Islandz Virtual World (the Successor to InWorldz) Has Launched: Will People Come Back?

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If you missed all the excitement, here’s a link to all my blogposts about InWorldz and their sudden shut-down, so you can get caught up.

Last week, the owner of the former InWorldz grid, Beth Reischl, flipped the switch on its successor: Islandz Virtual World. Like InWorldz before it, Islandz is based on the same Halcyon codebase which forked off from the standard OpenSim software back in 2010. (Purists insist that InWorldz/Islandz is not a “true” OpenSim grid for that reason.)

Note that this grid, like its predecessor, is not Hypergrid-enabled; it is a closed grid. This bucks the trend where the overwhelming majority of OpenSim-based virtual worlds now allow their users to freely jump to other OpenSim grids via Hypergrid. (There are two main lists of OpenSim grids: one from the OpenSimulator website and the other from Hypergrid Business).

Islandz 3 24 Nov 2018.png

To add Islandz to your Firestorm viewer, all you need to do is open up your settings (Ctrl-P), and select OpenSim from the left-hand-side menu. Then copy and paste the following into the Add New Grid field, and press the Apply key:

Islandz 1 24 NOv 2018.png

If you had an old account on InWorldz, you can transfer that avatar name over to Islandz Virtual World. Just use this log in screen. Please note that your InWorldz inventory has not been carried over; you are a default system avatar, although a number of people have kindly made free clothing, hair, and body parts available at the spawn point when you arrive in-world for the first time at the Islandz Welcome Center:

Islandz 2 24 Nov 2018.png

I picked up the Ruth 2.0 mesh avatar, some hair (a layered bob hairstyle freebie by Linda Kellie), and a basic clothing applier for the Ruth mesh body, and after about half an hour I had an avatar that I was fairly satisfied with. Here is Vanity Faire (with an “e’) in Islandz Virtual World:

Inworldz 5 24 Nov 2018

It remains to be seen how much InWorldz inventory that people frantically tried to save will be able to be resurrected and returned to them. I might never get back my inventory, but then again, I didn’t have much to lose, so it would be easy for me to start all over.

But the Welcome Center was, with the exception of one AFK avatar, deserted on the Saturday afternoon when I visited. The question is: will people come back?

The even bigger question is: will the content creators come back? Some of them, upset at the handling of (and communication about) the sudden shut-down of InWorldz, have since moved to other OpenSim grids and will likely not be coming back to set up shop in Islandz Virtual World. Others may decide to come back and try again.

Many of the original InWorldz residents have also moved on, mostly to other OpenSim virtual worlds. Whether Islandz can recover any of the lost glory of InWorldz remains to be seen. But they’re back; it’s now up to Islandz Virtual World’s new and returning residents to rebuild.

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16 thoughts on “Islandz Virtual World (the Successor to InWorldz) Has Launched: Will People Come Back?”

    1. There is no way after all i have invested and the years of being there that I would ever go back. Trusting them. What an awful way to treat the people that were making Inworldz what it was. I as a created will not be coming back and will never trust them ever again. I lost a lot of money as many of us have and lord knows how much inventory. 1 week is NOT enough time for anyone to try to save. The miscommunication and the mismanagement was a pitiful thing.

  1. “The even bigger question is: will the content creators come back? Some of them, upset at the handling of (and communication about) the sudden shut-down of InWorldz, have since moved to other OpenSim grids and will likely not be coming back to set up shop in Islandz Virtual World. ”

    That’s the question of the day– and it affects everything. If content creators don’t “opt in” (and many have already said they want nothing more to do with Inworldz/Islandz)… their content will be filtered out of OAR files. So even if some ex-Inworldz members return, they may very likely find their lands largely barren even after pulling back in the OARs.

    As you say in the article, many members have moved on. Elf Clan is now centered on OSgrid with a 75-region fantasy continent. Elf Clan members are scattered throughout the Hypergrid– on 3rd Rock, Discovery, DigiWorldz, Kitely, OSgrid and other grids– and after some 4 months we’re pretty much settled in our new homes.

    After spending a TON of money with Inworldz over 8 years only to lose it all due to extreme mismanagement, we’d have to be out of our minds to support Islandz at $75 a region. Beth has decided to not honor her original agreement with our group, claiming this is a “new company”.

    Well, I haz news for Beth: it’s a new age. We’re running our own lands now on three different servers. Our expenses have dropped to the cost of electricity. We’ve found OSgrid runs just as well as Inworldz and offers the added benefits of VARs (super-size regions), Hypergrid access, and full 100% control over our assets and inventory.

    Beth has given Inworldz members zero reason to support or even respect Islandz at this point. Our lands and assets were destroyed. It’s unlikely the OARs are going to restore with any degree of success due to the simple fact of so many creators refusing to give Islandz permission to use their creations. Inworldz originally started with six founders, who left one by one because of frustration with how the company was operated. Now Islandz is down to one founder– the same person in charge when Inworldz tanked.

    The question is: how many creators trust that one person with their creations? Considering the highly questionable destruction of Inworldz, the fact that no one was told with sufficient notice there was any problems (not even their main Dev was told), considering the way the GoFundMe donations were handled, and that Beth has stated her word and agreements to Inworldz members are no longer valid because this is a “new company”… who will trust their creations to a new grid run by the same person?

    Not this dwagon.

    1. And already they have been caught using items that are not created on islandzzzz by people who did not opt in. So, they lied about not doing that, they lied that Jim would be no part of the new venture. How many more red flags shall be waved before people stop supporting this “business”.

  2. My issue with Islandz and same with IW is the outright LIES and misinformation they provided to their users, about OpenSimulator in general. This amounts to the example of a really shady Used Care Salesman.

  3. The BIGGEST question is, “WHERE DID THE 17,000 DOLLARS GO THAT INWORLDZ RESIDENTS DONATED to the GOFUNDME site IN ORDER TO SAVE INWORLDZ AND thereby SAVE THEIR PURCHASED LANDS, BUILDS, AND INVENTORY???” That is WHY they kicked in so much money! I hope they get some relief as it appears they were all very cheated. Why would ANYONE trust this grid owner again? PFFT!

    1. well where it went is in Beth’s pocket. She made a concerted effort at starting a grid knowing full well she had no real interest in making it happen. She pocketed the money, which was the plan all along. She has to pay back loans for IW or declare bankruptcy on it. We got screwed big time, end of story. So all we can do is move along. No content creator that I know would ever consider going to this grid. And sadly all you fools who donated money, and left your inventory items out like good little followers will never see any of it again. 🙁 sorry to be so bold but it is what it is. Come on over to Discovery Grid and move on! Brooklynn Peretz is my name.

  4. After finding out my inventory will never come back and I will not get back the 210 usd worth of izzies sat in my account that were tips. I am out! I wasn’t even notified about them having difficulties or going down so I had no time to put my creations on sand box sims. Also after speaking to some people close to the iwz team I was told the grid owner Elle knew about this months prior. If you knew something months prior why not act and at least send an e-mail to your residents. I didn’t receive any single e-mail or form of communication until the day I tried to log in and couldn’t and I had to search around and contact other people.

    1. The sad thing of this– is if Beth had been more open and informed the populace much earlier, we could have banded together and saved Inworldz. That she did not do so makes me question this entire situation. What was she thinking?

  5. And the even biggester question is, where did the operating capital go previous to the gofundme? How was Beth living her day to day life if InWorldz was her only income? things that make ya go hmmmmm.

    1. I have to admit there are a whole lot of unanswered questions. Either a lot of people totally didn’t understand, or Beth isn’t telling the whole story, ‘cos this does not stand up under the microscope test.

