some another companies can make it real the things that u couldnt keep up by their own softwares .iรถ stil exciting to read The mhyts of There. You take care.
    Sory for bad english.

  10. #20 by Brandyn_1 on 2010.09.29 - 1:18 pm

    I keep trying to open up that Mine Craft site and it keeps saying “Page took to long to respond” anyone having that issue? And I cant wait to see the post MW ill be wanting to see that, I think that’s what a lot of people want to know how can we get There back. We all know its going to be very hard to get it back but its good to know what we can try to work on to get it back! Cant wait! And yes I would like to know the same CC about “What are you currently working on thatโ€™s There related if you can say?” We all want to know this if its possible for you to say.. =D


  11. #21 by Majandi on 2010.09.29 - 11:34 am

    How cool would this have been, if it had been a tool for members for building There islands!

    Pre-build in this blocky kind of way quite quickly, having a renderer then generate the smother There landscape from it.

    Streets, villages, towers, tunnels, caverns, race tracks, mountains, hovering islands … in no time!

    • #22 by Brandyn_1 on 2010.09.29 - 1:22 pm

      Yeah that would be very cool if we could of had all that stuff but it would of cost money and more designers? But that would of been awesome! but probably wasn’t able to be done with the physics of There.

  12. #23 by cc on 2010.09.29 - 9:27 am

    Everyone keeps talking about Minecraft so I decided to try it after watching some videos on it and apparently it eats up alot of power so I couldn’t play it on my netbook. With those graphics you’d think they’d play on a crappy old pc but guess not….

    About There (ish), Virtual Congress, how many people actually use it, I would believe not too many…
    I still see and hear people talk about There, I myself cannot play any other game because There was so unique but I’ll stop here cause you get it quite enough.

    If a reopen would occur, how would you go about making doing things differently?

    Last question: What are you currently working on that’s There related if you can say?

    We miss it greatly and hope someday it will reopen again.

  13. #24 by Karille on 2010.09.28 - 5:37 pm

    Nice find on the Minecraft game! I was just reading a small article on it today.
    http://www.mcvuk.com/news/41097/Minecraft-creator-earning-350k-a-day Seems the developer is heading in the right direction with it. Thx MW for the interesting posts.

  14. #25 by Lady_Tigrane on 2010.09.28 - 1:49 pm

    I wonder… after all you only gave us all a lousy week to say goodbye to each other. Hell, the last several times I attempted to even approach you in that game I was greeted most cooly. Whether or not it is the way you say, methinks your freudian slip is showing!

    Good Bye

    • #26 by Michael Wilson on 2010.09.28 - 1:55 pm

      Ok, well if that’s what you want to believe, that’s of course your right.

  15. #27 by Lady_Tigrane on 2010.09.28 - 1:26 pm

    “homebound teenagers and hygienically-deficit guest artists”

    Is that how you saw us people who put money in your pocket and our hearts and and souls (designers) into that game?

    All I have to say in response is this


    • #28 by Michael Wilson on 2010.09.28 - 1:28 pm

      Goodness not at all. I’m referring to an individual who insists on spreading trash about There, and an ex-employee doing the same.

  16. #29 by Corey_Lee of THERE on 2010.09.28 - 6:18 am

    “What It Would Take To ReOpen There” This is the main question that i want to know about. We hope you will post it quickly.

    That Minecraft game looks good:D but it seems players need to be more logical to play that. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • #30 by Michael Wilson on 2010.09.28 - 7:13 am

      Don’t get your hopes up. The list is not as simple as “decide to re-open it”. :-(.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: