((or the hardest post I've ever had to write, redux))
InSilico had a tough road ahead of itself after the loss of Skills and a two week lockout…specifically, a financial one. While we were able to float by on generosity, that cushion has run out. Sadly, our primary sources of income have never fully recovered. It’s not any one thing, but a combination of losses that have slowly eroded away: Malls are drying up, Skills’ MP sales disappearing, fewer long term residential rentals, etc. Suffice it to say that there has been a growing short fall (even before), and up until now we’ve been making up the difference out of pocket when needed. That shortage this month will be substantial however, and unfortunately we are not in a position to keep covering the difference.
So, we had to make a decision. Either make a drastic reduction to just two sims (a full region and a homestead), or close InSilico as a whole while we are still in a position to do so on our own terms. After a lot of discussion and soul searching with the current staff and some players (and a lot of antacids), we’ve opted for the latter…to go out whole.
This is a very hard choice for us, and not one that we’ve come to lightly. Even though it might be possible to survive as just two sims, the technical aspects of that were daunting. Not only would it require a substantial shifting of the existing city infrastructure very quickly (most of which would fall on Stark), we would also need to cut key locations such as Mars and cyberspace to free up the required prims to do so. And certainly we’d suffer other loses in the form of rental revenue and reduced confidence during that period. All said, we just weren’t entirely confident ourselves that we could make it work in such a short amount of time. We also didn’t want to have to keep turning to the community for donations to keep us afloat during that process…but certainly the one thing we didn’t want was to go through all of this, and then find ourselves back in this same position 2, 3, 4 months down the line. We don't want to wither away, slowly or not.
Perhaps it’s just a sign of the times, the state of things in general, or our age and reputation that have brought us to this point. Maybe we should have dropped a couple regions from the start…Either, any, or…it doesn’t really matter now. We have chosen to come to a close with InSilico as it is now, intact and committed to our memories in the same way. It’s a sacrifice, but not one of compromise.
As I said in my previous (albeit premature) Goodbye/Love letter to InSilico during the lockout…We’ve had some good times, even some great times. 9 years’ worth of stories that will continue to transcend the sims on which they were told…I couldn’t ask for anything more than that as a legacy.
So what happens now? Well, that’s up to you. We still have the sims until the end of their respective tiers. Central and South will be dropped on the 28th/1st, but East and South East will remain until November 17th …after which they too will go their separate ways. The Ning will hang on for a while longer after that, but for how long I cannot say as we don’t have access to the creator account. In the meantime, continue RPing and taking in the sites. Enjoy it while you can. Take pictures, tell war stories, have a party. ICly the city isn’t going anywhere, even if the sims are. We aren’t blowing it up or tanking it…we’re just going to fade to black so it can continue to exist in your imaginations and stories. We’ve locked all rental boxes, but if you’re a current renter…feel free to stay for as long as the sims remain.
P.S. Shoda won’t be closing as it is privately funded, so it will continue to exist to carry on the INSILICO setting’s legacy, even if only now as a background element to whatever its own future may hold. Expect to hear more from Stark & Co. about that soon.
P.P.S. Please, no donations. We’ve already had one fundraiser this year, and received numerous donations when we reopened. And, to be honest, it’s never something I’ve been comfortable with asking for. While the thoughts and sentiment are appreciated, it’s just a band-aid to the greater issues. Our time has come. We can make peace with that.