      How is it that Inworldz got behind in 3 months of server fees– and there were no backup funds to cover it? How is it there were no external backup servers? Only the most stupid of computer companies would run without data backups.

      The “blame PayPal” bit doesn’t make sense. If PayPal bought the server company and all of Inworldz funds were in PayPal… why wouldn’t they just use those funds to pay the server fees upon Beth’s authorization?

      Nah, something there just doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. Inworldz should have had a sizeable emergency fund / money in the bank. Sounds like someone was dipping way deep into the jar and came up short when bills came due. There is no way PayPal would “withhold funds” and not only kill an entire business… but destroy a server fee source of some $17,000 a month. The whole concept is ludicrous from a business standpoint.

      Methinks the whole story has not been told. Add to that intentionally broken agreements and broken promises (which is all on Beth, no blaming anyone else), and there’s just no excuse… nor honor in this matter. Inworldz died because of the decisions of one person, that person broke promises and agreements using “new company” as a rationalized excuse for doing so, and basically used ($17,000?) in donations for a purpose other than declared instead of being refunded. Beth states she “misunderstood” how GoFundMe works… but later stated that $17,000 wouldn’t have been enough anyway, that $50,000 would have been required to keep Inworldz online. The whole story reeks.

      Makes me wonder how many people are going to be foolish enough to buy back in. What did the man say, “A sucker born every minute”.

      Here’s what I expect next: “That’s not what happened, I never said that” etc etc. It’s predictable.

    2. Follow-up: Let’s just put the math to this:

      Being very conservative… let’s say there were 800 paid regions on Inworldz averaging $60 per region per month. A very few regions were paying $40 a month, the standard price $75 a month, so we’ll say $60 as a benefit-of-the-doubt kind of thing.

      $60 x 800 = $48,000 per month in region fees. It has been claimed Inworldz ran $17,000 a month in server costs. This is a reasonable amount to believe when we include company-paid regions and asset server costs. That would leave $31,000 a month after server fees are paid.

      It has been claimed that at the end no one was involved in Inworldz except one Founder (Beth) and one employee (Jim). Others have totally disavowed still being a part of the company– since that means they can’t be held accountable for Beth’s decisions and thus can’t be sued.

      So at the end Inworldz had one owner and one employee (according to claims). That being the case, $31,000 a month should have gone a long way. After EIGHT YEARS in business, Inworldz should have been rather significantly profitable in the field of small virtual grids. There should have been enough capitalization to have paid for at least a year or two of emergency server fees even if the system went belly-up. Eight years x $48,000 a month is $4.6 million… almost $3 million after server fees. Simple math.

      These are conservative figures. At one time Inworldz had (according to claims) over 1,000 paid regions. That’s a hunka cash that went… where?

      Mind you, the owners could use profits however they wish. That’s their legal right. Until the (supposed) sole remaining founder slams the company into the ground and destroys some eight years of customer creations and investments. Then the Founder’s rights become highly questionable, at least on an ethical and possibly legal standpoint. Questionable as in “individuals could be sued for extreme negligence”. Except of course, no one feels like messing with all that and (according to reports) that sole founder is conveniently out of the country.

      Methinks some people helping to set up Islandz haven’t really bothered to think these things through. But I can’t help but wonder: where did that $3 million go, that Inworldz wasn’t able to pay server fees and keep the grid online?

      Okay, I done grousing. Elf Clan now has a 75-region continent on OSgrid that is running just peachy, as well as members spread across the hypergrid. My own land measures 1,280m from side to side with no sim crossing lines. We set our own rules with no constrictions. We have 100% control over our regions and assets, and we’re *not* paying Inworldz $2000 a month.

      I hate to say it (‘cos I really feel sorry for the residents who lost so much)… but Inworldz shutting down was one of the best things ever happened to our group. It set us free of the iron-curtain, closed-wall mentality and showed us what can really be accomplished on virtual worlds once that wall has crumbled.

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